The Belfast Telegraph printed another letter of mine today. It was a response to an Irish Language enthusiast pontificating about “Irish language rights.”

In her letter (Write Back, March 5) Janet Muller talks about language rights and, in particular, Irish language rights, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she already has the right to speak and write in Irish if she wishes. No one is going to stop her from so doing.

However, like many who babble on – in English – about their Irish language rights, she isn’t actually talking of a right at all. She’s talking about an obligation.

She doesn’t just want to converse and speak in Irish, she wants to force an obligation on the rest of us who don’t care for Irish, to listen in Irish, or at the very least cough up the necessary doubloons so she and others of her ilk can enjoy having Irish street signs placed alongside English ones.

I’m not aware that Irish is a first language for a single human being in this country, so the issue really should be moot. Regrettably, society is still cursed by this kind of sectarian inanity. I only wish I had a right to live in a society in which members didn’t constantly try to force their preferences on each other by acts of legislation.

I, and those of a similar mindset, can only hope that in the not too distant future our day will come, or should I say: Tiocfaidh ár lá.


[Tiocfaidh ár lá is Irish for “Our Day Will Come”]