There’s a story in the paper today about Ernest Blythe, who, as Minister for Finance in 1924, “infamously” cut the old age pension by a shilling. The story is that despite the hard times back then, he was still able to find money for books to be translated into Irish. In 1929, for example, the department of finance allocated £6,400 for novel translation. One of the books was Dracula (vampire: súmaire; undead/zombie:neamhmarbh)
They published a couple of translated novels under this policy – An Mairnéalach Dubh (The Nigger of the Narcissus), Cú na mBaskerville (The Hound of the Baskervilles), Scéal Fá Dhá Chathair (A Tale of Two Cities).
After Blythe lost his seat in parliament he was elected to the Senate, where he wondered aloud about songs in Irish. He said: “My feeling is that it would be worth consideration whether we should not get somebody to write Irish words to the tune of ‘Get Along, Little Doggie, Get Along’ or ‘The Isle of Capri’.”
Ireland: Best small country in the world to be bilingual in…