With less than 5 percent of those living in Northern Ireland possessing any level of knowledge, understanding or being able to read and write in Irish it seems unjust to permit an Irish Language Act to protect what is a dying language.
Of course, Republicans will argue that Irish was spoken here long before English. This is the anti-imperialist side of Republicanism which is rarely on public view. Instead Sinn Fein are pushing their narrow, ethnic and sectarian agenda under the banner of ‘equality’. They are equating it was issues like same-sex marriage. These are two different issues.
Sinn Fein have an agenda which is to eradicate Britishness in NI. They deem it ‘imagined’, ‘fake’ and ‘imposed’ by London as part of their imperialist agenda. Unionists, are believe they are British, to Sinn Fein, are living in a state of false consciousness. They are not in fact British, but Irish.
The IRA Terrorist campaign entrenched identity and drove a wedge between the two most prominent communities in Northern Ireland. The Irish Language Act is part of a cultural war, as politics is war by other means.
Orange Parades were a focus for Sinn Fein in the 1990s. Now Britishness is in the sight of Republicanism as young Unionists will be force fed the myths and legends associated with Republicanism.
Yes, Irish was spoken by Presbyterians. It even featured at the 1892 Unionist Convention. However, it was not a political weapon as it is being used by Sinn Fein.
The Irishness felt by Unionists once upon a time was not the one created for unity, solidarity and state building in the early days of the Irish Free State. It was one represented in the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and (now) Northern Ireland.