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April 30, 2012

AN SIONNACH FIONN

In Ireland a significant number of government departments and other public bodies, along with many public officials, have spent much of the last decade actively opposing the nation’s Official Languages Act of 2003, a piece of legislation introduced eighty years after independence with the objective of ensuring some form of limited equality for Irish-speaking citizens with their English-speaking peers when accessing state services and resources. As the 2011 report by An Coimisinéir Teanga on the workings of the Languages Act has revealed, the institutional discrimination towards Irish-speakers in our culturally English civil service is as virulent as ever.

In Scotland they have their own problems trying to gain equality and respect for their indigenous Gaelic tongue, in the form of the Scottish language, but the willingness of much of the body politic in Scotland to support the Gaelic Language Act of 2005, particularly the governing Scottish Nationalist Party under Alex…

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