This week, for the first time in my life and I expect, for the last time, I wrote a letter to the Sunday Independent.
I know. I shouldn’t have, but hey, I enjoyed writing it and the fact that it wasn’t published doesn’t take away from the pleasure.
It was in response to an article by Declan Lynch, the guy with huge personal “issues” surrounding the Irish language.
His latest missive was in last week’s Sindo wherein he claimed that the 1.77 million people who claimed they could speak Irish in the 2011 census were LIARS.
I thought the article was, em, stupid, so this is what I had to say:
With reference to Declan Lynch’s hyper-ventilating article about the figure for Irish speakers as attested to by the latest census returns, following the headline “Overwhelmingly, we Irish prefer the lie” we are told that Declan says “The one true function of the Irish language is that it shows the vast dishonesty of the Gael.”
It should be pointed out that all those “Gaels” who stated they could speak Irish on the census from were, ipso facto, telling the truth.
It was Ireland’s English-speakers who told the lies as Declan sees it, so the headline should have read “Overwhelmingly, we English-speakers prefer the lie”, which to my mind, is a more accurate reflection of the state of our linguistic affairs.
Now, Deccie does have a point. The 1.77 million figure probably is an exaggeration but Declan bocht didn’t come up with an exhaustive, forensic analysis of the figures, he just ranted and raved and his colleague’s story about speaking Irish to get a drink was roysht out of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly.
Take Irish speakers to task, certainly, but do it with at least a cogent argument.