Saturday 18 January 2020

Tongue lashing

Following my letter calling for religious tolerance as regards the saying of prayers at council meetings, the following comments on the Irish language may also be relevant.

I would feel appalled were prayers in my local council to be spoken in Irish. Irish is a minority language, if not a dead one. It was a scandalous waste of taxpayers' money when the British government, as a sop to a contrived, artificial peace process, stated that it was going to spend the gargantuan sum of £20m (€24m) on the development of the speaking of the Irish language throughout Ireland.

Irish is a harsh-sounding language, like the Scottish dialect. Gaelic is not, unlike French or German, attractive to the ear.

The game of cricket, which is a minority sport, was once described by George Bernard Shaw as the next worst thing to eternity. I can think of fewer experiences more noxious than having to listen to the speaking of the Irish language.

If people choose to study, as dilettantes, disappearing depleting dialects, yet without inflicting such dire diversions on the vast majority, then they should, of course, be free to do so, but at their own cost and in their own time.

Neil C Oliver
Co Down

Irish Independent

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