RoI has long wanted English to become second-class language

Many people in Northern Ireland may be of the opinion that it is only Sinn Fein who are politicising the Irish language.

By Niall Ginty
Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 10:00 am
Pro-Irish language act campaigners
Pro-Irish language act campaigners

Not so. Through the agency of Coimisineir Teanga (The Irish Language Commissioner), some influential politicians south of the border have been working tirelessly to eventually replace English with Irish as the spoken language.

The misleading use of words like “preserve” and “protect,” regularly spouted by Sinn Fein and its apologists to disguise their true agenda, is part and parcel of the drive to relegate English to an inferior status throughout the island of Ireland.

Recent legislation has already created problems for tourists and locals alike in the Republic of Ireland, particularly so in public transport, signage and all dealings with public bodies.

Letter to the editor

Included in the powers currently at the disposal of the Coimisineir Teanga, as specified in section 22-30 of The Official Languages Act, is the following: “A fine not exceeding 2,000 Euros and/or imprisonment for a term up to six months may be imposed on a person convicted in court of refusing or failing to cooperate with An Coimisineir Teanga, or of obstructing his or her work.

“If a public body refuses or fails to cooperate with An Commisineir Teanga or if his or her work is obstructed and it is proved that this occurred with the consent, connivance or neglect of an official, the official and the public body could be convicted in court in that particular case.”

While a lot of this kind of nonsense can seem harmless enough, in practice it becomes particularly poisonous, especially when set alongside the engendered sacredness of the Irish language as a badge of true Irishness.

Niall Ginty, Dublin 5