The idea that Irish speakers are denied equality in Northern Ireland is laughably untrue.
They can put up street signs in the language, they can be educated in the language at the state’s expense and no one prevents anyone from speaking the language should they so wish.
Irish language legislation isn’t about equality.
In fact it will create gross inequality.
As articles in your paper have highlighted in recent days, an Irish language act (whether or not it is dressed up as a ‘Culture act’ is in a sense immaterial) would fundamentally change the character of Northern Ireland and lead to direct discrimination against Protestants who have not learned the language and have no desire to learn it.
Given that devolution cannot be restored without the agreement of Sinn Fein and it seems that they will not permit it to be restored without Irish language legislation it’s worth asking, is this a price worth paying?
How will unionist leaders of today look their children in the face when, in 10 years time, they cannot apply for that civil service job due to lack of Irish?
Furthermore, if Sinn Fein secure this what will they come back for next time?
Unionists who contemplate acceding to republican demands in order to save Stormont would do well to reflect on the words of a friend of Ulster written a century ago, Rudyard Kipling:
If once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.
... So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: --
“We never pay any-one Dane-geld, No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”
Samuel Morrison, Traditional Unionist, Dromore, Co Down