Tuesday, 8 March 2016

They Prefer This One

Many moons ago when the Blether Region was but a baby Gaeilgeoir, a group of language activists in Belfast took the law into their own hands and affixed the Irish word "bruscar" to some of the public rubbish bins in the city. Some residents were pleased, while others assumed that the smart new badge merely bore the name of the company that made the bins. Unionist councillors, however, demanded that the council pay for someone to go around removing the addition. Well, I suppose it was during the Troubles.

Now, almost a generation later, however, a councillor in Ballymena has made a similar complaint about — wait for it — bilingual manhole covers, and insisted that they be replaced (presumably they are bilingual because their supplier is based in the South and bid for the work). The Blether Region thinks this is silly, since a) they are manhole covers and, in the absence of merde de chien, commonly walked over and ignored, b) it would be difficult to remove the offending word without melting down and replacing the cover, and c) only a loopy colonial racist could possibly be offended at the presence of an additional language in an area to which it is native.

While a supposed concern for cost has been an integral part of the anti-Gaelic narrative purveyed by some politicians, the present case should surely dispel any doubt in that regard: whatever this nonsense is about, it is not about saving money.

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