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The Irish language belongs to us all

It's sad to see the Irish language/Gaelic being conflated with republicanism/exclusive nationalism (DebateNI, March 10).

While some northern nationalists promote Irish as part of their national identity, and republicans tend to use the language as a cover, it does not belong exclusively to either.

There is nothing to stop people with a similar background to Nelson McCausland from taking ownership of Irish Gaelic, or Scottish Gaelic if preferred.

This has been amply proven by members of the Church of Ireland - for instance, Bishop William Bedell (died 1642), who oversaw the translation of the Bible into Gaelic, and, in the present era Canon Cosslett Quin (died 1995), who translated the New Testament, the Book of Psalms and the Church of Ireland Prayer Book into Irish Gaelic. There is also a Presbyterian Irish Gaelic organisation named An Tor Ar Lasadh (The Burning Bush).

MICHEAL O'CATHAIL

Fermanagh

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