Re: New Irish language revival campaign is ludicrous
My letter of 8th January 2011 to the editor of the Sunday Tribune, in response to Mr Maurice Fitzgerald’s letter of 2nd January 2011.
A eagarthóir, a chara,
It was with a mixture of anger, sadness, and also pity, that I read Mr Maurice Fitzgerald’s ill-informed, anti-Irish tirade of 2nd January 2011. Anger, as such a scathing attack on the Irish-speaking and -supporting people of Ireland is entirely unwarranted. Sadness, as in my experience, Mr Fitzgerald is unfortunately not alone in his campaign towards abolition of Irish. And pity, that such people, despite 14 years of “coercion” at school, do not manage to learn a few words of the first language of the country in which they live, and feel the need to justify their own ignorance by lashing out against those who have.
Would Mr Fitzgerald write with such vitriol against capitalism, accountancy and the decimal system, had he not bothered to grasp the basics of mathematics at school? Probably not, as that would be ludicrous. So why do we give him an audience? Here’s the upside: multitudes of people have responded in writing and on the letters page of tribune.ie, proving that the language is not dead, nor are they prepared to allow that to happen.
I for one am fed up with the stigma and prejudice attached to speaking Irish, and with the disdain shown by the ignorant few when on visits home I attempt to use my own language. I am not going to sit around and be bullied. If anyone should be ashamed, it is those who campaign against Irish. But I don’t believe in shaming or coercion - live and let live, Mr Fitzgerald, but have some respect for your fellow Irishmen/-women, and for our common heritage. I am kind enough to write this letter in English, so that the likes of you can understand.
I have often holidayed in Gaeltacht areas of Gaillimh and Dún na nGall, with German friends in tow, who want to see the “real Ireland”. They do not want to see English-only signs or wannabe-English culture - they will travel to England for the real thing. Surely such forms of German-sourced capital injection into an authentic and proud Irish tourism industry is more sustainable to the country’s future than bank bailouts, part-funded by cancelling heritage projects.
Is mise le meas,
Rónán Ó Braonáin
Múnchen, An Ghearmáin