Irish Republican News · February 8, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: State support for Orangeism, not Irish
State support for Orangeism, not Irish

The Orange Order in the 26 Counties is to receive substantial funding from the Dublin government, it has been announced.

Eamon O Cuiv, minister for community, rural and gaeltacht affairs, revealed that almost a quarter million Euros is to be given to Cadolemo Ltd, a company which is being established by Orange Order lodges in the border counties.

Mr O Cuiv expressed a hope that the ‘historic’ initiative would strengthen the confidence of groups that use Orange halls and encourage higher levels of participation in Orangeism in border counties.

South of the border, the Orange Order has lodges in Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Wicklow and west Cork but just one parade takes place at Rossnowlagh in County Donegal.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams yesterday urged Orange Order leaders to meet him and discuss equality and the building of a multi-cultural society.

On Monday night hundreds of Orangemen protested outside Banbridge District Council against the removal of sectarian symbols from its offices.

“Let me publicly appeal to the Orange to come along to meet us. We can do it in private,” Mr Adams said.

“It doesn’t have to be a media event. This is about trying to build, in a multi-cultural, way a society which reflects all dimensions of our people.”

Sinn Féin is currently promoting a campaign to support the Irish language in the North. Sinn Féin’s Bairbre de Brun said this week that it is important that thousands of people attend a celebratory event for Irish in Belfast on the 16th February.

“At the moment, the Irish language is growing with the amount of young people choosing to speak it,” she said.

“The only way to maintain the growth and development of the Irish language is for it to become embedded in the day-to-day life of all.”

However, the North’s ‘Culture Minister’, Edwin Poots of the DUO, has declared that European institutions sufficiently safeguard the rights of Irish speakers and no local funding is necessary.

Mr Poots recently told the Assembly he is opposed to introducing an Irish Language Act, as provided for under the terms of the St Andrews Agreement of 2006.

He has cited the costs involved and the opposition of unionists to the proposed legislation, adding that policy measures would be sufficient to develop the promised language strategy.

Sinn Féin’s Francie Brolly called for a new Irish language commissioner to ensure “delivery”, because getting movement on the Irish language issue “is a bit like pulling teeth”.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s national airline came in for criticism by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern for ditching an Irish language greeting on flights to and from Belfast. He said “a few sentences [in Irish] wouldn’t hurt anyone”.

Sinn Féin described the policy, announced last month, as “political correctness gone mad”. Mr Ahern said despite the government being a shareholder in the carrier, it was powerless in the matter.

© 2008 Irish Republican News