Issue 2 - 2024 200dpi

21 August 1997 Edition

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Signs of twisted thinking

Shameful is the only word which can describe the decision of the Students Union at Queen's University to take down bilingual signs and replace them with English-only versions. Pathetically, this is described as helping to provide a ``neutral working environment''. What it really represents is an insult to Irish speakers in the college itself and in the wider community. The twisted thinking which sees the Irish language as a threat and which regards its exclusion as leading to more harmonious living must be challenged. The role of the Fair Employment Commission in promoting this anti-Irish move is particularly sinister.

Unionists simply display ignorance of their own history when they try to censor Irish. The language belongs as much to them as to any other section of the Irish people. Protestants and unionists were among the leading lights in the revival of the language. By this week's move the Queen's Students Union seems to have struck a blow against Irish but the reaction it will provoke among students and others will mark another milestone in the progress of Irish to its rightful place of equality.

Demilitarise now

News that the British Army is fortifying its bases, most notably in South Armagh, speaks volumes about the British military's attitude to the peace process. In a cowardly and provocative way they are building their military machine while their political masters talk of peace.

During the last IRA cessation the British prepared for war. Their military building work continued, their armed soldiers continued to patrol nationalist areas and their public relations experts went into overdrive to try to make the discredited RUC appear acceptable. It was these cynical actions, among others, which proved that Britain was not serious about peace.

The lesson now is clear. People must come out and protest against British militarisation. Change will happen when we demand change. By forcing the British to demilitarise people can claim ownership of the peace process.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1