Aontú Leading the Line on Preserving the Irish Language
Aontú Rep for East Derry, Gemma Brolly, has raised the issue of the continued decline of our Irish language – an integral part of our heritage – as a direct result of failed government policies across the 32 counties and has pointed to the leadership of Aontú in this regard, chun ár dteanga dhúchais a choinneál beo.
“The Irish Language has been spoken on the island of Ireland for approximately 2500 years, Nigh on a millennium older than English – it is the jewel, the legacy bequeathed to our nation. Our Gaeltacht areas and Gaelscoileanna are the lifeblood of our language and heritage and yet they are constantly ‘back benched’ and discriminated against North and South. Mar a dúirt Pádraig Mac Piarais mar is ceart “Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam.” As Pádraig Pearse rightly said, “A country without a language is a country without a soul,” yet our very soul is rapidly fading away. Even more regrettably, scant few political parties seem to care. To them the Irish language is to be sprinkled on a speech overwhelmingly in the language of Britain, more as a token gesture more than anything else. Aontú will not stand silently by and observe as attempts are made to simply ‘erase’ the very soul of our country, to allow our native language to literally ‘fall off the highways and byways of our country.’ We will work tirelessly in our 32 counties, to preserve and protect ár dteanga dhúchais, the ‘soul’ of our country.
“Just this week our Party Leader Peadar Tóibín introduced a Bill to give equal size to both Irish and English on road signs, this will increase the prominence, presence and status of our language, a system used in most countries with Bilingual road signs. This will involve no cost as, in accordance with this Bill, signs will be updated as they wear out and require replacement. The Bill has now been passed on to the next stage of the legislative process. This is only the beginning however – tús maith leath na hoibre!”
“The implementation of this legislation in the North unfortunately continues to change on a whim. The citizens of the North of our country simply seek equality, respect and freedom to use the language at the core of their hearts and heritage. Contrary to the myth created by some, they do not wish to force it upon anyone, they simply wish to be treated with the same respect, awarded the same equal rights as is a given in so many other bilingual and multilingual nations. The internal matters of the DUP and Sinn Féin have flooded news coverage all week, while the beauty and soul of our country - the Irish language-continues to be battered and torn. This is a direct result of their failure to implement language legislation as agreed. The Aontú Bill will preserve the soul and legacy of our nation, demanding equality and respect for the Irish language, for the speakers, for the learners, for the Gaeltacht areas and the Gaelscoileanna. It is both our honour and our duty as your political representatives in Ireland.”
“Aontú are not here to simply pay 'lip-service' to our native language and as such, we have now launched both a website and Facebook page called 'Aontú le Gaeilge' making links, resources, phrases and proverbs available regularly. We will do all in our power to preserve and develop ár dteanga, ár n-anam.”