Thank you, George Chittick! In the past I have been critical of the Orange Order as an anti-Catholic organisation. Thanks to your recent comments as Belfast County Grand Master of the Orange Order, I can now add “anti-Irish language” to the list.
George, you see, believes learning Irish is a republican ruse. He wouldn’t put it in those terms (I don’t think) but he has warned that Protestants learning to speak the Irish language are playing into a republican agenda.
Mmm. Well, what about this, then, George. At the same time as the baying crowd were gathered outside the Skainos Centre the other night, inside there were two meetings going on. The first, by now familiar to everybody, was the discussion involving Pat Magee, who was the Brighton bomber (Press please note: that’s past tense. It is wrong to describe him as a bomber in the present tense. It’d be like describing Jeffrey Donaldson or Arlene Foster as being members of the UUP)…Where was I? Oh yes – Pat Magee and Jo Berry, whose father died in the blast, were at a meeting held in one room. In another room in the Centre, a second meeting was being held simultaneously. It was a class involving Linda Ervine, sister-in-law of the late David Ervine. She was conducting an Irish class which included at least two members of the DUP, along with other people from the East Belfast Protestant/unionist community.
Maybe it’s as well for George’s blood-pressure nobody told him about it.
There are a number of things that divide us here but the Irish language should not be one of them. Had it not been for the efforts of Presbyterians, the Irish language might well have been lost in this part of the country. To sad people like poor George, it’s a threat because it’s used by some republicans and so has been ‘politicized’. Would you get a grip on yourself, George? That’s like saying “I won’t learn German – Hitler spoke it” or “I won’t speak French because the Marquis de Sade used it”. Nobody can hi-jack a language or claim it as their exclusive territory. Languages don’t work like that. Mind you, you can try to eradicate a language, which is what happened with considerable success in Ireland. But thebeautiful, liberating language of Irish is there for the learning, and the more who choose to learn it, especially those who have been codded into boycotting it, the better.
To sum up, then: George, you’re an ass. You’ve shown yourself to have a mind as open as a steel trap. You’ve shown how the Orange Order remains consistent in its opposition to anything progressive (Catholic Emancipation, the Great Reform Act of 1832 – the list goes on). And you’ve shown that your political opponents don’t need to do anything to expose your dunder-headedness, other than keep quiet and smile.
Check this link and give yourself a laugh… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26004137