Arlene deserves praise for engaging with Irish
It is truly uplifting to see Arlene Foster show genuine leadership by engaging in and with Irish language and culture in such a generous and heartfelt manner. Her framing of Irish, however, as a language belonging to an 'other' culture serves to underline the distance still needed to travel.
In this small corner of the world, in particular, it is not possible to hermetically seal ourselves within cultural bubbles. Moreover, even a cursory look at the history of the Irish language reveals one which has been shared and employed by all our historical traditions.
By the same token, any inclusive definition of Irishness implies a generous recognition (and celebration) of a rich and valued, both historical and contemporary, British and Orange tradition across our island.
Ultimately, it is important to laud genuine efforts made in good faith towards building a shared future.
Go raibh maith agat, a Arlene. Tus maith, leath na hoibre, as they say: a good start; half the work.