attack on the Irish language
March 3, 2011
In a recent policy document, Fine Gael, the party that
won the recent general election in the Irish 26 counties state
has declared war on the Irish
language the official language of the Irish nation. They have
given no reason of justification for such a destructive and
reprehensible policy. Arrogance provoked by a lack of
self-worth seems to be the only motivation.
Gael’s proposal in that the Irish Language (Gaeilge) should be
an optional Leaving Certificate subject, this, despite the fact
that a majority of the Irish people, in poll after poll, support
efforts by previous governments to protect and foster its
revival as an essential element of Irish culture and pride.
obvious that the Irish people know something that their leaders
fail to grasp, which is, that everything worthwhile takes effort
and commitment and that, as in this case, replacing an essential cultural element
with one taken from another culture leaves a people weak, defenseless and
without a soul
It is inconceivable that
Enda Kenny, the leader of Fine Gael, a teacher and a Gaelic
speaker, would associate himself with such a regressive and
reprehensive policy. This policy, if enacted, would further
compromise Ireland's sovereignty; as a country that forsakes it's
language is dependent and not deserving to be treated as an
equal. One would think
that after the recent Celtic Tiger debacle that forced the Irish
government to beg for financial deliverance and havens for it’s unemployed
youth from other countries, would cause it to reassess its
future direction, now that total dependence on foreign sources, as was
the case with the Celtic Tige, has
Furthermore, it is ironic that any Irish person, not alone a
future government leader, would support a policy that would
weaken, if not destroy, Ireland’s native language; a language
that barely survived centuries of pogroms aimed at its
annihilation at the hands of a hostile and brutal occupier.
millennia Gaeilge evolved into
an enormously rich language that gave us the classical tales of
Fionn and the Fianna, of the Táin, and the children of Lir.
These Gaelic legends kept alive by generations of bards and filí
brought to life the scary púcas and magical heroes that enriched
the lives of Irish children down through the centuries even in
the dark days of occupation and oppression.
The late Nollaig Ó Gadhra President Emeritus of Conradh na
Gaeilge warned that it would require constant diligence to keep
the rebirth of Gaeilge on track because there were those in
Ireland who still felt ashamed of their own heritage. He noted
that there were those who felt that Gaeilge provided a rallying
point for nationalistic feelings etc.
Over the centuries the English occupier viewed Gaeilge as a
unifying factor that embodied the spirit and soul of the Irish
people and gave them a reason and the courage to resist colonial
rule, a foreign and humiliating yoke imposed by force on a proud
and distinct race of people.
Mac Piarais the leader of the 1916 Rising captured the essence
of the language when he stated that “a country without a
language is a country without a soul” (Tír gan teanga, tír gan
na Saoirse Náisiunta appeal to our American friends, especially
those of Irish heritage who abide by the language of our
forefathers, and others, who believe that all languages,
including Gaeilge, should be preserved and nurtured, to contact
Irish media outlets, here and in Ireland, condemning Fine Gael’s
proposal to relegate the Irish language to a status that will
eventually lead to its demise.