Hello everyone. This is Shannon. I would like to update you on our fight to remain in Ireland as of today, 15 April 2014. Thank you very much everyone for your support. Many people have stopped me on the street and asked me how things are going, so I thought it would be good to provide a summary for everyone.
Our solicitor has informed us that the Humanitarian Leave to Remain (HLTR) application was lodged on time. The original time forecast for a final decision is a broad ‘between a couple of months and up to six years’. This is because the Department of Justice has no statutory requirement to make a decision on our application within any period of time.
Practically speaking, if we were from a war-torn country, they might put off the decision on our application as long as possible. Because we are from North America, they might want to execute judgement sooner rather than later. So the fact that we have not had a judgement for or against us as of yet I count as good news. Time is on our side, and I believe that with each day that passes, the chances of us being here another day go up as well.
In September 2012 we applied for a change of status from a Stamp 3 to a Stamp 4. This time our solicitor has informed us that the previous application was handled under an ‘ad-hoc administrative procedure’, but our current application is under a ‘statutory procedure’. Which is to say, when the government gets applications like our previous change of status request, they handle them as they see fit. But the HLTR application which we have in now is designated by law; by law the Minister of Justice must review it, and by law all of the representations made on our behalf (all of your letters of support), must be acknowledged and taken into account.
One of our supporter-advisors has recommend that being able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the Irish language would be in our favour during this process. In response, I have taken up the study of Irish more or less full time. Éistimid go leor leor leis Radio na Gaeltachta, et cetera. We approached a couple of Irish language tutors about private tutoring, but with Leaving Certs just 50 days away (!!!) they are too busy to take us on. Perhaps this summer, God willing.
We got a call from our lawyer this morning. The fact that the Irish Region Authority (Údarás na Gaeltachta) said they would support our business of mobile app development back in 2012 is a big deal now. I have asked them to reiterate their support in writing. If they do, it may mean a quick judgement in our favour.
Also, we had interfaced with Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland, and South Kerry Development Partnerships, and they let us know what they want to see from our business (basically, jobs). So if we do get status (leave to remain and permission to register the business), we will do our best to provide quality employment for those willing live in rural Ireland.
The Department of Justice is concerned that if they give us status, we will go on the dole right away. Proving that we can and will support ourselves in the state is secondary to the girls’ integration into the school, but very important nonetheless.
RISE TO VOTE SIR!
It is a crazy mixed up world where people under threat of deportation would have the right to vote. Welcome to my world. Kate and I have registered to vote in the May elections, and we intend to do so. And you should vote to; not because it will make a difference, but because it is the first step in exercising all of your democratic rights.
In conclusion, as I said, I feel that every day that goes by in which we are here, in a real and practical way increases the likelihood that we will be here yet another day. The discussion seems to have changed from whether or not we should be allowed to stay, to how we would support ourselves should we be allowed to stay. We are enjoying each day that we have, in this beautiful land, with these beautiful people, and taking the opportunity to foghlaim na Gaeilge which we have been given.
Míle buíochas (many thanks),
Tá mé ag fhoghlaim Gaeilge.
Ba mhaith liom Gaeilge a lathairt.
TEDx talk by Chris Lonsdale.
Things that don’t matter in language learning:
- Immersion (per se)
“A drowning man cannot learn to swim.”
What does matter:
Five Principles of Rapid Language Acquisition
- Focus on language content that is relevant to you.
We master tools by using tools; we learn tools fastest when they are relevant to us.
- Use your New Language as a Tool to Communicate, right from Day 1.
- When you first understand the message, you unconsciously acquire the language. “Comprehensible input”; comprehension works; comprehension is key. Language learning is not about accumulating lots of knowledge. In many ways it is about
- Physiological Training. “If you can’t hear it, you won’t understand it, and if you don’t understand it, you are not going to learn it. You have to be able to hear the sounds… Speaking requires muscle; if your face is hurting you are doing it right.”
- Psychophysiological States matters, and you need to be tolerant of ambiguity.
Seven Actions for Rapid Language Acquisition
Action 1: Listen a lot. “Brain Soaking”
Action 2: Focus on the meaning first. Get the meaning first before you get the words. Use body language. (Understanding through comprehensible input.)
Action 3: Start mixing. “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to work.”
Action 4: Focus on the core (high frequency content). For English, 1000 words is 85% of anything you are going to say in daily communication; 3000 words gives you 98% of anything you are going to say in daily conversation.
Week 1 Tool Box (in the target language):
- What is this?
- How do you say?
- I don’t understand…
- What does that mean?
- Repeat that please.
Pronouns, Common Verbs, Simple Nouns
Week 4 Glue Words: and, but, therefore, even though
Action 5: Get a Language Parent. Language parent creates a comprehensible input environment.
