Here is this week’s People’s Letters Page…
While we bask in the glow of the gradual and eagerly awaited re-opening of society I wonder if we’ll benefit from any of the lessons of lockdown.
Among these was the realisation that there was a great, largely undiscovered countryside out there for us to explore. Denied so many other recreations people took to the roads and the fields and were pleasantly surprised by the abundance of flora and fauna. Hearts fluttered…eyes opened with delight at the sights and sounds of the natural world, to the joys of our proverbial Forty Shades of Green.
Some walkers noticed for the first time little rabbits playing in a field, as Padraig Pearse did more than a century ago. Foxes found themselves being hand-fed by humans who in many cases had never before seen this much-maligned creature up close. They were made welcome in towns and villages across the country.
Less common but an equally welcome sight was the occasional appearance of an Irish Hare, with its distinctive reddish brown coat; grazing untroubled in its natural habitat, zigzagging at dizzying speeds, or engaged in one of those hilarious pugilistic mating rituals.
Sadly, this new found affinity with nature hasn’t touched the hearts of the blood sport fraternity. They’re laying plans for a resumption of their attacks on our wildlife heritage, a resource they still see as something to be exploited and butchered for a cheap thrill. The hares that enjoyed a happy respite will, come September; be snatched from their grassy domain and made to run for their lives. Instead of being observed at leisure and appreciated by nature lovers, they’ll be twisting and dodging on a coursing venue in front of a cheering mob.
Instead of being fed by a friendly human, the fox will encounter the downside of our species when it has to run from a pack of baying hounds urged by supposed pillars of society.
Is Covid 19 to be replaced by the Cruelty Virus…or will enhanced awareness of our persecuted native fauna help to end what Oscar Wilde called the pursuit of the uneatable by the unspeakable?
The latest announcement that language legislation will be brought through Westminster is an historic staging post in our long-standing campaign for language rights, recognition and respect.
The British Government has publicly committed to enact the legislation, and subvert the veto of political unionism to prevent our rights being provided for through Stormont.
It is testament to the commitment and perseverance of the Irish language community which has seen schools, young people, parents and families take to the streets for many years in pursuit of equality and human rights. This announcement is a direct result of that activism and grass-roots organising and we commend our community for their diligence and dedication.
The Dream Dearg campaign, from then until now, has proved that ordinary people can make change happen from below. We are proud to have played a positive role in enabling civil society to reclaim its democratic voice in holding those with power and responsibility to account.
However, the Irish language community rightly have grave concerns around the British Governments long-standing failures to honour agreements and rights. The British Government have actively and intentionally suppressed and excluded our native language through centuries of colonisation. This commitment comes 15 years after they committed to introducing an Irish language Act in an internationally binding agreement at St Andrew’s, one they have reneged on ever since.
We have been brought to the edge once again by the intransigence and obstructionism of the DUP who have acted in bad faith by their inability to accept long outstanding human rights commitments for the Irish language community here in the north of Ireland. They have once again elevated their own opposition to language rights over the need for a truly shared and inclusive society.
An Dream Dearg commits to fight for full implementation of this language legislation, for local delivery by September, and failing that, for the British Government to honour their latest commitment by October. An Dream Dearg will not be mere spectators, we will be organising and setting our own campaigning agenda as we have done in recent years. Furthermore, we commit to pursuing a full, comprehensive, rights-based Acht Gaeilge that will deliver full equality for our community in the coming years. Whilst this legislation falls well short of that international standard, it is nevertheless an historic advancement in our campaign for rights and equality. We will continue to #SeasAnFód for #AchtAnois.
Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin,
spokesperson for An Dream Dearg
As everyone who has ever spent anytime living in Dublin knows, June 16th is Bloomsday.
The day is honoured for its significance because June 16th, 1904 is the date when everything happens in James Joyce’s classic book Ulysses. On this day every year Dubliners quietly going about their business have to navigate city streets populated by eejits who should know better. Dressed like they just stepped out of a really sad fancy dress party, and spouting inane nonsense, these (mostly) middle aged people need to get a grip. If one has the misfortune to engage with one of these creatures, you will be told they are retracing the route taken by Leopold Bloom. I know people will say its only a bit of harmless fun but I almost died from embarrassment this year having stumbled across a few of these wretches in Dublin city centre. I don’t know much about James Joyce but surely he would also blush bright red with embarrassment at what is being done in his name every June 16th in Dublin.
This year’s incarnation of Bloomsday particularly ruffled my feathers, I think I have had enough!
We now have 20,000 dead, Irish, Repeal abortion killed, unborn babies in 3 short years. 50% are female dead. 98% were healthy babies of healthy mums, killed. Anti 8th Repealers, in Dublin Bay Sth election and elsewhere, have much to answer.
Their Repeal abortion 20,000 death toll silence now, is deafening. Repealers led this.
So, explain. Do they now walk away? Poor Savita, used for Repeal, came to Galway to have her baby safely. Not to leave 20,000 other dead, unborn, Irish babies behind her, in her name. In Dublin Bay South, Repealers need explain their growing Repeal abortion death toll.
Cheap, trite, Repeal slogans – “choice, Savita, trust women, care” etc got us here, but now won’t wash & looks very shabbily hollow indeed, in a 20,000 Repeal death toll. Of which 50% are female.
Answers DBSth Repealers, please.
Looks like prolife post 8th predictions were correct. Why vote for Repealers who got abortion results so very badly wrong?
The leaders of the 1916 Rising must be turning in their graves, we are robbing the future from our children we fought so hard to get the British out only to let the vulture funds in.
Cheap land and cheap taxes is order of the day we have truly let the fox into the chicken coop. The people have the power, politicians are useless now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. There are lots of houses and apartments people should after many years of hard work and paying back loans be able to own their own homes a rent to own scheme in the future should be order of the day. If things keep going the way they are in the future there will be a sort of communism ruling the country where everyone is renting paying bills and no hope of ever owning their own home. There is going to be a pandemic of bad mental health but the best and brightest can always go to England and America. At the end of the day I don’t know how to tell my children politicians sold the country for 30 pieces of silver.