Sinn Fein’s demand for an Irish language act on the basis of ‘equality’ for the ‘Irish Identity’ is, on reflection, very revealing.
For two things to be ‘equal’ they must first be different.
The Sinn Fein statement (‘Destroying signs disrespects the Irish identity,’ Sep 18) complaining about the damage to bi-lingual signs claims this “is indicative of the attitude of some unionists who show a ... lack of respect for the Irish identity” (my emphasis).
The only possible interpretation of this statement is that these unionists are not Irish.
The growth in recent years of interest in Ulster Scots heritage, in the number of people who describe themselves as ‘Northern Irish’ or ‘British Irish’ or Ulstermen/women has one common origin.
Having witnessed for three decades the terror campaign of the Irish nationalist IRA, the creation of which the Irish state was complicit in, it is little wonder that people would wish to distance themselves from an ‘Irish’ identity.
What people, subjected to such terrorism, would embrace the identity of their attackers?
The irony of the IRA campaign is that it has awoken an interest in our separate identity.
It appears that Sinn Fein, with their ‘equality’ stance, accept that we are a distinctive and separate people!
In the years, decades and centuries ahead we must develop this nascent identity so that as a people we can agree with Sinn Fein on one point only – we are not Irish.
Robert Wallace, Portadown