Irish and Loyalist

In my first post in this series – looking at what it is to be Irish (as an adjoint to my blog ‘The New Irishman’) – I sought to show that Ian Paisley was 100% Irish. Ian Paisley’s Irishness was stated unequivocally by the man himself; and third party observers have testified to his quintessential Irishness. In my second post I sought to show that the protestant in Ireland has historically, and in Northern Ireland presently, been considered as illegitimate and as an inauthentic outsider – “imperialistic … Read more

Xchange Summer School 2015: bravery in the face of challenge #xss15 (updated with audio from Jo Berry, Patrick Magee, Ann Travers conversation)

Living through the challenge of austerity mean that the Third Sector in Northern Ireland will “have to show bravery, take decisive action, be willing to change, celebrate diversity and yes, think the unthinkable” according to the organisers of the Xchange Summer School. The sofa set from the inaugural event in Enniskillen has been traded in and this year’s contributors are sitting around a kitchen table that has taken over the stage of the Great Hall in UU’s Magee campus. Introduced … Read more

Linda Ervine: “respect the Irish language”

Linda Ervine was at Stormont today to hand in a letter calling for “fair treatment and respect for the Irish language.” Writing on her Facebook page Linda said: This Tuesday 2nd December at 11 am on the steps of Parliament Buildings I will be presenting a letter to representatives of the main parties. The letter calls for fair treatment and respect for the Irish language. It outlines the disappointment and anger caused by divisive and insulting comments about the language … Read more

The Irish language belongs to us all, not just to Sinn Féin

It must be very tempting in this current highly charged atmosphere to convert any turn of events into an attack on Sinn Féin and Gerry Adams.   And God knows the party does provide the material for onslaughts.    However the recent ill-informed and ignorant ‘Curry My Yoghurt’ remarks of Gregory Campbell, and the subsequent farce of barring him from speaking in the Assembly for a day he was due to be in Westminster, doesn’t seem to me to be a … Read more

Fionola Meredith: Can what has been divided by language also be brought together by it?

This week (May 20-26) is Community Relations Week, with over 180 events across Northern Ireland. Below, Fionola Meredith provides her thoughts as part of her involvement in the Community Relations Council Policy Conference which she was contributing to. One of the most singular ironies of living in Northern Ireland is that language – the most fundamental human tool of communication, the shared medium through which we all encounter the world – becomes, in itself, a source of division, suspicion and … Read more