Freedom To Talk

If the message hasn’t been driven home that the Irish language and those who speak it are at the top of the Fine Gael-Labour government’s list of targets, then the latest news from the Irish Times will surely leave no doubt:

“National cultural institutions, such as museums and parks, could be forced to close or restrict access to the public under cuts outlined by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Cuts of €37 million to allocations for the Arts and the Irish language would negatively impact on tourism, employment opportunities and on the range of services provided to the public, the department said in a document published yesterday.

In its Comprehensive Spending Review, the Department said cuts of 15 per cent, as envisaged by the Department of Public expenditure, would have significant negative implications on its core functions.

There would also be negative impacts on “lifeline transport services” to the islands.

Irish language and Gaeltacht-related programmes would be cut by €2.7 million…

The total allocation for Irish language and the Gaeltacht would be cut by €6 million over the three years, from a full-year allocation this year of €34.5 million.

This would hit Irish language support schemes.

Although many of the proposals in the spending reviews were not adopted by the Cabinet for this year’s budget, it is understood they could be considered in future years.”

Funny. Here’s me thinking that Irish speaking citizens were taxpayers too, with the same entitlements as their English speaking peers? Yet it seems that the cuts are falling disproportionately in areas effecting their lives.

What’s that old saying? No taxation without representation?

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