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Poots must break the deadlock on Irish language development - Brolly MLA

30 January, 2008 - by Cathal Ó hOisín


Sinn Féin Irish language spokesperson Francie Brolly MLA, speaking prior to a Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee meeting with Edwin Poots on a strategy for the Irish language, has said that language rights must be protected by the Culture Minister.

Mr Brolly,

"At the St Andrews negotiations a promise from the British government was secured that an Irish language Act will be implemented in the Six Counties through the Assembly and through Minister Poot's department.

"However the Minister's statement of October has caused great consternation and confusion to Irish speakers and many others.

"His lack of vision on the Irish language does not reflect well for a Culture Minister.

"His fudging of the issue of sustainability for the Irish language broadcast fund is also disappointing.

"Notwithstanding, between now and the implementation of the Irish language Act it is our firm belief that the 'Culture' Minister must be mindful of the following points in any approach or strategy for the language.

"Sinn Féin believe that rights are at the heart of any strategy for Irish. That a commissioner is appointed to oversee the development of the language and that public bodies and governments provide services in Irish.

"Also that Edwin Poots reminds himself that he is the Minister for Culture and the language is the greatest jewel in his crown.

"Sinn Féin have championed Irish language rights above and beyond any other party and shall continue to do so. I shall be handing Minister Poots a document and believe, if implemented, this holds the key to break the impasse on the Irish language development and breaks the impasse on his lack of vision." Críoch

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