New British SoS must hear directly from Irish speakers - Ó Donnghaile
Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has called on Tánaiste Simon Coveney to bring pressure to bear on new British Secretary of State Karen Bradley to meet Irish language organisations on the clear community demand for an Irish Language Act; something her predecessor James Brokenshire refused to do.
Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:
"There is a clear community demand for a rights based, standalone Irish Language Act.
"The British Government committed to it's introduction in the St Andrews Agreement ten years ago. A lack of respect for the Irish national identity and those who live their lives through the medium of Irish is one of the central components at the heart of the current political impasse.
"An Tánaiste Simon Coveney has stated that he will meet Karen Bradley on Friday, he should encourage her to do what her predecessor James Brokenshire refused to do and meet with representative organisations from the Irish language sector to discuss the demand and outstanding commitment for legislative equality and protections for Irish speakers here, similar to those in place in Scotland, Wales and the rest of Ireland.
"As a former Culture Minister Karen Bradley should understand and appreciate the economic, societal and cultural benefits multilingualism and diversity brings to any society. She should begin her term here by affording courtesy to this large section of the community here and Minister Coveney should be encouraging her to do so immediately."