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Current Irish Language Act campaign is merely a thinly veiled drive to promote Sinn Fein party

Current Irish Language Act campaign is nothing more than thinly veiled drive to promote Sinn Fein

It makes for a good photo opportunity: a primary school pupil at an Irish language protest outside Stormont with her mouth sealed with a piece of red tape. Who could tolerate such cruelty?

Of course, the supposed injustice is faked and the campaign it is part of is less about promoting Irish and more about promoting Sinn Fein.

For months, we have been subjected to this pretence that people are prevented from speaking in Irish, but this is not true. It is just that the people who want to speak Irish cannot find enough people to talk to that can understand them; the rest of us just aren't that interested in the years of effort to learn it.

I am a secondary teacher, who has avoided becoming embroiled in such a divisive issue, because to oppose Sinn Fein on this is to invite demonisation. However, on several occasions I have sat opposite the deaf parents of hearing children as they relied on their children to translate what I was saying. Remember that, unlike Irish speakers, the deaf are totally reliant on their own native sign language; they cannot choose to communicate in English.

Why is there is no massive campaign to provide deaf signing at all parents' nights, at all GP surgeries, at all benefits offices? Apparently, it would be too expensive. No doubt, someone will tell me not to be worried about Irish; that Protestants speak it, too. But this is just a subtle way of demonising as sectarian bigots all who speak out on this.

If anyone wanted to promote Irish among the Protestant community, they would start with a non-threatening, voluntary campaign within the state education sector, but the Acht Anois campaign is not about promoting Irish, but about distorting promotion and employment criteria within the public sector.

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