Was It For This?


From top: St Giles Exhall, near Coventry, England; Part of a judgement banning a grave with an Irish language inscription at the church’s cemetery

Ah here.

Historian Dr Francis Young writes:

This is an absolutely extraordinary judgement from a Church of England consistory court, ruling that the Irish language cannot appear on a memorial on account of ‘the passions and feelings connected with the use of Irish Gaelic‘.

If the judgement had been based solely on concerns about comprehensibility for the majority of people in Coventry it might be defensible.

But the judgement not only rules against Irish on the grounds that it could be seen as a political statement, but proceeds on the *assumption* that the use of Irish must be a political statement unless the contrary can be shown (read the full judgement)

I am left open-mouthed at this apparent resurgence of old-fashioned anti-Irish prejudice, not only in a judicial tribunal, but in a judicial tribunal of the church. This is shocking

Full judgment here

Pic via St Giles

14 thoughts on “Was It For This?

  1. Cian

    …but they said it would be okay as long as the English translation was included.

    phew! Unclutches pearls.

  2. Kevin Higgins

    Seriously silly, given that there are headstone inscriptions which include many different languages on the graves of people from countries which once formed the ‘Empire’ in most Christian graveyards in the UK, countries in which without fail, British forces were guilty of crimes against humanity.

  3. scottser

    Pretty sensible, given that it’s an English church. All they are asking for is a translation; for all they know it could say ‘charger salmons is an insufferable twit’.

    1. H

      Which ‘had’ to be written in Irish to be included so that people wouldn’t understand it – go figure!

  4. Gabby

    In the Church of Ireland since Bedell translated the Bible into Irish there have been members who took a keen interest in Gaelic language matters. Perhaps some members of the C of I could approach the neighbouring C of E and tell them some things that might calm misgivings.

  5. The Old Boy

    I must say, I am very pleasantly surprised to see a report of Consistory Court proceedings on Broadsheet. The judgments are a delightful source of Church of England arcania and accounts of the colourful characters who wage war against hapless vicars and their fellow parishioners through the ecclesiastical courts.

    There was the case of the man who was ordered to remove a gravestone which he had erected without the necessary approval, and decided to do so by means of a sledgehammer in front of assembled members of the local press. Also of interest was the case of St Leonard Beoley, where the Court declined to allow the petitioners to disinter the supposed skull of William Shakespeare for DNA analysis. Or the case of Filey St Oswald, where a vicar was threatened by the family of a deceased man that they would “leave him on top” if he didn’t give them permission to bury their father in a churchyard which had been long closed by Order of Parliament due to lack of space. The Chancellor narrowly avoided ordering that the poor man be dug up and re-planted elsewhere.

    1. Tiny Tim

      Unless I missed something it does not say which language it should be translated into..Scots Gaelic, perhaps?

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