Just when I thought I had reached a stage where it was no longer possible to be made irate by the philistine barbarity of thought that passes for some people’s opinions here comes this from Edward Brynn, a senior former United States diplomat, via an article by GSA Business:
“Ireland’s emergence as a high-tech hub in the late 20th century came about because of a decision by Catholic bishops more than 175 years ago, said a former U.S. ambassador and Irish history expert Wednesday night in Charleston.
Edward Brynn, a former foreign service officer who served as a U.S. ambassador to six African nations, told the World Affairs Council of Charleston that Irish bishops’ decision in the 19th century to teach English instead of Gaelic was pivotal in paving the way for the country’s economic prosperity.
Ireland came out of the second World War with several desirable economic assets, he said, including a well-educated, English-speaking workforce that wasn’t expecting to be paid a lot.
“In 1836, the British Parliament, exasperated and overwhelmed by times of troubles in Ireland, passed legislation that placed in the hands of the religious leaders in Ireland full control of education,” Brynn said.
“They mandated that all education of Irish-Catholic children would take place in English,” he said. “They laid out a manifesto at the end of 1836 that ‘God speaks English. All Irish children will be raised speaking English.’”
Brynn said the global recession that began in 2008 has hammered the Irish economy, and a lot of the economic gains have been lost as leaders struggle to turn the economy around. But Ireland’s position as a high-tech capital that began in the 1970s could help the country weather the recent issues, he said.”
Can I believe what I am reading or have I fallen into some amoral, de-humanised alternative universe? Is someone actually suggesting that Ireland’s centuries-long experience of colonial invasion, occupation, annexation, deportation and extermination was ok because we ended up with an economy based upon a servile English-speaking workforce?
Jesus H. Christ! What next? The slaughter of six million men, women and children in the Holocaust was a good thing because it led to the creation of the state of Israel? Slavery in the United States was good thing because it gave us rap-music and baggy jeans? World War II was a good thing because it led to Germany’s economic prosperity and political hegemony in the European Union.
Maybe we should erect some monuments to the millions of indigenous Irish-speakers who perished down through the centuries in war, pestilence and famine until ultimately their linguistic and cultural descendants were rendered a powerless minority on their own island nation?
Oh yes, we have them already. They are called emigration queues.