Some time ago whilst embroiled in a pointless slugger culture riot with a prominent unionist commentator whose aggression extended beyond Irish to all Celtic languages I pointed out that many tens of thousands of British Army soldiers in World War I who went to their deaths in the trenches were not actually native English speakers, indeed many had no knowledge of English at all. This point was not accepted but I was reminded of the exchange whilst reading some news from Scotland.A few days ago, New Years day 2009 marked the 90th anniversary of the loss of the Iolaire which was wrecked on rocks off the Isle of Lewis on the 1st January 1919.
Its cargo was a human one, soldiers returning from the trenches of the Great War, 205 of 280 on board were lost. Here is the story of the tragedy from the BBC in their native tongue, here in English.
I trust all can accept their sacrifice was no less than any others.
Freelance journalist, working mostly in Irish.
Have my own independent news website – antuairisceoir.com – which is in constant need of material.
I am the former editor of the newspaper GaelscÃ©al, www.gaelsceal.ie