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Aontu Welcomes Announcement That Irish Language Has Been Officially Recognised As An Official EU Language

Aontú representative for East Derry and Gaeilgeoir Gemma Brolly has welcomed the announcement that the Irish Language has been officially recognised as an official EU language. She has further encouraged all citizens to use this occasion as a springboard to develop the language further.

“1st January 2022 was a remarkable day in the history of the Irish language” Brolly begins, “and will be officially recorded as such, as the day the Irish language deservedly and rightfully achieved FULL status as an official EU language, therefore demanding all documents published by the EU will be translated into Irish.”

“As we lose count of the promises and agreements made to implement an Irish language Act here in the North of Ireland, we are both strengthened and motivated by the efforts of those with such love and appreciation for the language, who strive to develop it, to encompass it in all walks of life and encourage it’s use respectfully. The organisations, the clubs, the schools, the parents who choose Irish Medium, the conversation circles, the language classes, the people willing to try a “cúpla focal”- have all contributed to January 1st 2022 becoming such an historic and significant day” continues Brolly.

“It goes without saying that this overarching implementation again shines the spotlight on the empty stage which should have presented an Irish Language Act long before now. Following a series of empty promises, including the most recent failure to implement the Irish Language Act by end of October, I can not help but recall the words of Countess Markievicz, which she spoke on this very date (3rd January) during the Treaty debates in 1922:

“No one ever got the benefits of the promises the English made them.”

In that same speech, Countess Markievicz also stated:

“I say that the Irish language has begun to grow…in the schools, and I don’t see that giving up our rights… is going to help.”

With this in mind, I would ask the government also in the 26 counties to ask themselves while standing in the Dáil, does this statement remain true today? Are you encouraging and developing the native language of this country, the soul, the roots which run through our land and our people?” This recognition as an official European language certainly highlights the lack of effort from the Irish government towards the Irish language. There are now 24 official languages under the European Union and the EU can communicate effectively with every citizen in their own native language, something the Irish Civil Service cannot do themselves. Accessibility to civil servants with Irish would of course be much easier, if the same respect and equality was awarded to the Irish language by the state as is by the European Union.

This historical move therefore challenges the Irish government to progress bilingualism further, improving the education system. The Official Language Bill was reformed just before Christmas and ambitious recruitment targets were detailed within. The Irish government must resolve the issues regarding the teaching of the language in order to meet these targets.”

Brolly concludes “The first day of 2022 will go down in history as the day the Irish language became officially recognised by the EU. I believe just as this was only the beginning of 2022, this should mark a fresh and new unified effort, building on existing efforts, developing the love and use of the Irish language through every person, town and county, and encouraging the recognition and use of our native language in every corner and province of this country.”

 Cuireann Ionadaí Aontú Oirthear Dhoire agus Gaeilgeoir Gemma Uí Bhrollaigh fáilte roimh an stádas iomlán a tugadh don Ghaeilge mar theanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh agus í ag spreagadh gach saoránach leis seo a úsáid mar ‘phreabchlár’ chun an teanga a fhorbairt a thuilleadh. 

“Lá mór ba é an 1 Eanáir 2022 i stair na Gaeilge” a thosaigh Uí Bhrollaigh, “ agus beidh sé taifeadta go hoifigiúil mar sin, mar an lá ar bhain an Ghaeilge stádas iomlán amach mar theanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh go toilteanach agus go dlisteanach, agus dá thoradh sin, beidh gach cáipéis anois atá foilsithe ag an Aontas Eorpach aistrithe go Gaeilge.” 

“Ní cuimhin linn anois cé mhéad gealltanas agus comhaontú atá déanta chun Acht Gaeilge a chur i bhfeidhm anseo i dTuaisceart na hÉireann, táimid neartaithe agus spreagtha leis na hiarrachtaí uilig atá déanta a bhfuil grá agus tuiscint acu don teanga – na heagraíochtaí, na cumainn, na scoileanna, na tuismitheoirí a chuireann a bpáistí tríd an Ghaeloideachas, na ciorcail comhrá, na ranganna Gaeilge, na daoine a dhéanann iarracht lena gcúpla focal a úsáid, iad uilig a dhéanann a seacht ndícheall leis an teanga a fhorbairt agus a thabhairt isteach i ngach aon bhealach, iarrachtaí as a dtagann an chéim stairiúil straitéiseach seo a tharla ar an 1 Eanáir 2022.”

“Ní gá a rá go dtarraingíonn an beart uileghabhálach seo aird an phobail ar Acht na Gaeilge nach bhfuil ann go fóill ach ba cheart bheith ann blianta ó shin. I ndiaidh sraith gealltanas bréagach, leis an fhaillí is déanaí chun Acht na Gaeilge a chur i bhfeidhm roimh dheireadh mhí Dheireadh Fómhair, ní thiocfadh liom ach cuimhneamh siar ar an óráid a thug an Chuntaois Markievicz ar an lá seo (3 Eanáir) i rith dhíospóireachtaí an Chonartha sa bhliain 1922:

“No one ever got the benefits of the promises the English made them.”

San óráid chéanna, chuir an Chuntaois Markievicz in iúl freisin:

“I say that the Irish language has begun to grow… in the schools, and I don’t see that giving up our rights… is going to help.” 

Leanann Uí Bhrollaigh ar aghaidh, “Óna thaobh sin de, d’iarrfainn ar an rialtas sna 26 chontae an cheist seo a chur orthu féin agus iad ag seasamh i nDáil Éireann: an bhfuil an ráiteas seo fíor inniu? An bhfuil sibh ag spreagadh agus ag forbairt teanga dúchais na tíre seo, ár n-anam, na fréamhacha a fhásann trínár dtalamh agus ár ndaoine? Caitheann an t-ardú céime stádais seo solas ar lag-iarrachtaí rialtas na hÉireann i leith na Gaeilge agus i leith an ilteangachais. Tá 24 theanga oifigiúil san Aontas Eorpach agus is féidir leis an gCoimisiún Eorpach teagmháil a dhéanamh le gach uile shaoránach AE ina dteanga dhúchais féin, rud nach féidir le státseirbhís na hÉireann a dhéanamh fiú amháin. Ceann de na príomhchúiseanna a bhfuil easpa foirne le Gaeilge sa státseirbhís faoi láthair ná go bhfuil na Gaeilgeoirí níos sásta oibriú don Choimisiún Eorpach a chaitheann leis an Ghaeilge go cothromach agus le meas, rud nach dtarlaíonn abhus in Éirinn. Tugann an t-ardú stádais seo dúshlán do rialtas na hÉireann aghaidh a thabhairt ar an dátheangachas ar bhealach níos fearr agus an córas oideachais a chur ina cheart dá réir sin. Leasaíodh Bille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla díreach roimh an Nollaig agus leagadh amach spriocanna uaillmhianacha earcaíochta i leith na Gaeilge.”

Críochnaíonn Uí Bhrollaigh: “Mar an lá ar bhain an Ghaeilge stádas mar theanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh is ceart a chuimhneofar ar an chéad lá de 2022. Creidim go díreach nach raibh seo ach tús na bliana 2022, ba cheart go spreagfar leis seo iarracht úr nua aontaithe lenár gcuid iarrachtaí a fhorbairt, ag tógáil ar an obair atá déanta, ag forbairt grá agus úsáid na teanga trí gach uile dhuine, baile agus contae, ag spreagadh aithint agus labhairt ár dteanga dúchais i ngach aon choirnéal agus chúige na tíre seo.”

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