Irish-speaking schools are waste of public money
The wringing of hands by the DUP's Peter Weir over Irish-speaking schools should be treated with derision for a number of reasons:
1. Why did the DUP not challenge the Education Order on the grounds of de facto discrimination against Protestant teachers?
2. In the mid-1980s, a Sinn Fein leaflet described the situation regarding the Irish language: "Sinn Fein proclaimed loudly that the language question was political... We also have to accept that having the language back will bring an end to the foreign rule in Ireland."
3. Why has the DUP left the education of children in the hands of a Sinn Fein minister? Of course, the late Dr Paisley chortled with the erstwhile commander of the IRA from Londonderry, whose organisation murdered many fathers of children who attended schools over which he exercised control.
4. Could it be there is an election coming up and this is "good" political propaganda?
This has to be put in the context of Gregory Campbell raising this issue some time ago and the result: nothing happened. The real question, which has never been addressed by any of the unionist parties, or the ambivalent Alliance, is why are there these Irish-speaking schools? They are unnecessary and a waste of public money. How can they be justified?
Why do I claim that they are unnecessary? Simple: the facts back me up. In 2011/12, the number of pupils who entered for a GCSE in Irish was 1,537, of which more than 90% attended the Catholic maintained sector.
In 2013/14, the number of pupils who entered for a GCSE in Irish was 1,703, of which more than 90% attended the Catholic maintained sector.
Not only do these facts expose the hypocrisy of Sinn Fein in wasting money on such schools when the education, welfare and health departments are under financial pressure, but discloses that in fact the teaching of the Irish language has been alive and well in Northern Ireland for years - in spite of Sinn Fein.
Ballymena, Co Antrim