Disrespect for Irish Language Harms Peace-Process

Posted By: March 29, 2013

By Fr. Sean McManus, President of the Irish National Caucus

CAPITOL HILL. Wednesday, January 16, 2007 — The US Congress is being told that disrespect for the Irish Language is harming the Irish peace-process.

The Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus has written to key Members of Congress to take action to ensure that the United States does not in anyway “ subsidize anti-Irish language” policies.
“ Just as we spearheaded a very successful campaign, the Mac Bride Principles, to ensure that US dollars would not subsidize anti-Catholic discrimination, Irish-Americans must now take a stand against any and all discrimination against the ancient and beautiful Irish language”, said Caucus president, Fr. Sean Mc Manus.” “Members of Congress and the US. Government must express concern that Minister for Culture, Edwin Poots, seems to be determined to institutionalize anti-Irish-language policies”, Fr. Mc Manus explained. “ Minister Poots of the DUP has sabotaged the Irish Language Act, agreed to by the St. Andrew’s Agreement, and he has killed funding for the Irish Language broadcast sector by removing it from his budget”.

Fr. Mc Manus proceeded to point out that all of this appears to conflict with the very positive message that was given by the recent joint – visit to Washington by Dr. Paisley and Martin Mc Guinness: “ Mr. Poots is undercutting the positive image Dr. Paisley is trying to create in Washington both as First Minister and Leader of the DUP. How can Dr. Paisley convince Washington that the bad old days of anti-Catholic bigotry are over if one of his own Ministers is showing contempt for the Irish language? Surely that is no way to prepare for the upcoming economic conference in Belfast that Americans are so strongly supporting?”