Archive for December, 2006

Santy Spotted On Grafton St.

Thursday, December 21st, 2006
Santy

Spotted Santy on Grafton St. today but he seems to have fallen on hard times. I had a quick word with him, said he got my letter but couldn’t guarantee anything.

Anyway…im away to dial-up land again for the Christmas so expect less regular posting till early in the new year.

Where In The World Wednesday #5

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Maybe not as easy as previous weeks, but the clues are there and you don’t have to have been there to know where it is. One hint, it’s NOT in Connaught.

Use the comment function to place your “educatedâ€? guess. You can guess more than once. Click on the image to view a larger version and if anyone is having problems with Flickr today let me know and ill find alternative hosting for the pic.

Answer: Brussels, otherwise known as the colon of Europe (at one stage or another, every thing must pass through it).

The WWW Leaderboard
Gerry – 1
El Ultimo – 1
Langerdan – 1

The Rest – 0

Flash Mob – Dublin

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
Matrix Reloaded Flash Mob in Osaka

FlashDublin dropped by to let me know that Irelands first Flash Mob event is being organised as we speak. So if you want to be part of this historic event, email FlashDublin@gmail.com for details. Most likely going to be a Saturday so make sure your diary is free. They are also welcoming theme suggestions. You could maybe take inspiration from our friends in Osaka who went for a Matrix Reloaded theme. Other themes that that have been done include: Pillow Fight, IPod, Ninja Bake Sale, Subway Party, Mobile Clubbing etc

http://www.flashmob.com/
http://www.flashmob.co.uk/

BANKING as gaeilge (update)

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Two more replies came in since I posted the original BANKING as gaeilge.

Halifax / Bank Of Scotland

Dear Ms O’Connor,

Firstly, thank you once again for considering Halifax for your financial services. I am confident that you have also concluded that our products are leading the market in providing superior value and service.

You may already be aware; Halifax has been in operation in Ireland for less than one year. During this time, our key focus has been the huge undertaking of opening our branch network throughout Ireland. This is imperative to ensure an efficient service is available to everyone who would like to prevail of our services.

Therefore, at this point in time, matters such as having a language policy have not yet been reviewed.

Continued expansion of our branch network throughout Ireland will be our priority over the coming months as we are excited that we are only half way through the number of branches we intend to open.

When this has been completed, I am certain that other important matters such as a language policy will be reviewed.

If you have any questions at all regarding our policies, products or services, please do contact me as I would be only too happy to assist in any way.

Yours Sincerely

M** M***
Halifax Customer Relations
Customer Service Centre
Co Louth

EBS
(I should have maybe tailored my original email to suit a building society..)

Dear Ms. O’Connor,

Many thanks for your query which I received through our internet channel www.ebs.ie.

In relation to the provision of customer documentation or correspondence in Irish, it is not something we do currently. We also have not received a request for this in the recent past, however as an organisation that listens to customers, we will review your request in this context. As you are probably aware, to facilitate your request would require both a financial and employee investment. We would need to ensure that this investment makes sense for all members of the organization prior to making a commitment to deliver on it.

We would be happy to carry out a review of the request in the context of all members of the society, however at this point in time, I can not give you any indication of what the outcome of that evaluation might be.

In relation to the range of financial services we provide, we do offer a broad range of financial products from mortgages to investments and personal loans to credit cards. I should point out to you however that we do not provide a current account facility and chequebook and this may be something that you may need to consider when making a decision.

I do hope this answers your query and that you will consider EBS as a financial provider for the future.

Regards

A*** P***
Head of Marketing

Friday Caption Comp #34

Friday, December 15th, 2006
Friday Caption #34

Wellity wellity wellity… Friday would not be Friday without the FCC. Have a go at this week’s one, add your captions using the comment function below. You can add as may captions as you like.

Last weeks FCC had some great entries but the winner was Johnny with his caption “Eclesiastic Picnic in Portlaoise was a huge success despite some bad weather.â€? for this picture.

Have a great weekend, slan.

BANKING as gaeilge

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006
Bank Teller

I was recently talking to a friend of mine and he was telling me about the difficulties he faced in trying to get his bank to issue an Irish language cheque book. When he finally got them to issue the cheque book, the ‘Ó’ in his name was missing the fada!
Anyway, this got me thinking…which is dangerous in itself.

I decided to write to all the major banks asking them if they had any Irish language policy in place or what they could offer me in terms of banking as gaeilge.

Some of the replies were PFO’s but some were encouraging. I went under my pen name ‘Martina Mary O’Connor’ and the initial email I sent went as follows:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am not currently banking with your firm but am considering moving from my own bank as I don’t feel they are providing me with the service I require.

I have looked at your firm and am happy with the financial services you provide and that they would meet my needs. The only thing I couldn’t find out about was if you have any Irish language policy in place. One of the main reasons I have decided to leave my own bank was because they could not or would not accommodate my request for correspondence etc through Irish.

