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Irish civil rights group takes aim at iPad launch

Gaelic speakers want to give Apple a good boxing

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April Fools Apple's iPad launch could be thrown off course by a last minute objection to the device's name by a small Irish American civil rights group.

Boston-based Féach ar na Féilire claims it registered the name 11 years ago for a now-defunct online advice service for Irish Gaelic speaking immigrants in the US.

Pádraig O'Súil, national convener of the group, told The Register, via a translator, that the organisation had written to Apple numerous times, but had yet to receive a reply.

Its lawyers were now preparing a filing to freeze the launch of the ground breaking device in an effort to bring Apple to the negotiating table.

"This is just another example of Apple's arrogance towards the American Irish speaking community, in both America and Ireland," O'Súil said. The Mac maker had consistently failed to provide Irish language capabilities in its operating system, he claimed, and had never localised its products for Irish and other Gaelic-speaking markets.

"Yet at the same time they're happy to raid the Irish lexicon for their product names when it suits them. Look at the Mac - that means son in Irish, you know" he said. "It's just one slap in the face after another." When pressed for other examples he said he'd get back to us.

O'Súil added that the organisation had raised its latest concerns with Apple as soon as it heard about the upcoming launch, but the computing giant had consistently ignored its complaints.

He admitted that Apple's lack of a response could've been down to the group's insistence on writing to Cupertino in Irish. However, a change in the organisation's constitution had been necessary before it could engage a firm of bilingual trademark attorneys, Mahone, Butt and Mahone, which was able to take instruction in Irish and issue writs in English.

An Apple spokesperson said, "Saoire le do thoil teachtaireacht tar éis an ton." ®

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