Monday, 3 December 2007

Marc Coleman

…de la Irish Independent:

More savage than the famine and more merciless than Oliver Cromwell, the persistent neglect of the Irish language by successive governments may be about to achieve what these two scourges tried but failed to do: The effective death of Irish as a living language. Even if it wasn't spoken by a majority, the language's existence and the ability of most people to speak some Irish made us different. It infused the way we spoke English, gave spice to our music and gave us our mentality.

With estuary English spreading across every suburb of the land, Ireland is now culturally no different from London than Yorkshire. Denmark, Finland, Norway and Belgium can raise their children to speak two languages perfectly. Why can't we?...

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