Moves in Queen’s University Student Union and the university proper to see the introduction of Irish language signs should concern all who value a learning environment which is welcoming to all.
In the late 1990s Irish language signs were removed from the union building after it was recognised that they were incompatible with a neutral environment.
Queen’s should not turn the clock back by bowing to pressure from lobby groups which demands rights for Irish language enthusiasts while showing nothing but contempt for those who do not identify with a language which has been weaponised by the republican movement.
Queen’s need look no further than a 2005 article in Republican News which included a contribution from Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh, the same name as a research fellow on the university’s website, in which it was said:
“We believe that in the new dispensation, a rejuvenated and determined republican movement can utilise the language to such an extent that it can characterise our struggle in the new millennium.”
Queen’s should not allow itself to become a vehicle to drive any political agenda.
Jim Allister QC MLA, North Antrim