1. Works hard to understand what you are saying
2. Does not correct mistakes
3. Confirms understanding by using correct language (feedback)
4. Uses words the learner knows
Action 6: Copy the Face
Action 7: “Direct Connect” to Mental Images
This is the letter which I sent off to RTE News today.
I am writing to inform your news organization of a community action meeting we are conducting 7pm this Monday, 10 March 2014 in the Ballinskelligs Community Hall, Dun Geagan, County Kerry. I am sure it would be worth your while to have your local correspondent on hand to cover the event.
The Irish Government has begun legal proceedings to deport my wife, my three daughters, and myself. Living in South-West Kerry since 2010, we have only sought to support the local community. Now, we are being told to leave Ireland never to return.
We entered the State in July 2010, and have been well received by the community since then. We were originally on a Stamp 3 Visa, but were required to apply for a change of status in 2012. Having had our Change of Status Application refused in September of 2013, we received a Section 3 Notice on 21 February 2014. We met with and engaged the services of an immigration solicitor on 28 February 2014, who will be making a HTLR Application on our behalf this week.
We have launched a facebook campaign page (Stop the Deportation of Kate and Shannon) to galvanize community support and provide a central point of information. We will also be holding an information meeting at 7pm this Monday 10 March 2014 in the Community Hall, Ballinskelligs (Dun Geagan) to provide updates and hear further ideas from the community. This meeting is taking place within the Gaeltacht, but will be conducted in English in as far as I am still a ‘beginner’ at Irish.
The reason given by the INIS for refusing our application for a Stamp 4 Visa was insufficient finances. Although I have brought about €22,000 into the State year-on-year for the past three years, when I provided my bank balance to INIS we had just paid a number of yearly expenses, and our balance was at a low (€1,500). I mistakenly thought that INIS would look that the year’s income in context, but they chose to only look that the final balance. We currently have about €21,000 on account, and are well able to support ourselves in the State without recourse to public funds.
As a native English speaker I am also fluent in Japanese, and I know that I can benefit the State by working with the many Japanese companies which want to set up their European bases in Ireland. I also have software development skills. My daughters are fluent in Irish, love the country, and would be heartbroken if we are made to leave. We are appealing to the public for assistance because time is of the essence.
My successors stand before me,
Heir to all that I know, and more.
My work is done.
I can go to my ancestors in peace,
To report that the torch is being carried high,
By a new and able generation.
As some of you may now our family has had its share of difficulties in Ireland. With regard to the local community, things are fantastic. The problem has been in our relation to the government, which has insisted in writing that we are too poor to live in Ireland.
Nonetheless, you can see here one of the reasons you can see for our being in Ireland.
Zoe Sings “A Rí An Domhnaigh” at Éigse na Brídeoige (Celebration of the Biddy)
Zoe’s coach Sean Garvey says that “A Rí An Domhnaigh” is one of the more difficult Sean Nós songs. I believe she had done a very good job. She has certainly done her parents proud.
“Éigse na Brídeoige is a cultural festival which takes place every year during the first weekend in February. The events are spread over various centres in the Gaeltacht areas of Iveragh in South Kerry.” (http://www.eigsenabrideoige.com/eigsetextenglish.html)
Troparion (Tone 1)
O holy Brigid, you became sublime through your humility,
and flew on the wings of your longing for God.
When you arrived in the eternal City and appeared before your Divine Spouse,
wearing the crown of virginity,
you kept your promise
to remember those who have recourse to you.
You shower grace upon the world, and multiply miracles.
Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,
went with joy along the way of evangelical childhood,
and with the grace of God/ attained in this way the summit of virtue.
She now bestows blessings upon those who come to her with faith.
O holy Virgin, intercede with Christ our God
that He may have mercy on our souls.
Apolytikion (Tone 4)
Having learned of things divine by the words of Patrick,
thou hast proclaimed in the West the good tidings of Christ.
Wherefore, we venerate thee, O Brigid,
and entreat thee to intercede with God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion (Tone 3)
At the Church of the Oak, thou didst establish thy sacred monasteries
for those that took up the Tree of life,
even the Precious Cross, upon their shoulders.
And by thy grace-filled life and love of learning,
thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold and didst thereby nourish the faithful.
O righteous Mother Brigid, intercede with Christ, the True Vine, that He save our souls.
Troparion – The 4th Tone
Thy Nativity, O Christ our God,
has shone to the world as the light of wisdom.
For by it those who worshipped the stars
were taught by a star to adore Thee,
the Sun of Righteousness,
and to know Thee, the Orient from on high.
O Lord, glory to Thee.
Kontakion – The 3rd Tone
Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One,
and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One.
Angels with Shepherds glorify Him,
the wise men journey with the star;
since for our sake the eternal God was born as a little child.