Sinn Féin MLA and spokesperson on the Irish Language, Rosie McCorley, has stated that the Council for Europe report highlights very clearly Unionist intransigence to advancing the Irish Language.
Speaking today Ms McCorley said:
“The Council for Europe report is saying what we already knew. Unionist politicians refuse to accept the rights and needs of the Irish language community.
“The failure to agree a submission to the Council on both Irish and Ulster Scots provision clearly lies with the DUP. This will not come as a surprise to anybody.
“This is an equality issue. Nobody has anything to fear from equality. The DCAL minister continues to promote both Irish and Ulster Scots yet political leadership within unionism continually attempts to denigrate the Irish language.
“Such backward looking perspectives merely demonstrate that those parties are completely out of step with most of the community.
“People from all sections of the community are availing of Irish Language classes, Irish is becoming ever more prevalent in our councils, streets, businesses and elsewhere, ever more pupils are attending Irish medium education and over 5,000 people have registered for the Líofa programme.
“The north of Ireland is the only place on these islands that does not have legislation protecting its minority languages.
“Co-operation with the Council for Europe should now be increased and the recommendations contained within this report be acted upon by the entire Executive.
“There is an absolute requirement for an Irish Language Act to be introduced in the north at the earliest opportunity.”