Six months have elapsed since the Northern Ireland election, resulting in a rise of the Irish nationalists (Sinn Fein). During that period, the parties gathering most votes (unionist DUP and republican Sinn Féin) have not reached a compromise to form a shared government as set out by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The extensions accorded by London have bore no fruit so far, with two main gloomy threats nobody wishes looming by now over, i.e. new elections or London taking over devolution powers).
Two sticking points lie in the way to a consensus: the status of the Irish language and same-sex marriage. Sinn Féin demands an official Irish language, a point established on the 1998 Agreement, but unionist put forward a more general act lacking in substance. It is worth remembering that the pro-British political parties have shown contempt (and hate) towards the native language of Ireland. In late 2016, for instance, DUP member Paul Girvan attempted to strip a 50.000 pounds allowance off Irish learning pupils in order to hand them over to unionist organizations. Protest by Republicans managed to delay Girvan’s decision… With regard to same-sex marriage, DUP is equally putting all kind of obstacles to establish a regulation the matter.
The March 2017 election got DUP party a win, obtaining 28 seats in the regional parliament, with Sinn Féin ranking second and obtaining 27 seats. The vote earned SDLP Irish nationalists 12 seats, while UUP unionists managed 10, and the Alliance Party moderate unionists 8. The parliament therefore shows an intricate make-up.
NAZIOGINTZA regrets the present-day instable political situation; we would rather see a united and stable, Irish-speaking Ireland. On the other hand, we regard with satisfaction the position held by Sinn Féin in support of the Irish language. A nation’s language usually provides the main distinctive trait of a nation in all places, especially in Europe, where minorized and minority peoples need to stand up for our languages on the face of repressive states and the global trend of Americanization taking place throughout the world.