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Irish Act far from the most pressing need

Sinn Fein can put the Irish language issue — an issue they made an issue of — in abeyance and break the impasse.

There is no reason why a party with a particular issue cannot park a problem area and get on with the bread-and-butter issues which face the people in Northern Ireland.

Speaking Irish (or Gaelic) is not going to help someone in enormous pain get an operation to improve the quality of their life, or a school that needs funding, or a piece of infrastructure which need upgrading.

The Irish language, it could be argued, is not Irish at all, given that the only place in the world where Gaelic is spoken by the majority of people is on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.

The language of Ireland is English and any other language is surplus to requirements.

Why in God’s name should a moribund language on the island of Ireland hold the peace process to ransom and collapse the Good Friday Agreement? Surely, such issues can wait? It is pure blackmail of Gerry Adams to bring down everything and use the Irish language as he sees it for political purposes. People in the Republic are sick of Irish and do not want it. It only survives because of the fortune needed in taxpayers’ money to keep it alive and small groups of enthusiasts.

Students try to forget it the very second they leave school and dread a subject they have no interest in.

Of course, it is shoved down their throats and, in many cases, it is compulsory in the Republic. It will never be spoken outside classrooms which teach a subject which is a state antique and nothing else.

The Irish (or Gaelic) language is a divisive apparatus, cooked up by Sinn Fein to block progress and they should be condemned for destroying progress because of a language issue.

Even in the early days of the Free State, it was rarely spoken by governmental leaders. The Irish language is just a false dressing for the Irish state and is being used as a tool to create division and sectarianism in an English-speaking country.

The Irish language can wait. People who are suffering because of a lack of public services cannot.

Sinn Fein are making an issue out of nothing and should be severely criticised, given the Troubles and how many lives it took early.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Shanbally, Co Cork

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