In April of this year, Arlene Foster, the belligerent leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the majority pro-UK partner in the regional power-sharing administration at Stormont, vowed to destroy a decade of progress on educational equality for Irish-speaking parents and children in the north-east of Ireland by slashing funding for Irish-medium schools. Following the assembly elections in May the majority nationalist parties of Sinn Féin and the SDLP surrendered the education portfolio to the hardline unionist grouping, despite recognition of its growing malevolence towards language rights. True to its word the DUP has wasted little time in prosecuting a centuries old campaign of colonial racism against the indigenous culture of this island nation. Among the first victims of the ministerial bigots, with their Orange Order sashes hidden behind the lapels of cheap business suits, were children with special educational needs in the city of Belfast. From the news and current affairs website, Belfast Live:
“Education Minister Peter Weir was under fire on Monday night after funding to help kids with behavioural difficulties was pulled.
Pupils at two Irish language schools in Belfast were to benefit from around £150,000 being spent on the ‘nurture’ scheme which provides support for children in P1 and P2 with social, emotional and behavioural problems.
Scoil an Droichid off the Ormeau Road in South Belfast and Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagain in North Belfast have both been dealt a hammer blow after being told on Friday afternoon that the funding has been axed.
Both schools had been told by the Department of Education in April they were getting the money and had recruited staff and identified pupils they believed would benefit from the scheme.
It is believed around six pupils were to benefit from the scheme at each school. The nurture programme has been lauded by researchers at Queen’s University for the long term benefits it brings to pupils who may fall behind if not given extra support.
Units within school where the programme is carried out are fitted out with kitchens, sofas, and some have “quiet rooms”.
The pupils will be given extra attention in a bid to improve their social skills and school performance.”
Now, in support of the only “culture” some militant unionists know or understand, the DUP “minister for communities” has announced £200,000 (€234,000 / $259,000) in grants for so-called loyalist marching bands. From a report by the Irish News:
“A £200,000 GRANTS scheme for marching bands has been reinstated by a DUP minister – a year after his Sinn Fein predecessor cut the fund.
In one of his first significant moves since taking up the post of communities minister in May, Paul Givan said he would bring back the initiative for 2016/17.
The restoration of the grants, announced on the eve of the Twelfth, comes at a time when budgets across the arts sector have been slashed.
The Musical Instruments for Bands Programme will provide £500 to £5,000 for the purchase of instruments.
Mr Givan said it would benefit the more than 20,000 people in marching bands across the north.
Earlier this month, there were protests across Northern Ireland against proposed cuts to library services, with 14 branches facing reduced opening hours.
Last October, it was revealed that some of the north’s most high-profile arts organisations, including the Lyric Theatre and MAC in Belfast and the Playhouse Theatre in Derry, would face cuts of seven per cent after the budget of the Arts Council was cut by a further £870,000.”
Many of these quasi-military outfits, a few with close ties to various British terror factions, have become notorious for the sectarian, racist and violent behaviour they have displayed over the last several decades. Indeed back in 2011 the “Fuck the Pope Bands” served as conduits for wide-spread public disorder in many parts of the Six Counties, under the direction of the gunmen and bombers of the Ulster Volunteer Force (though one might argue that the recent phrase, “Buckfast Bands”, is a more accurate one for the groupings, in reference to their rowdy taste for Buckfast Tonic Wine during their demonstrations, a notorious alcoholic beverage laced with caffeine).
It’s astonishing that Sinn Féin and the SDLP, and the government of Ireland, have facilitated a situation where Irish school children, including those with special needs and disabilities, are being discriminated against in favour of drunken fascistic thugs, in their own country. If this is what Stormont and power-sharing stands for then all I can say is – fuck the appeasement!