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Cork Independent


Historic day for Ireland

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018 5:12pm

The first official sign language version of Amhrán na bhFiann was performed by a deaf choir on Tuesday in Leinster House.

The performance marked the launch of a report that introduced some new protocols in relation to the proper use of the anthem for all citizens.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, former Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: “When I came into office, I decided that I would write to all of the schools and ask them to have the students learn the national anthem for my visit, so we circulated our version of the national anthem, which was interesting because lots of different people had different versions.

“When I went to Bishopstown Community School, members of the deaf community weren’t able to participate because there wasn’t a version that accommodated for their needs," he said

Alain Newstead, a student of Bishopstown Community School Cork and a member of the deaf community, played an important role in bringing about the historic occasion when he approached the Seanad last year and proposed that a sign language version of the anthem should exist.

Cllr Fitzgerald concluded: “It was very moving, particularly for those involved because it was the first time it was ever done. It was a very proud moment. The National Anthem is a part of our national heritage and part of our culture.It was a very historical day for Ireland and the deaf community.”

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