1 JANUARY 1965, Page 13

Native Language

SIR,—Why did not Domhnall Mac Amhlaigh write in English? demands Frank O'Connor (let's be sociable and call him Mickey Donovan from Cork, who spoils our Christmases on .Telcfis Eireann with

his exhibitions of egomania). Well, as one who knew Domhnall and his family, I can answer his surly query. He writes in Irish because it is his native language, the language spoken by his family and in his home, and very probably that spoken' by his ancestors. He has no duty to Anglo-Irish literary gents to write in their language. But one can say that in both his writing and his person, he shows far better manners than they, and it is ignorant small-town bourgeois snobbery to insult him about wielding a pick and shovel rather than to review his very pleasant and honest little book in an ob- jective manner.


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