The Struggle For The Irish Language Unites All Of Ireland - Demonstration Planned for Belfast

On Saturday 15th February an estimated 10,000 people marched in Dublin in support of the Irish Language and to protest the failure of the Irish Government to protect the rights of the Irish speaking community. Attracting people from all over Ireland, the “Lá Mór na Gaeilge” (A Great Day Of Irish) was seen as both a celebration of the Irish language and a protest over the failure by Government to implement legislation protecting the rights of Irish speakers.

The campaign will now be taken to Belfast, Ireland’s second city.  The BBC are reporting that a demonstration organised by The Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaelige) has been called for April 12 in support of the rights of Gaelic speakers. Under the headline “ Irish Language Campaigners To Demonstrate In Belfast -  Irish Language Campaigners Are To Hold A Demonstration In Belfast To Highlight The Need For A Rights-Based Irish Language Act In Northern Ireland”, the article goes on to state: “Irish enthusiasts said they intended to press the Irish government and the Northern Ireland Assembly to recognize their language rights and ensure equality for the language throughout the island”.

Julian de Spainn, General Secretary of Gaelic league, is quoted  “There will be a number of actions in the weeks ahead including a demonstration in Belfast  on 12 April.  We will be asking candidates (local and European election candidates) to chose a future for Irish, and when elected, to act on that choice made.”  This follows on recent criticism of the Northern Ireland Government for it's failure to support the Irish language.  As reported in the Irish Times on January 16, 2014, a committee of the Council of Europe has criticized the Stormont Assembly for hostility toward the Irish language.  

At the same there is evidence of an Irish Language renaissance in Belfast, spurred by grass roots actions taken in support of the tongue and independent of the current campaign.   A new Irish Medium school is to be constructed in the village of Crumlin in County Antrim, near Belfast and a center of Gaelic language instruction at the Skainos Centre in East Belfast has recently opened. 

The Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaelige) organisers of the Belfast demonstration planned for April are the main voluntary community organisation that promotes the Irish language in Ireland and abroad, The Gaelic League’s main aim is to reinstate the Irish language as the common tongue of Ireland.  Since its founding in 1893, members have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life in Ireland, from legal and educational affairs to the development of media and services through Irish.  Members of the Gaelic League are in the forefront of campaigns to strengthen the rights of the Irish speaking community.

Recent Transcletic Blogs of Related Content:

Thosands March in Dublin To Demand Irish Language Rights

Irish Language Crisis Deepens

Irish Language Revival in Northern Ireland

Demand For Irish Medium Education In Ulster

This blog is provided for general informational purposes only. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and not necessarily those of