Aontú Deputy Leader Welcomes Seachtain na Gaeilge
Aontú candidate for Bann DEA and deputy leader, Gemma Brolly welcomes Seachtain na Gaeilge as a reminder to one and all that the Irish language is available to everyone every day of the year and should be nurtured and respected.”
“While we in Aontú wholeheartedly welcome Seachtain na Gaeilge and embrace it’s purpose, it should also remind us that the Irish language is open to everyone, every day of every year.
My love for the language first began in Loreto College, Coleraine and was greatly inspired by trips to the Gaeltacht, opening my eyes and heart to a brand new experience, rich in language and culture, without bitterness or judgement. As part of my Irish Studies degree, not only did I explore the huge advantages of bilingualism but I completed my dissertation on “The role of Protestant Women in The Irish Language”. There were phenomenal Gaeilgeoirs from Unionist backgrounds such as Rose Young, Ada McNeill and Margaret Dobbins.
Aontú’s wish is to inspire others with this knowledge, to develop the understanding that our language was inspired and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of background. This is how it should be. These women understood the importance of bilingualism, they understood that comprehension of the language opened their minds to a rich and unique culture. We must inspire others as they did and visit such inspirational places as the Gaeltacht areas. This is particularly important for students studying the language in school.
The Irish language is a permanent item on Aontú’s agenda. We are constantly updating our policies to do all that we can to water the linguistic roots of our soul, and guarantee the growth of the Irish language for centuries to come.
Unfortunately, not all council areas offer the same Irish language opportunities. Mid Ulster Council have Irish language officers doing fantastic work in the area, offering opportunities to everyone to develop their language skills. In Causeway Coast and Glens, the Irish language continues to be demonised and used as a weapon. I look forward to the day when people show respect and are prepared to listen and learn from the words of people like Margaret Dobbs: “Ireland is a closed book to those who do not know her language. No one can know Ireland properly until one knows the language. Her treasures are hidden as a book unopened. Open the book and learn to love your language.”