The Republicans are coming! Chittick on the Irish language

As many of you know Linda Ervine has been leading efforts for years now to make Protestants more aware of their contribution to the development and maintenance of the Irish language. There have been a variety of events held in places like East Belfast to demonstrate how much of our everyday language is actually linked to Irish.

Well, today the Grand Master of the Belfast Orange Order George Chittick, decided to add his two cents on whether Protestants should be learning the Irish language as he told a protest today

A word of warning to Protestants who go to learn Irish: it’s part of the republican agenda.

Chittick is worried that if the Irish language is given a legal status that it might impact the employment prospects of people here in Northern Ireland, and as any employer will tell you learning another language is a really bad skill to have on your CV.

Twitter has been buzzing all night with those quoting the number of Protestants who helped keep the language alive and indeed the many Orange Order banners and lodges that have some form of Irish in their titles. But, to be honest in this debate with positions like these being articulated responding with factual statements will in all likelihood have very little impact on those making these type arguments.

Irish is an important part of every persons culture here, as is Ulster Scots. No language or way of life exists in isolation from one another but sadly leaders in some organisations still perfer to seek the cheap applause rather than do hard work like those who are trying to promote the huge contribution that Protestants have made to the Irish language.


David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs