Some years ago Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian philosopher with Ulster roots, wrote a celebrated book entitled The Medium is the Message.
He claimed that the medium embeds itself in the message, and becomes more important than the message itself.
The Irish language debate epitomises McLuhan’s thesis.
The debate is not about the merit of the language.
It is about the medium that transmits it, and the identity of the user. Sinn Fein has hijacked Irish as a badge of nationalism.
This is a piece of cultural theft.
Douglas Hyde, the first President of Ireland, was passionate about the restoration of Irish which was in decline. He founded the Gaelic League – Conradh naGaelige. Hyde was a Protestant and his father a Church of Ireland rector.
You cannot distinguish between Protestants and Catholics, or unionists and nationalists by their appearance.
So some politicians have resorted to the artificial division of enforcing an ancient language on the entire community.
You can now check the origin of your genome in the new Ethnic Diversity Kit.
Some have been surprised to find that molecular sections of their Irish DNA comes from Turkey, Europe and beyond.
We all have two parents, four grandparents, and doubling back a few generations, you eventually arrive at more than the population of Ireland.
Interestingly Gerry Adams surname is of mixed origin. As for Arlene Foster, her maiden name was Kelly.
Little doubt about its Irish provenance.
Sidney Lowry, Co Down