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Committee chairperson requests formal meeting with Culture Minister

15 October, 2007

Responding to news that the Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure Edwin Poots is to make an announcement regarding the forthcoming Irish language Act, Sinn Fein Culture committee chairperson Barry Mc Elduff has requested a formal meeting with the Minister as a matter of urgency.

He said,

'There are a number of questions to be answered today.

"As Committee Chairperson I believe Edwin Poots should meet with me today and discuss his proposed statement tomorrow.

"The revival of the Irish language has been our country's cultural success story. More and more people are using Irish. Young children in particular are being educated in increasing numbers through the medium of Irish and it is their future and their rights that must be secured through legislation.

"The assembly and Minister Poots must make provisions for those Irish speaking children and all Irish speakers in general. I urge Minister Poots to copper fasten without delay the agreement made at St Andrews instead of using the rumour mill.

"It is essential that Irish speakers are granted the following basic demands -

  • That rights are at the heart of the legislation;
  • That adequate resources are provided to implement the Act;
  • That the proposed commissioner shall have the power, staff and resources to oversee the Act.

"The Irish language is not the property of one section of our people. It belongs to everyone.

"I am urging Minister Poots to be long-sighted in this matter. He is in a unique position to show mature leadership. The Irish language threatens no one. It is not compulsory. Irish language rights threaten no one.

"I look forward to meeting the Minister." CRÍOCH

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