AS MANY AS 5,000 people are taking part in a protest outside Leinster House in Dublin city centre this afternoon calling for increased government support for the Irish language.
It comes ahead of the resignation of the Language Commissioner (Coimisineir Teanga) Seán Ó Cuirreáin later this month.
Ó Cuirreáin said the move was due to “bad decision after bad decision” made government in relation to Irish since he took office in 2011, and later referred to 2012 as ‘not a vintage year’ for the language.
Today’s protest is organised by Conradh na Gaeilge, described as a “democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community” that aims to promote Irish both in Ireland and abroad.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie earlier this week, the organisation’s General Secretary Julian De Spáinn said they are “coming out strongly to say that the politicians have to start acting on what it is we’re looking for when it comes to Irish language promotion and support”.
Vice President for the Irish Language of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Feidhlim Seoighe said the government is “letting the Irish Speakers of the country down”:
“By not providing services through Irish, they are essentially putting out the message that our National Language has no importance. Young People across the country are marching for the future of the Irish Language. Language rights are Human Rights.”
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams pictured at the protest today. (Image Credit: Derek O’Brien/@DirkVanBryn)