Maybe you missed it on the RTÉ news - if it was on at all - this is the silent protest of students on the place of Irish in our Education System.
TG4 stated that there were 500 taking part, to this correspondent it looks like a greater number.
Needless to say like all students they were unable to remain silent for long!
A friend said "I voted for Fine Gael in the seventies to save the school in Dún Chaoin, they did save it but unfortunately they made Irish optional for the civil service. I cannot vote for them now because I fear they will finish the job!" This point and its results were discussed in a paper by the Language Commissioner earlier this month where he revealed that only 1.5% of the admin in the Department of Education were capable of providing a service in Irish. And this is the Department so many of the policies of all the parties are relying on in their Irish language policies and indeed in the 20 year plan published last December.
Looking at Richie Ryan's statement on the introduction of this policy in 1974 it bears an uncanny relationship to the words used by Fine Gael in 2011. Judge for yourselves:
"...“satisfied that by replacing the compulsion which did so much damage to the
Irish language over the past half century with enthusiasm for the language, we
will have people more readily disposed to use Irish.” (Richie Ryan, Minister for Finance 1974)
"We believe that reinventing the way we teach Irish will encourage more students to study the language and engage with it beyond the school system. We believe compulsion has not fostered growth or commitment to the language. We will overhaul the curriculum at second level and we will critically examine the effect of current training methods of teachers to teach. Irish as an optional subject for Leaving Certificate will only apply following consultations on both matters." (Fine Gael Policy 2011)
My friend feels that Enda Kenny would be a good Taoiseach for the economy that is Ireland but that he would sell the soul of Ireland which is priceless. The people would be destitute culturally.
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