Native Irish speakers have again denounced the Dublin government’s treatment of their language – in the heart of the Galway Gaeltacht.
Hundreds of Irish language enthusiasts braved storm force winds in Connemara in their latest protest. They have again vowed to take their protest across the border and stage a demonstration against the Ulster government’s attitude towards the Irish language as well.
The Connemara protest was held on the final day in office of Irish language commissioner Seán Ó Cuirreáin.
He announced his resignation late last year over the Irish state’s lack of commitment to providing adequate services in Irish for Irish speakers.
The Connemara protest was staged just a week after 10,000 people marched in Dublin.
The Irish Times reports that the latest protest is part of a nationwide campaign to seek equal treatment for Irish speakers on both sides of the border.
The protestors heard Colm Mac Donncha of Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta say they were ‘red with anger’ as they presented a letter of tribute to Ó Cuirreáín at his office in An Spidéal.
Ó Cuirreáin told the protestors that he was humbled by the level of support from Gaeltacht communities and Irish speakers across the island.
He said, “I always found it to be ironic that the State, which requires all students to study Irish up to Leaving Certificate level, it then fails to facilitate them, and in fact actively prevents them from using that language in dealing with State bodies.
“My recommendations had all been cost neutral. To continue to do this over the years and generations is a folly which has pushed the language to the margins of society.”