English language lessons for immigrants

  • 17 September 2007
  • test

The more I think about it the more I believe that the latest proposal from Minister for Integration, Conor Lenihan (that of introducing an English-language requirement in the granting of work or residency permits and citizenship applications) are ill-considered.


I just don't feel that a policy of 'let's be mean to immigrants' works in an Irish context.
The only reason why Ireland is an English-speaking country today is because, beginning about the 16th century, successive waves of foreign hordes came and took up residency, many of them having entered the country illegally it must be said!

And despite the best efforts of the native Irish to put obstacles in their way it would seem that they survived and prospered. Not only did they not integrate with the Irish society that existed on their arrival, it was in fact that we, the Irish, who adopted more and more of their ways until today we find ourselves speaking their language! The same language that Conor Lenihan loves so much. And now we have people like Conor steadfast and willing to preserve the conquest.