With the main consultation having ended on 10 January, and only a specific consultation for children and young people due to end on 30 January 2009, it seems a bit late in the day for Máirtín, and the Andersonstown News, to be campaigning against the recommendations for Irish-medium Units and Streams [pdf file, Chapter 13] within English-medium schools. The Andersonstown News editorial noted by Máirtín highlights the party political dilemma.
The struggle of Irish people to be able to conduct their lives through the medium of Irish in their own land is a long and noble one. It has had many setbacks but also, in recent times, many important victories. Some of those gains were made because of the personal intervention and commitment of the West Belfast MP Gerry Adams. It would, therefore, be nothing short of devastating if, under the watch of a Sinn Féin minister, the fight to provide freestanding Irish medium education at secondary level was to be lost.
And a reminder of how those ‘successes’ elsewhere might not be quite what they seem..