Unionists should protect unionist culture rather than concede Irish language act

A letter from the former MLA Norman Boyd:

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:22 am
Updated Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:30 am
An Orange hall near Loughgall is burnt out in 2015. Since 1969 there have been over 600 attacks on Orange facilities
An Orange hall near Loughgall is burnt out in 2015. Since 1969 there have been over 600 attacks on Orange facilities

Any moves by the DUP and UUP to concede an Irish language act in all but name will be met by widespread anger and opposition from within the unionist community.

It is clear that the Irish language has long been used by republicans as an overtly political weapon against our British culture and identity.

If official recognition is given to the status of the Irish language a commissioner will be appointed to implement and enforce its use throughout the public sector, resulting in those with a unionist background being heavily disadvantaged.

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We will also see Irish language signage enforced without consent at great unnecessary financial cost.

There has already been over £200 million spent on the Irish language in recent years including preference being given to small Irish language schools at the expense of larger schools having to close.

The DUP and UUP would be better focusing their energies on protecting and promoting our unionist culture and identity rather than assisting republicans and nationalists.

Since 1969 there have been over 600 attacks on Orange halls and facilities and these are ongoing.

Traditional 11th July bonfires have also been targeted in recent years as part of the republican / nationalist ‘cultural war’ on our British identity.

We have seen the removal of our national flag from Belfast City Hall and its prevention from being flown on public buildings each day in line with the rest of the UK.

We continue to see commemorations of centenary celebrations being blocked throughout NI by republicans and nationalists including the prevention of a Northern Ireland centenary stone at Stormont which would have been paid by unionists, not public money.

We have a complete lack of respect from republicans and many civic nationalists who deliberately insult the unionist community by referring to Northern Ireland as ‘the North of Ireland’.

There continues to be an ongoing campaign by republicans and nationalists against our traditional loyal order and band parades including many church services.

Any unionist who facilitates Irish language legislation will have to face the electoral consequence at the next election.

Norman Boyd, Anti Agreement Unionist, Former MLA South Antrim

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