A judge in England’s Coventry rejected the petition that the ‘In our hearts forever’ statement be placed in Irish only on a memorial stone of a native Irish woman
An English judge has refused to petition for a statement to be placed in Irish only on a memorial stone.
Judge Stephen Eyre, the Chancellor of the Coventry Diocese of England, rejected the petition that Margaret Keane, a native of Ireland, be commemorated with the statement ‘In our hearts forever’ in Irish only.
Judge Eyre said in the composition court ruling that there was a “danger” that the statement in Irish only would be accepted as “some kind of slogan” or “political statement”, because, in his view, “the passion and the feelings associated with the use of Irish ”.
A proud woman was an active member of the Gaelic Athletic Association throughout the life of Irish culture, the petition stated.
The Judge also said that only a small minority would understand the statement if it was in Irish only. It would not be “appropriate” to put such on the slab without an English translation in Coventry England, where English is spoken.
Judge Eyre said it would be “a whole other story” if he were to rule in the Republic of Ireland.
In the petition made by Margaret Keane’s daughter, Mrs. Newey, permission was sought to hang a Celtic cross, bearing the GAA crest, as a memorial. We wanted the phrase ‘In our hearts forever’ to appear on the flagstone in Irish only.
Mrs Newey said the Irish phrase was not a political statement but an important part of her parents’ heritage.
Margaret Keane was 73 years old when she died in July 2018.
Newey said that the Irish language had “symbolic value” and was “not just a means of communication”.
She also said that the statement in her mother’s mind would seem too complicated if an English translation were to be seen as well and it is not customary to translate Irish into memorial slabs.
The petition stated that St Giles Parish Council, in Coventry, had accepted the place of Margaret Keane’s request for a Celtic cross to be placed on the grave with the inscription in Irish only. Six people voted in favour of the petition, five opposed and seven abstained.
The application was refused by the Diocesan Advisory Committee because of the “projecting” of the cross over the other slabs in the cemetery, aforesaid.
Judge Eyre ruled that a Celtic cross and a GAA badge could be cut on the memorial table and that the Irish statement could be placed on the slab with an English translation ‘In our hearts forever’. The translation would be “in smaller print”.
The Green Party’s Irish-speaking and Irish-speaking spokesperson, Peter Kavanagh, is among those online who have made the story known.
There is no requirement for Spike Milligan's epitaph to be translated to English. In fact, the CofE Diocese of Chicester refused to accept his choice of "I told you I was ill" in English and the resulting "Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite" was a compromise.
— Peter Kavanagh (@TheKavOfficial) June 1, 2020
Coventry is arguably one of the most Irish cities in the UK, so there will be a decent number of people who will have some knowledge of Irish, and the remainder are highly unlikely to be offended!
— Paul Culloty (@PolyglotPaul) June 1, 2020