Doug Beattie: SF hijack language act in bid to promote supremacy

Irish language act campaigners, including pupils from Irish-medium schools across Northern Ireland, take part in a protest at Stormont parliament buildings in Belfast, ahead of a meeting with Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley on Thursday. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

It is becoming clearer day by day that the Acht na Gaeilge campaign has been hijacked by Sinn Fein to promote — not equality — but a form of cultural supremacy.

I do not doubt that the campaign for an Irish Language Act is a fair and honest campaign.

Sinn Fein leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill joins Irish language act campaigners, including pupils from Irish-medium schools, in a protest at Stormont. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

However, I do take issue when I see our children - our country’s future - stand with signs that say “Revolution is the Solution” while at the same time promoting a political party they probably know nothing about.

As a society we should be promoting the message that “Democracy is the Solution” and that revolution in the form that was promoted and justified by Sinn Fein – even today – should never take to our streets again.

Let’s stop the political jockeying for position between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Both know neither will concede to the demands of the other, and a token Ulster Scots Act or some concessions over the Armed Forces Covenant will not hide the devastating and divisive effects an ILA will have on Northern Ireland in today’s political environment.

Letter to the editor

Nobody is more frustrated at the lack of progress than I am.

It is clear to me that unless the Government grabs the current impasse by the scruff of the neck and puts alternatives on the table should these current talks fail — such as voluntary coalition — I now believe there will be no alternative to direct rule.

Doug Beattie MLA, UUP, Upper Bann

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