So my question to you is, do you have any policy or arrangements in place for customers who want to do their banking through Irish? I managed to get my current bank to issue me an Irish language cheque book, but that is as far as they went.

I would of course be more likely to join a bank which could accommodate my request in some way.

Thanks for your time
Martina Mary O’Connor

The replies were varied and are listed below.

Bank Of Ireland

- Customer Care Unit
Dear Ms O’Connor

Thank you for your email to the Bank of Ireland Customer Care Unit.

The majority of the banking processes are done through the English Language.
Some Bank of Ireland ATMs have an Irish Language facility on them.
Cheque book can be issued in the Irish language.

Our branches in the Gaeltacht region do have Irish speakers working in them. If you would like me to enquire as to which branches would be best to accomodate your banking requirements please do not hesitate to contact me.
Yours sincerely

K**** F****
Customer Care Unit

-Bank of Ireland 365 Online
Dear Ms. O’Connor,

Thank you for your email.

Bank of Ireland do not currently have an Irish language policy in place. However, we have passed your comments to our Development Team who will consider all suggestions received in our future developments.

Customer feedback is greatly appreciated by us in Bank of Ireland.

Thank you for taking the time to email us with your comments and suggestions.

Yours sincerely

E**** O*****
Customer Support
Bank of Ireland 365 Online

(more…)

Where In The World Wednesday #4

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

WWW#4

Okay folks, another easy one this week. As you may have already guessed, it’s an Irish location again this week. Click on the image to view a larger version. Submit your guesses via the comment function below. I should have a leader board up some time after lunch.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Monday, December 11th, 2006
The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Well it’s that time of year again when turkeys need to watch their backs and when we are inundated with ‘Best Of [enter year]’ polls. Not least of these polls is BBC’s Film 2006 film of the year poll. The Wind That Shakes the Barley was the stand out film for me this year and has been short listed for film of the year on Film 2006. So if you haven’t already, vote for TWTSTB here.

Friday Caption Comp #33

Friday, December 8th, 2006
Friday Caption #33

Sorry for the delay with this weeks FCC. I was otherwise engaged and could not get back till now. Oh and id like to thank all those who emailed me wondering if I was ok, what had happened and why the FCC wasn’t up etc…….you bastar*s!

Anyway, you know the drill. Add your caption using the comment function below.

Last weeks winner was Fence with her caption “Garda investigations into why, exactly, the chicken crossed the road, lead to some interesting witnesses turning up.â€? for this picture.

Slan and have a great weekend.

Doire Derry Londonderry

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

LondonDerry
Belfast High Court is set to decide this week on the official name of Derry. Derry City Council took the case back in April in an attempt to change its “officialâ€? name from LondonDerry back to Derry. The city was renamed LondonDerry under British occupation and remains its official name in the eyes of the British government.

I guess with reunification fast approaching, Derry City Council decided to get a head start on de-anglicising its house. Fair play to them I say. ‘London’ is a boil on the fair name of Derry and once it’s been lanced, they are sure to push on and get it officially recognised as Doire Colmcille.

We have also received unconfirmed reports that a delegation from the Dingle Daingean Ui Chuis campaign has flown up to to Derry with a view to lobby the court in the desperate hope that they will rule in favour of keeping the bastardised version of the city’s name.

A Royal Thank You

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

AGH has recently come into the possession of an interesting piece of correspondence relating to the ongoing Dingle vs An Daingean dispute.

The article itself is a photocopy of an open letter/postcard to the people of DINGLE seemingly written by Queen Elizabeth II and sent to the Keep Dingle English campaign HQ (Tigh Uí Fhlaitheartha).

Liz seems to be chuffed with the results of the recent plebiscite in which the good folk of DINGLE, or loyal subjects as she puts it, overwhelmingly re-affirmed their Englishness.

The picture might be a bit hard to read so here is a transcript of Liz’s royal thank you to the people of DINGLE.

Loyal, Devoted Subjects of Dingle,

My personal congratulations to you all on recently re-affirming your Englishness. I’m glad I can count on your loyalty to keep elements of native rabble in their place – again good show, it means a lot to my other subjects to feel so much at home when in Dingle.

The Queen EIIR

Where In The World Wednesday #3

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

WWW#3

Ok, as promised an Irish location for WWW. Someone might even get the answer this week!! Use the comment function below to post your guess.

Back in Town

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

My apologies for the lack of activity on AGH for the last week and a bit….yes people dial-up land still exists, but I am back in town again after my week+ off and back in BB land.

Anyway, many things were gotten up to and attended in the past week+ including the 2006 Kilmichael ambush commemoration (vid below). The guest speaker was poor to say the least and her “orationâ€? was more suited to the heated halls of the Dáil or the Seanad, and not the wet wind-swept West Cork road-side in which she gave it.