Democratic Unionist Party politician Gregory Campbell has been informed by police in Northern Ireland that credible death threats have been made against his life after he mocked an Irish phrase in Stormont. Mr. Campbell, cialis who is an MP and an MLA for East Derry, ask was informed of the threat on Monday morning. It is understood that Campbell’s attempts to goad Irish speakers was the cause of his current situation.

 

Earlier this month, online Campbell uttered “Curry my yoghurt, can coca coalyer”, in an attempt to mock the expression “Go raibh maith agat, ceann Comhairle”, that is used by Republican politicians to show thanks to the Speaker of the house for giving them speaking time. The comment received widespread criticism for causing offense to the nationalist community, and Campbell was banned from speaking for a day for refusing to apologise for comments the Speaker noted were “well short of standards expected from MLAs”. However Campbell insisted that his remarks were not bigoted, and that he was simply mocking the Sinn Féin party’s attempts to politicise the language. “Why do they feel on every occasion, on every topic, that they have to start in Irish?” he remarked on the Nolan Show, “That’s why I did what I did… My tolerance gets stretched beyond any credibility when I hear Irish ad nauseam on hundreds of occasions for no purpose other than a political one”.

 

The story probably would have ended if Mr. Campbell had stopped there, but the MLA decided to push the envelope again at the DUP conference in Belfast, where he held aloft a tub of yoghurt and made reference to having some curry with it for lunch later. In a part of the island that is still marred by extreme sectarian tensions, it is not surprising to note that many of his DUP party colleagues applauded the gesture, which was criticised in many corners as further proof that the Unionist movement seek to alienate the nationalist community and the language and culture they identify with. That Mr. Campbell is receiving the threats could well be the result of the increasing polarisation of Northern Irish politics and proof that wider reforms need to be made to bring the gap between the Loyalist and Republican communities.

 

Campbell has condemned the threats and reiterated his commitment to expose the politicisation of the Irish language, and what he argues are the unrealistic demands for the state to promote it. The PSNI, Northern Ireland’s police force, have stated that they “do not comment on specific threats, however if we receive information that an individual may need to review their security we will take steps to inform them immediately”.

Diarmuid Burke