From a quote in an article by the Huffington Post examining the institutionalised discrimination faced by Irish-speaking citizens and communities in Ireland, which I featured last week:
“In February 2014, at an Irish language rights march and protest in Dublin, Brenda Ní Ghairbhí, a manager at Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week), remembers a speech given by a woman who was raising all of her children with Irish. As this woman shared her experience of visiting a doctor’s office, she became very emotional, recalling how her children could not communicate with their doctor because he had no Irish and they had no English. Experiences like these illustrate just some of the frustration and marginalization that can exist when proper services are not provided for those in the minority.”
“The Department of Health has just seven staff, or almost 2 per cent of the total number of employees, who are capable of carrying out their duties through both the Irish and English languages.
“My Department is committed to ensuring that customers who wish to conduct their business through Irish can be facilitated to the greatest extent possible,” Minister for Health Dr Leo Varadkar said in the Dáil.”
It would be even more instructive to discover just how many of the 65,000 employees in the national Health Service Executive are fluent in our national language (and that excludes another 40,000 sub-contracted staff). Anglophone supremacists casually justify their bigotry by claiming that “no one speaks Irish anyway” while simultaneously ensuring that those who actually do speak it are denied the right to do so in the key areas that matter: employment, education, welfare and health. It becomes, as intended, a self-fulfilling statement. Or to quote:
“The argument about a doctor being unable to treat a small boy because his parents did not teach him English is completely bogus. Our local vet can treat my dog who can only bark.”
Which reminds one of the long, Medieval roots of anti-Irish racism on this island nation – even as embraced and practised by self-hating Irish people:
“…it is no more a sin to kill an Irishman than a dog or any other brute”