Christmas greetings enrage unionists

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Unionist councillors in Country Antrim have generated a seasonal news absurdity by complaining over the use of Irish in the annual Mayor’s Christmas card.

The Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers, of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, sent out a greeting card featuring the festive greeting “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” in both English and the Irish language. The front of the Irish Christmas card also features the standaed greeting ‘Nollag Shona’.

This was all too much for local DUP councillor Sam Cole.

“To send a Christmas card out with Irish on the front of it, it’s not a token of the season of peace and goodwill to all men,” he declared.

UUP councillor William McCandless accused Sinn Fein of “taking every opportunity to promote the Irish language” but claimed that the majority of their party “can hardly speak it”.

McCandless insistence that unionists were victimised by the use of the Irish language words.

“It is sad that prejudice is still rife in our little country, but particularly at Christmas,” he declared.

Ms Chivers said she was “disappointed” by the response to the card.

“The cards are clearly bilingual so to claim they can’t be understood is nonsense. It’s also very disappointing that a gesture of goodwill should be met with such a response,” the councillor said.

“The Irish language is part of our shared history and culture on this island but, unfortunately, some still seem unable to accept that reality.”

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