Foreign Tongues

Clare Champion, October 27, 2000

A chara,
I paid a visit recently to the newly opened Museum in Ennis - the Riches of Clare. The first thing that struck me as I went from display to display was the total absence of our native language on the wall panels and in its cabinets to describe the magnificent range of artefacts in this splendid museum.

Then there were the audiovisual units on which there was a choice of language - English, French, German but not Irish, on all but one. But when I had to press the Union Jack to choose a commentary for the Archaeology display, it was the last straw. "What did I expect" you ask, "English is our common language". Well I expected to see the flag of Ireland side by side with those of France, Germany and England and when I would press it I would hear a commentary in my own language. Am I not entitled to the same service as the foreigners? Are those of us from all over the country who speak Irish as our first language not of any importance, but the French and the Germans are? Do not the 41,000 people of Clare, who according to themselves in the last census declared to have a knowledge of Irish, deserve recognition? Does our native language not have a place in our new museum the 'Riches of Clare'?
Seoda an Chláir, tá siad ann ach nach í teanga ceann de na seoda is luachmhaire atá againn?

Noirín Bean Uí Cheallaigh,
Rae na gCiseach,
Cill Mháille,
Inis.

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