Many Gaels and progressive activists throughout the world will be drawing inspiration and courage this week from the powerful memory of Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands as we commemorate 33 years since he gave his life for Irish freedom and a better world.
A combination of confusion, anger and despondency has taken root in the Irish language community over the past month as people digest the repercussions of the disastrous decisions taken by Foras na Gaeilge.
The year of 2014 commences with the political class in the north exposed as a laughing stock to any idle international journalist still showing an interest in this place. Terms like ‘dejá-vú’ and ‘groundhog day’ came to mind as we tried to make sense of the surreal society we reside in.
The decision of Minister Nelson McCausland’s to move against the Housing Executive is rooted in neo-liberalism and institutionalised sectarianism. Deriving from the extremist economic theories of Milton Friedman, ‘disaster capitalism’ developed from the New-Right revolution launched by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
With Belfast under siege from Loyalist intimidation, riots and violence for this past month, it’s interesting that the media has facilitated the revival of the unionist grievance narrative that emphasises the exclusive marginalisation being ‘suffered’ by the unionist community since the onset of the peace process.
‘The great and the good bowed their heads at the cenotaph, Generals, politicians, newsreaders, football managers and stock market traders wore their poppies. No one mentioned Iraq. No one uttered the slightest remorse for the fallen of that country.’ John Pilger
De-politicisation’- New Northern Ireland ‘hijacks’ the Irish language
‘You will never make colonialism blush for shame by spreading little-known cultural treasures under its eyes.’ Frantz Fanon