Orangeman Claims 'Irish Language has Become Political'

An Irish language development officer in east Belfast says many people there are upset by an Orange Order claim that Irish is being used for political purposes by republicans.

Linda Ervine said: "I know a lot of people in east Belfast have been offended by this."

The claim was made on Saturday by George Chittick, the order's Belfast County Grand Master.

Click here to read more from BBC News.

What are your thoughts on this?  Leave a comment below.

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Views: 800

Tags: Belfast, Gaeilge, Irish Freedom Struggle, Irish Language, Orange Order, Orangemen

Comment by Kelly O'Rourke on February 22, 2014 at 6:39am

Thanks for that background.  Helps the rest of us get a better sense of this.

Comment by Mary Catherine Kelly-Siatta on February 24, 2014 at 6:32am

Is there any other country in the world, that you know of, who's own language has been outlawed and
now considered a political tool?  How Absurd!

Mary Catherine

Comment by Susan McWilliams Lev-Yadun on February 24, 2014 at 3:27pm

I wanted to add to this the other day when I first saw this. I agree with what John said, and Ryan too.

Here is what I wanted to add:

The Irish language was suppressed in one way or another, whether or not official, for centuries. The only two cases Padraig Pearse tried after being called to the bar, involved his clients' right to use Irish for their names on their carts, which was against the law. At the time he believed in trying to change the law. He lost both these cases. His role in reviving the Irish language, both through his writings and through his school, St Enda’s, cannot be overstated. I just want to say that deciding to learn a language can be regarded as a political statement. Of course what the article claimed was that the teaching of the language was political. And if it is? See this video for the part about Pearse's cases:

(the last four minutes)

Comment by Bernie Joyce on February 25, 2014 at 5:10pm

The English might have made the language political when they outlawed it how many centuries ago? But it is  the Irish people (some) who are doing damage to it now by saying things like "We should abolish the Irish language in schools and learn German or Chinese instead". Check out the above link to see what I mean. I am sick of Irish people putting their own culture down. Most countries are proud of their heritage but there are a lot of people like the journalist who wroth the article who do not value our culture or language and feel it is a waste of money. If we look down on ourselves than it opens the flood gates for everyone else to ridicule us.

Comment by Bernie Joyce on February 25, 2014 at 5:47pm

Bláthnadh specking on Saturday Night Live about her experience of speaking Irish

Comment by Susan McWilliams Lev-Yadun on February 26, 2014 at 1:43am

Thank you for sharing these with us, Bernie. I have no hope of ever learning more than a few phrases of the language myself, but the Irish are blessed to have the opportunity to learn and keep it alive.

Comment by Kelly O'Rourke on February 26, 2014 at 8:52am

The article that Bernie posted there has been all over my facebook newsfeed.  My Connemara neighbours found her words quite insulting, and many of them were at one of the marches.

Comment by Riocard Ó Tiarnaigh on February 26, 2014 at 10:44am

Kelly, I too watched Bláthnaid being interviewed by Brendan O'Connor. I thought she put the point of view of Irish  speakers across very well. I would be interested to hear, what exactly your Connemara neighbours found insulting.  

Comment by Kelly O'Rourke on February 26, 2014 at 11:26am

No, sorry Riocard.  I meant the article Bernie posted from the Limerick Leader there, not the youtube video.  Sorry for the confusion.

Comment by Riocard Ó Tiarnaigh on February 26, 2014 at 11:35am

No sweat, Kelly. I agree with your neighbours. That article in the Limerick Leader was scurrilous!!!


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