Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin will oppose Unionist anti-Irish agenda

4 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Assembly Chief Whip Carál Ní Chuilín MLA has said that her party will vigorously oppose a motion due for debate in the Assembly next Tuesday from UUP member David McNarry that attacks the right of Ministers to use Irish in their business and opposes the introduction of an Irish Language Act.

She said:

"The anti Irish language agenda being pursued by some Unionists in the Assembly is unacceptable. It flies in the face of the equality and human rights agendas which are an integral part of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Irish speakers have rights. The sooner David McNarry gets his head around that fact the better.

"The Good Friday Agreement created a responsibility on government departments to take resolute action to promote the Irish language including encouraging its use in public life. Mr McNarry's party supported the Agreement.

The Assembly rules actually allow Members to use the language of their choice. Despite this, it appears David McNarry and some other unionist politicians are determined to continue their negative campaign against the Irish language instead of focussing on the issues which will make a difference to everyone's lives.

"Sinn Féin will vigorously oppose this outrageous motion from David McNarry.

"We will do all in our power to oppose this motion and to defend the rights of Irish speakers. We would urge Irish language speakers and supporters of Irish language rights to come to Stormont on Tuesday to demand an end to the anti Irish language campaign being waged by David McNarry and some of his fellow unionists." Críoch

Note to editor

Below is the text of David McNarry' motion due for debate on Tuesday 9 October:

That this Assembly reaffirms its support for the recognition given to the Irish language and Ulster Scots culture through Foras na gaeilge and teh Boord o Ulste-Scotch, as an equitable framework for the expression of these linguistic and cultural traditions, objects to the proposal for an Irish Language Act, in light of these arrangements, and calls on the FM and DFM to request all members of the executive committee to recognise the sensitivities of using the Irish language by refraining from its use in the Assembly chamber, in committees and in written communication with MLAs.

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