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Mobilise This Saturday for Lá Mór Na Gaeilge

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It is now widely accepted that the Irish language is now facing one of the greatest crises of its estimated 3,500 year old history. If current trends continue the handful of remaining Gaeltacht communities are expected to disappear within the next fifteen years or so.


Centuries of political, economic and cultural assaults on the native tongue are set to reach their inevitable conclusion – the death of Irish as a living community-based language. For the first time in over three millennia it seems possible, perhaps likely, that intergenerational-transmission (from parent to child) of Irish within defined physical communities is set to end. And if this doomsday scenario occurs the Irish language will be in unprecedented and highly dangerous waters.


How long can the Gaelscoil islands keep above the rising tide of English language seas? How long can the relatively isolated networks of Irish-language activist/speakers resist a seemingly unstoppable tsunami of Anglo-American cultural imperialism?


In the face of such an imminent cultural catastrophe one might assume that the Dublin government would mobilise all of its political and financial might to prevent the potential extinction of Irish as a living community-based language; that it would provide the Irish language with the necessary legal and financial support to make it at least the de-facto equal of the English language; that it would move to protect and expand the remaining rural Gaeltacht areas and that it would work to develop new rural and urban Gaeltacht communities across the state.


That assumption would of course be wrong. In truth the Dublin government and the wider political establishment have done virtually nothing to prevent the slow, torturous asphyxiation of one of Europe’s oldest tongues. Today, the establishment make hollow promises as the last remaining Gaeltacht communities look into the abyss of terminal decline. Tomorrow, that establishment will shed crocodile tears at the funeral of those same communities.


It is inconceivable that the French political establishment would oversee the death of French as a community-based tongue, or the German establishment of the German language, or the Spanish establishment of the Spanish language or indeed the English establishment of the English language.


And yet here in Ireland the Leinster House and Stormont regimes are doing just that. In the southern state there is simply no excuse for the laissez-faire attitude of the Dublin government. In the northern state the nationalist parties in Stormont’s permanent coalition hide behind the bigotry of the Orange bogeyman, using the Irish language as a bargaining chip to be traded in the never-ending ‘negotiations’.


As anger mounts within the Irish language movement at the abject failures of the northern and southern regimes, Irish language activists have called a major protest in Dublin City Centre to demand governmental action in support of the Irish language. Language activists from across Ireland are set to converge on Parnell Square at 2pm on Saturday, February 15. Join them and bring your family, friends, neighbours and workmates.


Below we reproduce the text of the Conradh na Gaeilge webpage promoting Lá Mór na Gaeilge.


What? Lá Mór na Gaeilge – Walk For Your Language Rights!


When? 2.00pm, Saturday, 15 February 2014


Where? Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1


Why? Language Rights and Equality for All


The Irish language and Gaeltacht community north and south want equality for the language and want State services to be available in Irish at the same standard and level as they are provided in English, especially in the Gaeltacht.


To this end, we are organising Lá Mór na Gaeilge – a day of Irish-language fun on the streets of Dublin on 15 February 2014, where there will be music by Seo Linn, members of Kíla and Na Fíréin, and where we will both celebrate the Irish language and take a stand for the language rights of the Irish-speaking and Gaeltacht community across Ireland.


This campaign has been inspired by, and we have been motivated to seek the support of the wider community throughout the island for our rights following:

  • the announcement by Seán Ó Cuirreáin, the Language Commissioner, that he is to resign on the 24th February 2014 because of a lack of Government support in the south for the language rights of the Irish language and Gaeltacht community; agus
  • the report by the Council of Europe that the promotion and development of the Irish language in the north is being blocked by hostile attitudes in Stormont, and a lack of support for its use in the courts and in education.


The language belongs to all and we believe that those that choose to use it must be afforded that opportunity and right.

Support our campaign – join us on Lá Mór na Gaeilge – 15 February 2014


- See more at: http://www.eirigi.or...h.lvBpwM3E.dpuf


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