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Sad when language is used to cause division

FOR those of us who are not cultural supremacists and who speak - or who try to speak - Irish, it is unfortunate that the language we love and use interchangeably and frictionlessly alongside English has proven to be the final stumbling-block in recent political negotiations.

As a result, primarily, of the intransigence of those who wish to promote its revival, the Irish language is once again seen as a divisive cultural entity, rather than as one strand in the rich fabric of dialects, languages, oral and literary traditions on these islands.

Language, as the quintessential mode of communication, should not be used (some would say hijacked) as a wedge to divide communities and traditions. I greatly fear that it is.

Down south, our national language might have fared better in the long run if its revival had been less politicised.

In the meanwhile, I would humbly suggest to both parties that they look to the life of Canon James Goodman (1828-1896), unionist, Protestant clergyman, Professor of Irish, music collector, who divided his time between Trinity College, Dublin and his parish in Skibereen, Co Cork and whose legacy of untainted and non-sectarian devotion to the Irish language and Irish music continues to inspire cultural non-supremacists to this very day.

Professor Chris Fitzpatrick


Arlene's councillors need to come clean

DUP councillors are strangely and uncharacteristically quiet about Arlene Foster's hinting at a hybrid language Act to include Ulster Scots and possibly other dialects and languages.

Many Ulster Scots speakers do not want to be dragged in as cover for the proposals signalled by Arlene Foster in the stalled Stormont talks.

It is clearly in the minds of many unionists in Northern Ireland that this would be an Irish Language Act in all but name.

Unionists on the ground are slowly waking up to what Sinn Fein is demanding in an Irish Language Act, such as affirmative action and quotas (10% of applicants for public sector jobs having to speak Irish).

Would this apply to teachers, the Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service or police?

Arlene's councillors, sitting in town halls throughout the country, need to come clean, be honest with the voters and say publicly if they support such a hybrid Irish Language Act.

ALD arnold hatch (uup)

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council

Motto stands for more than the UDA

THE article, 'Anger over UDA motto on band flags paid for by council' (News, July 8), describes 'Quis Separabit' as a 'UDA motto' and implies, therefore, that it is somehow offensive.

The most basic of research would reveal that this motto, meaning 'Who will separate us?', has been associated with British patriotism and Irish unionism going back at least two centuries.

It is/has been used by numerous British Army regiments, including the Royal Dragoon Guards, the Royal Ulster Rifles, the London Irish Rifles, the Irish Guards, North Irish Horse, Connaught Rangers, Royal Irish Lancers and Ulster Defence Regiment. It is also the motto of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick.

Last, but not least, it is also the motto that features on the Northern Ireland coat of arms.

R McAllister

By email

Fight against Brexit is opposing democracy

"VEXATIOUS litigation is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits, solely to harass, or subdue, an adversary. It may take the form of a primary frivolous lawsuit, or may be the repetitive, burdensome and unwarranted filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious cause of action."

That definition sums up perfectly the time-wasting Green Party challenge and, a while ago, Gina Miller's equally mischievous, self-promoting anti-Brexit spoiling tactics.

Interesting that, while Ciaran McClean and the over-entitled Ms Miller both profess great concern for the welfare of our society at large, neither is willing to respect the will of that society, as expressed directly by a majority of it in a referendum, or indirectly through decisions of the politicians elected by a democratic majority to act on our behalf.


Carrickfergus, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph


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