While, the Irish Language should not be controversial and I fully understand that Sinn Féin would insist on an Irish Language Act, it seems counter-productive. Unionists would never agree to it and it means that its rejection by DUP closes any door on “agreement” or humiliates SF if it agrees to any deal without an Irish Language Act.
It also is a bond between the two factions that make up Sinn Féin…the Felons and the Féilens. The hard core and soft core of Sinn Féin.
The reality is that SF are pressing this as diversity…but I am not sure that all or even a majority of nationalists have any more than totemic support for the Language.
Put bluntly it is only a section of the nationalist people.
Whether you minimise (as a unionist) or maximise (as a nationalist) the basic fact is that Irish people…Irish citizens …are the largest minority in Norn Iron. We outnumber the Poles, Czechs and Chinese.
Yet oddly the most obvious symbol of our national identity…our National Flag is not treated with the same degree of courtesy as any other ethnic “minority”. While Sinn Féin might have a wish list that includes our Flag to fly equally alongside the British Flag as a parity of esteem issue, it is a red line for unionists.
But there is lower hanging fruit.
It is for example a normal act of courtesy for a business such as a hotel or restaurant to fly flags when it is patronised by guests from that country.
Although Belfast hotels get a lot of visitors from (say) United States or Germany, I think it is often the case that the guest list at a Belfast, Armagh or Ballymena hotel would often have several residents who are Irish citizens. Not to mention wedding receptions.
So why is flying the Irish Flag as a simple courtesy so taboo.
Frankly that irritates me more that the attitude of DUP dinosaurs to the Irish language.