IT may be Valentine's Day today but the leader of Fine Gael will not be winning the hearts of those who support the Irish language.
While loved-up couples across Ireland will be exchanging chocolates and teddy bears, the Union of Students in Ireland will be holding a silent protest outside an empty Dail against a political party which is deaf to the concerns of students. As a member of that party, I hang my head in shame.
In his new book, Dr John Walsh critically examines the social and economic development of Irish in recent times.
He recently stated that making Irish an optional subject for the Leaving Certificate would have dire consequences for the language.
As a renowned scholar of socio-linguistics, surely his word carries more weight than a party-political policy that came to life without any substantial research worth mentioning.
As an active member of Young Fine Gael, I too will be outside the Dail today.
The question of the Irish language is bigger than party politics and so long as Fine Gael remains determined to make Irish an optional Leaving Certificate subject, then I will have no choice but to remain ashamed of our policy on the Irish language.
DEPUTY-INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY, YFG, TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN