Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has written to the Irish Minister responsible for promotion and protection of the Irish language, Gaeltacht Minister Deenihan urging him on behalf of Gaeilgoirí to ensure that the Irish government puts forward a robust case for the lifting of the EU derogation from affording the Irish Language full recognition in line with all of the other Official EU Languages.
Martina Anderson said:
“I have written to Minister Deenihan urging him to move as a matter of urgency to have this derogation lifted and have the Irish language take its rightful place among the Official Languages of the EU.
“The derogation allows for certain legal documents not to be translated into Irish. This is a discriminatory practice and should not be allowed to continue.
“This derogation, renewed in 2012, is due to expire at the end of 2016. A decision on whether or not to lift the derogation must be made by the end of 2015 therefore it is imperative that the Irish government move with the utmost urgency to ensure that it is lifted.
“I believe that if we are to avoid the regrettable situation where the derogation is extended to January 2022 and also to ensure we do not lose the momentum gained, we must be taking further decisive action now.
“One aspect I believe the Irish government could and should be pro-active on is that of the European Personnel and Selection Office (EPSO). The current EPSO competitions are incredibly rigid and designed to reduce the vast numbers of those applying for the ‘big’ languages such as French and German. Such a system is not appropriate when applied to minority indigenous languages such as Irish.
“Given that it is projected that the lifting of the EU derogation for the Irish language could create over 180 new jobs, it is crucially important that this issue is made a priority by the Irish government and immediate action taken to ensure that this derogation is not renewed in 2016."