Another day, another confirmation that the Irish-speaking population of this island nation are not only second-class citizens of Ireland but they are second-class citizens of Europe too. Yesterday the European Parliament voted to extend Rule 147, a unique regulation which targets the Irish language amongst others by denying it the same status as the major national languages of the European Union. The rule severly restricts the translation of EU documents and laws into Irish despite the fact that Ireland has been a member state of the EU since 1973. That a national community in Europe can be subject to such blatant discrimination makes a joke of the claim that the Union represents a “Europe of the peoples”. European legislation will continue to be implemented that directly effects the lives of Irish-speaking citizens but which they will be blocked from reading in their own language. Is this modern, pluralist European democracy? Or is it the retched stink of Old Europe rising once again? And guess what MEPs from what nation abstained themselves from the vote? You can read the so-called derogation motion for yourself here, passed by 493 votes to 128.
[Thanks to Daithí Mac Lochlainn for the heads-up]