Navigation path

Welcome to the website of the European Commission Representation in Ireland
E-mail this pageE-mail this pagePrintPrint
Irish People in the EU

There are Irish people working throughout every level of the European Union, in addition to those working in the Irish Representations of the Commission and the Parliament.

Back to list page.

Seán Ó Riain
Irish Language /National Expert/Taidhleoir Éireannach - Saineolaí Náisiúnta ar iasacht

Originally from Tipperary/Tiobraid Árann.

About your job: I am responsible for the EUROPA website in Irish and I contribute to the evolution of EU language policy. I can write in Irish, one of Europe's most ancient languages, and what I write can be read instantly by those who know Irish anywhere in the world. I am fascinated by languages and linguistic diversity - my personal website, www.seanoriain.eu, contains some 50 articles in 6 languages. I need to work quickly, and respond to questions from a variety of sources.

Táim freagrach as leagan Gaeilge an tsuímh ghréasáin EUROPA agus déanaim mo chion chun beartas teanga an AE a fhorbairt. Scríobhaim as Gaeilge, ceann de na teangacha is ársa san Eoraip, bíonn mo scríbhinní le léamh láithreach ag lucht na Gaeilge aon áit ar domhan. Tá an-spéis agam i dteangacha is san éagsúlacht teanga - tá 50 alt i 6 theanga sa suíomh gréasáin pearsanta agam, www.seanoriain.eu. Bíonn orm bheith ag obair go tapa, agus ceisteanna ó iliomad foinsí a fhreagairt.

Why the EU? I am committed to European integration, as the alternative is war, as proven again and again by history. I have always loved the Irish language, as the most Irish thing in Ireland. My present work allows me to combine both commitments and passions. Táim tiomnaithe d'imeascadh na hEorpa. Chruthaigh an stair go minic gur mar sin amháin is féidir cogadh a sheachaint. Ba ghrá liom i gcónaí an Ghaeilge, an rud is dúchasaí in Éirinn. Tugann an obair seo mo dhá ghrá le chéile.

How do you think Ireland has benefited most from the EU? Psychologically, not just economically. It has put Ireland back centre-stage in Europe and has taken us out of the shadow of our eastern neighbour. Go síceolaíoch, ní go geilleagrach amháin. Chuir sí Éire ar ais i lár an aonaigh san Eoraip, agus shaor sí sinn ó ró-thionchar ár gcomharsan thoir.

Based: An Bhruiséil/Brussels.

Languages: Fluent: Irish, English, French, German, Polish, Spanish, Welsh and Esperanto. Some Russian, Dutch, Italian and Romanian.

Líofa: Gaeilge, Béarla, Fraoincis, Gearmáinis, Polainnis, Spáinnis, Breatnais agus Esperanto. Roinnt Rúisise, Ollainnise, Iodálaise agus Rómáinise.

Books/Music: Very difficult to name one, as I have over 8,000. Among my favorites are Breandán Ó Doibhlin's "Manuail de Litríocht na Gaeilge", and Seán de Fréine's "Croí Cine" - extracts from Irish language literature through the centuries; Seosamh Mac Grianna's "Eoghan Rua Ó Néill"; Seán Ó Ríordáin's "Brosna"; "How the Irish saved Civilization" by Thomas Cahill; "Aisling Ghéar" by Prof. Breandán Ó Buachalla; "Amra Cholm Cille" by Prof. P.L. Henry; Earnán de Blaghd's "Briseadh na Teorann"; Emmanuel Todd's "L'invention de l'Europe"; Claude Piron's "Le Défi des Langues"; Professor Robert Phillipson's "English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy"; Dr Ulrich Lins "Die Gefährliche Sprache" (The Dangerous Language - the oppression of Esperanto speakers by Hitler and Stalin). Why? Because some of these book put me directly in touch with the thoughts of Irish people, elegantly expressed in their own language, since 597 AD. Cahill's volume outlines the indispensable contribution of the Fifth Century Irish to the retention of a European civilisation, essential for the very creation of "Europe". De Blaghd gives a Northern Protestant view of the origin of partition, in Irish! Todd's book examines the relation between four types of family structure and the development of the political preferences of Europeans. Piron's and Phillipson's books underline the need to retain linguistic diversity, and how Esperanto could contribute to improved language-learning in general; and the book by Lins throws light on a fascinating, if little-known, aspect of European history.

Cad ina thaobh? Cruthaíonn na leabhair seo cé chomh fite fuaite lena chéile is a bhí Éire agus an Eoraip riamh anall, is saibhríonn siad mo smaointe.