“Tá Seachtain na Gaeilge tagtha agus smaoinimid ag an am seo faoi fhéiniúlacht na tíre.”
Speaking in the Seanad this week during Seachtain na Gaeilge, Senator Rónán Mullen raised the issue of the national anthem and said that the teaching of Amhrán na bhFiann should form part of the curriculum at primary school level.
In a bi-lingual contribution, Senator Mullen referenced opinion polling which suggests that less than 50% of the public know the words of Amhrán na bhFiann yet over 80% hold the view that it should be taught in school. He also raised the fact that the teaching of the National Anthem could form part of an integrated curriculum as it involves music, Irish and history.
“We should cherish our National Anthem more and we should encourage its teaching as a part of the curriculum.”
Responding to those who suggested the language is too militaristic, Senator Mullen said:
“One doesn’t have to admire every aspect of of the lyrics to take a deeper and a broader view about its historical significance. It’s about seeing how language and music and song has the capacity to bring people together.”
He concluded that the Government should work towards having the National Anthem as part of the curriculum in the hope that in the future, surveys will show that many more children are familiar with the words of Amhrán na bhFiann.
See full text of the Seanad statements on this issue here