Irish speakers in Belfast are to follow Dublin’s lead and hold their own “Lá Dearg” (“Red Day”) march to highlight their concerns over the language. Spokeswoman, Miss Caoimhe Ní Chathail, said that Irish speakers in the North had decided to build on the “energy that grew from the Irish-language day in Dublin. The Irish language community, North and South, are “red with anger” about the current circumstances in which our limited resources are being put in danger by state cut-backs and our language rights are being denied to us on a systemic level”.
She said that the European Commission had shown that the Northern Ireland Executive was failing Irish and that some politicians had a “hostile outlook”. In addition, there was “a lack of support for the use of the language in the courts, in the media, in public signage and in the education sector”.
The event was to highlight three demands: a comprehensive rights-based Irish Language Act for the North; the need to develop a comprehensive Irish-medium education system and to ensure that adequate resources be provided for the language.
The march will leave Cultúrlann MacAdam-Ó Fiaich, Falls Road, Saturday 12 April at 2pm and go to Belfast city centre.