The independent London newspaper

The Church of England is discriminating against this Irish family

10 July, 2020

• I BELIEVE the Irish community in Islington are as horrified as I with the institutional racism shown by the Church of England, towards the grieving family of Margaret Keane.

Her family simply wanted to inscribe “In our hearts forever” in our native tongue on her gravestone.

The Chancellor of the Diocese of Coventry, a Coventry built by the Irish, has again refused their appeal, plus permission to appeal again, ruling that this phrase “could be a political statement” or a “slogan” and could not be allowed, untranslated, in “English speaking Coventry”!

Translations, however, are not required on the gravestones of other communities in the same churchyard.

The colonial stereotype of the Irish as violent villains whose very language reeks of insurrections and treachery has, in my opinion, influenced this discriminatory judgment against members of the largest BAME immigrant community in Britain, the six million-strong Irish.

The head of the Church of England is Queen Elizabeth II, whose family, William and Kate, have put great effort into building bridges with the Irish nation. This judgment, from the Queen’s own church, throws doubt on the sincerity of this bridge-building and disrespects the Good Friday Agreement.

The Race Relations and Equality Acts apply to all, not just those considered worthy, by representatives of a church who, as a power within the English and then the British parliament, lent this power, over the centuries, to the banning of our language, our schools and religion, the theft of our land and right to vote.

A simple form-filling exercise for any other community has, for this grieving Irish family, who are being treated as an underclass, been turned into a blatantly racist/sexist onslaught and has great ramifications for the Irish community in England.



Share this story

Post a comment