Saturday, November 11, 2006

Terrorist Leprechauns? No, that's not offensive at all.

Over tea today DemiOrator and I were discussing the Máire Nic an Bhaird case. If you haven't heard about it, this young woman in Belfast was hassled on the street and assaulted by a cop, who bellowed at her to stop speaking "that leprechaun language" and speak "The Queens English in her country." The cop then arrested her, merely for speaking Irish, her native language.

Press coverage of the case has at times been sensationalistic, even to the extent of missing the point that this woman did nothing violent or inappropriate, and that the arresting officer showed ethnic and cultural hatred. Message board posts and other fora have shown all sorts of bigotry arising from unsuspected (and predictable) corners, with some people basically accusing those of us with an involvement in Gaelic languages to be somehow connected with "terrorism". (Hey... this sounds familiar.)

DemiOrator has some more links about the case here: Forbidden Irish.
The case is also covered in the current issue of CARN (The Magazine of the Celtic League).

P.S. - CARN is currently struggling financially, so if you've ever considered joining the league and/or subscribing, this would be a good time to do so. A subscription is included with membership.