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Saturday 23 August 2014

Thousands protest at lack of Irish language services

Published 16/02/2014 | 02:30

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Ellen O'Rourke on the Irish Language march through Dublin City centre.  Picture: Gerry Mooney
Ellen O'Rourke on the Irish Language march through Dublin City centre. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Sinead Flynn on the Irish language march through Dublin City centre. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Sinead Flynn on the Irish language march through Dublin City centre. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Olwen NiCheallaigh on the Irish Language march through Dublin City centre. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Olwen NiCheallaigh on the Irish Language march through Dublin City centre. Picture: Gerry Mooney

TV3 can forget about gale force warnings – it's all about gael force warnings now. This was the message from a march for Irish language rights yesterday. Thousands of people met at Parnell Square and marched to Dail Eireann in the event called La Mor na Gaeilge.

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As the crowd marched they chanted, "tir gan teanga tir gan anam" (a country without language is a country without soul).

Organised by Conradh na Gaeilge, the protest was prompted by the news that the Language Commissioner Sean O Cuirreain is to resign over the Government's failure to improve services in Irish.

"The aim of this march is to show the Government that Irish-speaking communities are sick of being treated like second class citizens. Services should be available to the same standard in Irish as they are in English," Conradh na Gaeilge general secretary Julian de Spainn said.

"I'm here today because I don't think enough is done to protect Irish," one student from NUI Maynooth said.

Another woman from Swinford in Co Mayo added: "If you send the HSE an email in Irish you'll get a response in English and that says it all really."

Sunday Independent

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