Stormont Draft Agreement

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “I congratulate those in Northern Ireland who have worked to find a deal to allow for a return to power-sharing in Stormont. The Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland is a proud Labour legacy that we want to support and protect.” The DUP backed the deal presented late Thursday night by the British and Irish governments to restore government, three years after it collapsed. If an agreement is reached, a coalition management committee should be set up – an early warning system to report problems. The draft agreement deals with priorities for the new executive – not yet finalised, but focuses on health and Brexit. Earlier, the Irish language group Conradh na Gaeilge hailed the draft agreement as a “historic step forward”, but added that it “very briefly” tightened promises of an Irish language law. The dispute then engrowd into more traditional disagreements over issues such as the Irish language and the thorny legacy of the Troubles. I just hate the way language and its use have been politicized, here too in this discussion. Let`s be honest, if you want to speak the language you want, keep going. Who stops you? No one.

Not even the DUP fanatics. If you speak a language like French, I won`t understand you because I understand French classes at school. How can I understand you? I will not do that. What do you think I`m going to ask you to do? Speak English, not Irish, not German, but English. When Irish spokespeople come to the BBC, what do they say? English. Why, because most people understand English and if you want to convey your point of view, you will become (unfortunately, you have to speak English). So if people who have a Republican conviction want to speak Irish, I have no problem with that. The fact that I do not understand it is neither here nor there. As long as no one forces me to learn French, Irish, Polish, Hindu… I don`t care. And as far as I know, no one has proposed it in any proposed agreement.

Live and let live. I went to a Protestant friend`s funeral a few years ago, and he had a friend recite “The Lords My Shepherd” in Irish because it was one of his dying desires. No one got up and walked out of this full church, probably most of the people who were there didn`t know or cared about the language he spoke.