Ok, before i begin the rant. Just to clarify a few points on my own identity. I am a Southern Catholic, and a proud athiest. My republican credentials are as good as the next fella. Great-Grandad fought the black&tans. I did a couple of stints in the Gaeltacht. Passed Leaving Cert irish, barely...but passed nonetheless. Generally my Leaving Cert grades were good, but i will confess that the extra encumbrance of irish was a tedious distraction. My opinions towards the UK are as to any other country. France, UK , Spain, Germany....let them all do what they wish over there. I have no more allegience to the Queen of England than to the King of Spain. Neither do i have any problem with the identity and leadership of other foreign countries. Ireland is home. Peace is good.
Now, regarding the Irish language. Just a few questions :
* Who, in my generation, voted for its compulsory University-entry status, its tax-sponging status, its traffic-sign status ?
* What respect is given to those who choose to not use Irish ?
* What hope for 'the new irish' and their offspring to learn and thrive in a language that causes a homework headache at the dinner table every evening ?
* How much money and time is wasted in learning a useless language that i never hear on the streets ?
* Can i be accused of 'not really being irish' when i represent the vast majority of the population in the fact that i refuse to speak irish, even when spoken to in irish ?
* Does a cohort of the population refusing to speak English correspond to a ghetto ? Polish, Urdu, Nigerian, Irish....its all Greek to me. Is this divisive to social cohesion ?
* How can we have a middle-class language revival when all the knackers refuse to speak irish ?
* How can we have a working-class language revival when all the West-Brits refuse to speak irish ?
* Is irish language just being used as a stick to beat the Unionists and to remind them of their impending minority status ? will such jingoism revive 'the troubles'. Are you so keen on Irish as to restart the troubles ?
Answers on a postcard . Preferably in a language we all understand.
Irish language in Northern Ireland sees popular revival amid political controversy - World - CBC News