For Irish learner drivers, speed limits are targets

Just a comment on Irish speed limits. Last night a wee boy was killed in a housing estate in Kilkenny, where apparently the residents had been trying to put up speed bumps for years. We have a similar speed issue in our place here in Dublin, where I see kids on bikes every day and motorists playing F1. Everyone sane of mind knows that in an estate, the likely scenario is that a child will jump out in front of the car so most people drive accordingly… I would hope.

Now – I’d like to contrast this with the way Irish learner drivers are being taught to drive. Apparently here, you are marked down for ‘progression’ if you go down a narrow and very residential road where the limit is 50 km/h at say 30 km/h because you’re afraid of killing a kid. I let you ponder the folly of that for a moment: you are told to speed up and hit the speed limit and you are marked down.

When I heard that, I’ll tell you steam came out my ears. I’d kick an instructor out of my car for saying something so stupid. Speed limits are not targets. The government says so. The driving instruction system of this country, however says different. *hits head against brick wall*


Networking as gaeilge with Des Bishop on Abair Leat!

Comedian Des Bishop was in Dublin this morning to launch a new Irish-language social networking site called Abair Leat.  Abair Leat was created by Coláiste Lurgan, an Irish-language school in Connemara which Des Bishop attended as part of his show “in the name of the Fada.”

Hear Des and Principal of Coláiste Lurgan Mícheál Ó Foighil explain what’s behind the initiative

Read about the background to the project and about Irish-language social networking:

A new educational social network dedicated to the Irish language was launched today by Des Bishop to encourage Irish speakers of all levels to use the language. The site, called Abair Leat, will offer users interaction and access to language support tools such as translation, spellcheck and a specialised dictionary.

Abair Leat!

Abair Leat!

It’s the brainchild of Coláiste Lurgan, an Irish-language school in Connemara which embraced the web a few years ago by making materials available to its students in what it calls an online language lab.

Principal of Coláiste Lurgan Mícheál Ó Foighil explains that the distinguishing feature of Abair Leat is the language determination capability, which ensures that any content posted to the site contains over 70% of Irish native words. Content can be linked to Facebook, but not the other way around.

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