More than two hundred Irish speakers, young and old, came out today, in spite of the bad weather, to make a strong stand against racism and in favour of equality and diversity. Individual Gaels along with a number of Irish language organisations came together to organise the rally under the banner of ‘An Tionól Dearg (The Red Assembly) to focus the attention of our politicians and the community at large on the Irish language, on the UN International Day of Human Rights.
Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, Language Protection and Representation Manager with Conradh na Gaeilge and one of the organisers of the Rally, said:
“The turnout today reflects the vibrancy and dedication of the Irish language community and our attempts to push the language back to the centre of the political debate, especially with the cross-party talks ongoing. We want, as a community, to raise awareness about the language and to place the Irish language firmly in the broader human rights discourse.
We are delighted that members from other minority communities came out today to support us and it was important for us to raise our voice today, International Human Rights day, and of course, with one eye on the ongoing political negotiation. The politicians have the power to ensure a better future for the Irish language and we demand that they, especially the British Government, do the right thing.”
Niall Comer, Tánaiste Conradh na Gaeilge said:
“The organisers, especially the young people, deserve praise for organising this important rally. The Irish language community needs a strong voice to demand and attain our rights and it is the people here today that will give us that voice.
It is not acceptable, in this day and age, that politicians can insult and attack the native language of this country and her speakers. We can, however, through the legislative protection of Irish speakers’ rights, ensure that such behaviour is consigned to the past. We want to live in a progressive, multi-cultural, diverse society and we believe that the majority of the community, English and Irish speakers alike, want the same thing.”
For more info
Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin
Language Protection and Representation Manager
Conradh na Gaeilge
Julian de Spáinn
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 in 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. Conradh na Gaeilge runs Irish-language courses in Dublin, Galway, Mayo, Tipperary, Newry and other locations across Ireland.