Tuesday 27 September 2016

Protests held at Irish pub which 'told Gaeilgeoir to stop speaking native language'

Daire Courtney

Published 12/09/2016 | 18:11

Irish language advocacy organisations staged protests over the weekend outside an Irish pub where a former employee Cormac Ó Bruic was reportedly told not to speak Irish while at work.

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Gael-Taca and Misneach Chorcaí, both local organisations dedicated to promoting the language, protested the actions of The Flying Enterprise pub and called for a boycott.

Speaking to independent.ie, a spokesperson from Gael-Taca said “The protest has shown how strongly people in Cork city feel about the Irish language.”

When asked if Gael-Taca was supporting a boycott of the business, the spokesperson said “Well I don’t feel that any Gaeilgeoir would be in a rush to go back in there.”

Gael-Taca have no specific plans to continue protesting, but this issue will be “top of the agenda” at their next meeting.

Conradh na Gaeilge, a forum working to promote the speaking of Irish, have made a statement calling for legislative protection for language rights in the workplace in response to the controversy.

“Cormac Ó Bruic’s case highlights the urgent need to include an Irish-language provision in the relevant legislation to protect the Irish-speaking and Gaeltacht community from discrimination on the grounds of language in the workplace due to speaking the first official language of the state.”

Speaking to independent.ie, Julian de Spáinn of Conradh na Gaeilge said “We’re disappointed that they didn’t see the benefit of encouraging Irish speaking in terms of encouraging Irish speakers to come to the pub. Gael-Taca are just around the corner from there and they’ve had several events there before.”

In a statement on its Facebook and Twitter pages last Friday, The Flying Enterprise said that this was an “internal HR matter” that was not about the Irish language. The posts have been inundated with negative responses and comments calling for a boycott of the business.

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