A delegation from Conradh na Gaeilge and Coláiste Feirste went to Stormont today, Tuesday November 25 2014, to express our collective dismay at the latest attack on the Irish language and it’s speakers by an elected member of the assembly. The Irish language is a living language with a thriving, diverse community who use the language on a daily basis as part of their everyday lives. We promote the language across the diverse communities of this country in a way that is open, attractive and inclusive. The Irish language threatens no one but it is an extremely important part of our rich heritage and history.
We believe, though, that these latest attacks from the elected official, Gregory Campbell MLA, are an attempt to disrupt these efforts and, in a broader sense, to disrupt the efforts to create a progressive, inclusive society in which all minorities are respected. As young people and language activists, we feel that there is no place for us in this society when a politician can abuse his status as an elected official to attack our community and our language.
Ciarán Mac GiollaBhéin, Language Protection Manager with Conradh na Gaeilge said:
“We would like to see Irish being used in every aspect of public life here and we will continue with our efforts to promote the language, despite these attempts to foster hostility towards any practical measure to support the language. As a community it is support we need, not hostility. We therefore demand again that positive measure in respect of the language are legislated for the community in the north. Positive legislation will create space in which the language and it’s speakers will feel protected and respected. The Irish language community is continuing to grow and flourish, it is about time that the state dealt with us in a fair and equitable manner.”
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Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin
Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community working to promote the language. There are over 180 branches of Conradh na Gaeilge and since its foundation in 1893, members of the Conradh have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life on the island of Ireland and especially its use in their own areas. Conraitheoirí are at the forefront of campaigns to secure and strengthen the rights of the Irish language community. It is also possible to register as an individual member of the Conradh.