"The Grafton Quarter sign is an outworking of colonial hangover complex; the Irish language must be advanced at every opportunity" - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has criticised the hanging of a banner reading 'Grafton Quarter' over Dublin's Grafton Street in place of the traditional Nollaig Shona Duit Christmas lights.
An Teachta Tóibín stated:
"It is extremely disappointing to see the demotion of the Irish language and the replacement of an annual Christmas greeting in our national language with a completely hollow and commercialist sign.
"This step by the 'Dublin Town' group is wrong and should be reversed. It is wrong that unique things about Dublin and Ireland more generally, such as our first language, are being sacrificed by marketing gurus.
"It is time that we matured as a nation and valued our culture at every opportunity, not further erode it.
"This action by the 'Dublin Town' businesses smacks of a combination of an colonial inferiority complex and a desperate bid to make sterile anything distinctive about our capital city. The corporatisation and running down of culture in Dublin has already gone too far. This latest step is not acceptable.
"Across the country, the Irish language is being pushed to the margins. On the one hand, establishment politicians claim to support the Irish language, but when it comes to simple steps like legislating for naming new developments in the Irish language, these same politicians are not pulling their weight.
"It is time to act in the most simple ways to ensure that our language is protected in the most basic ways. We can all do something simple for Irish. One simple step would be returning the Nollaig Shona Duit sign to Dublin city centre."
In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing.
They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe.
If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have.
No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.
Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics.
Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.
Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.
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