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Gerry Adams to Meet Minister Ó Cuiv on Irish Language Act

13 December, 2007

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP MLA will lead a party delegation, including Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Francie Brolly MLA to meet with the Gaeltacht Minister Éamon Ó Cuiv in Dublin today.

 Mr. Adams said:


“We will raise the need to provide resources for the development of cultural centres throughout the state as outlined in proposals to develop urban Gaeltachtaí. I am hopeful the Minister has made some progress on these matters. We will also discuss the need for a Language Act in the north.


“Within the letter and spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and specifically the St Andrews’ agreement there is a clear commitment to the ‘introduction of an Irish Language Act reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland and work with the incoming Executive to work to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language in the north’

 "In October the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Edwin Poots ruled out the
introduction of an Irish Language Act for the north, despite commitments to the St Andrews’ Agreement from all parties, including the DUP and the British and Irish governments.

"As a result of this decision by Minster Poots, the Irish government has a central role to play the securing the enactment of the Irish Language Act in the north.


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

-  Irish language rights at the heart of the legislation
 - adequate resources
 - a Commissioner with the power, staff and resources to oversee the Act


"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.


“In total, 65 Naíscoileanna, Bunscoileanna and Meánscoileanna currently provide Irish-Medium education to 3,228 children as demand from parent’s increases; it is their future and their rights that must be secured through this legislation.


“The Irish language is part of the cultural heritage of us all. It adds its own special thread to the rich tapestry of world cultures that enriches all our lives. It has been spoken on this Island in an unbroken historical line for 2000 years.


“The Irish language and its accompanying rights threaten no one. Nor is it the property of any one section of our people. It belongs to everyone.


“Irish speakers have rights and entitlements, and these must be respected in the introduction of an Irish Language Act. Sinn Fein will do everything in it’s power to protect the rights of this community” Críoch


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