Colonially Speaking

While in my earlier post it was good to see positive news for Ireland’s Irish-speaking population, it’s depressing to be reminded yet again of the same old bigotry and discrimination that is so prevalent elsewhere. Last week I reported on the hostile reaction of politicians from the British minority in the north-east of Ireland to moves recognising the Irish communities they share that part of the country with. As the Droichead na Banna Banbridge Leader reports the extreme of British Unionism in Ireland continues to behave as if they were a superior colonial minority over an inferior native majority:

“FALLOUT from a proposal to erect Irish language signage in the district continues to concentrate in Dromore, where this week it brought “outrage” and more calls for Unionist unity to block any such plan.

Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan warned of the potential for ratepayers from Dromore to Kinallen, Quilly to Gransha, seeing their money spent on “unnecessary street signs that nobody would understand”, while a former Dromore DUP councillor registered her opposition to her rates being spent on “this ridiculous proposal”.

Dromore woman Norah Beare, until recently a local DUP councillor, said she was “absolutely outraged” that Sinn Fein would even suggest the erection of Irish language signage in the district when it could mean spending thousands of pounds “needlessly”.

“English is a universal language and I for one want to register my total opposition to my rates being spent on this ridiculous proposal. Will it benefit the residents of the district in any way?

“I also wonder how many Irish speakers we have within the district who will understand it. It just proves Sinn Fein will never change.”

Mr. Givan called on Dromore’s Ulster Unionist councillors to “unite and join with their DUP colleagues and oppose proposals to introduce Irish language signs”.

He added, “The Irish Language has been used and abused by Republicans to antagonise the Unionist community and this latest attempt should be opposed by every Unionist councillor.

“Should this proposal go ahead, the people of Dromore, including areas such as Kinallen, Gransha and Quilly, could have their ratepayers’ money used on unnecessary street signs that nobody would understand and is only being driven forward as a Republican objective.”

More depressing than all of the above is the knowledge that the views of many in the British ethnic minority, in their absolute hatred of all expressions of indigenous Irish language and culture, will find ready support in many of the political and media classes throughout the island of Ireland – even supposedly Irish men and women.

There is a colonial mentality and the mentality of a slave. Much of the British separatist community in Ireland embrace the colonial mentality and filter everything they see or do through that prism. Unfortunately they are joined in that distortion of reality by many in the Irish majority who willingly embrace the mentality of a slave. And don’t even recognise themselves as doing so.

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