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Bereaved families left ‘hurt’ by Irish cemetery signage

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Bereaved families left ‘hurt’ by Irish cemetery signage thumbnail

PROTESTANTS with loved ones buried at Forthill Cemetery in Cookstown are being "hurt" and "offended" by the introduction of an Irish language sign at the entrance to the graveyard.
Cookstown UUP Councillor Trevor Wilson says he has been contacted by numerous different people who are "deeply annoyed" by the erection of the sign.
The nationalist-controlled Mid-Ulster District Council recently voted to introduce dual language signage, with Irish placed above English, at various Council facilities throughout the district, including leisure facilities and civic amenity sites.
And Cllr Wilson says it seems Sinn Fein and the SDLP are "intent" on "offending, hurting and angering" people.
Cllr Wilson said: "Many Protestants feel this is a deliberate attempt by SF/SDLP to force Irish on a community they know has very little or no interest in it.
"They know that this will offend, that it will hurt, that it will anger many people, yet this is what they seem intent on doing. SF/SDLP voted to have Irish languages signs on all Council property without any thought or concern for other communities. Why did they do this? Because they could!"
And Councillor Wilson says that the "promotion of Irish is set to escalate throughout Mid-Ulster".
He said: "Sensitivity to the Unionist population does not feature in the mindset of Republican and Nationalist Councillors in Mid-Ulster Council. Of what advantage is Irish Language signage at the cemetery entrance? Absolutely none!
"They care not one jot who they offend or hurt and I can assure you the promotion of Irish Language in this way is set to escalate throughout Mid Ulster.
"Of course, there is no reason to fear a language. However, when it is used as a political weapon, knowing that it will hurt and offend at least one section of the community and heighten tension, then the motive behind the decision to erect Irish Language signage on all council property is questionable and the issue of community relations seems to be of limited importance."

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