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Young Polish Gaeilgeoir pens an impassioned letter to Stormont on respect for the Irish language

APPEAL: Martyna Borysowska with her primary seven classmates from Gaelscoil Éanna APPEAL: Martyna Borysowska with her primary seven classmates from Gaelscoil Éanna
By Conor McParland

A POLISH pupil from a Glengormley school has written a personal letter to the Stormont Executive, calling for an Irish Language Act.

Martyna Borysowska, a primary seven pupil at Gaelscoil Éanna, who speaks Irish, English and Polish, also called on Stormont to show respect to Irish and other languages.

Last month, DUP leader Arlene Foster said if there was to be an Irish Language Act, there should also be a Polish language act because more people speak Polish than Irish here.

“I am unhappy with the disrepect you are showing towards the Irish language,” she wrote. “My parents and I are from Poland, I speak three languages: Irish, English and Polish, but I feel that what you said about a Polish Language Act was wrong. I think we should show respect to Irish along with all other languages. I want an Irish Language Act. Ten years ago it was promised at the St Andrews Agreement that we would get one, but it never came. You think that because you don’t like the Irish language that we don’t need it. Irish is a central part of our lives and it always will be. I want to see signs in Irish on roads and public places, to be able to read and fill in forms in Irish and to have the same resources in libraries that children in English speaking schools have. When my class grows up we will be doctors, teachers, dentists and much more, we will be important and we will be Irish speakers, we will show respect to everyone around us and I want to see that respect shown to us now, because we are the future.”

Gaelscoil Éanna Principal, Maighréad Ní Chonghaile praised Martyna for her passion for the Irish language.

“The perspective of the child in terms of how she views the Irish langauge,herself as a fluent 11-year-old, and her future as a Gaeilgeoir in the context of the current climate, is very interesting. There is no doubt that the Irish language has been to the fore of discussion and debate in recent weeks amongst political parties and commentators in the run up to today’s vote. The language is not a political issue for us at school but it is the working language for us. Martyna simply wants recognition and respect for her use of the language now and into the future.”


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