Sinn Féin MLA Rosie McCorley has called on public authorities to adopt bilingual policies as soon as possible.
The call comes in the wake of the very positive news that the use of Irish during Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Derry has led to an upsurge of interest in Irish language classes in the city.
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Irish language said:
“There is evidence that Irish language signage erected in Derry during the Fleadh, which brought 430,000 people to the city in August, helped generate interest in the language.”
“Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said most people would agree that the Fleadh Cheoil was the highlight of the year and the emphasis on Irish language through signage and events during the Fleadh has been reflected in an upsurge of interest in Irish classes throughout the town.”
Rosie McCorley is convinced that the visibility of Irish through signage in all forms plays a massive role in promoting interest in and use of Gaeilge.
‘The European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages directs public authorities to adopt bilingual policies and I am calling on them to fulfil their obligations under the Charter to ensure that the Irish language is visible in signage alongside English wherever that is possible,” said the West Belfast MLA.
“The Good Friday and St Andrews Agreements also require that the Irish language is promoted, enhanced and supported. Clearly by the adoption of bilingual signage policies this can help achieve those aims.”