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Language funding highlights Poots’ flawed approach

12 February, 2008

Sinn Fein Language Spokesperson, Francie Brolly MLA has said that spending on any language project has to be welcomed but also warned that the flaws in the approach of Culture Minister Edwin Poots will be further exposed if he proceeds with plans to spend more on the Ulster Scots than on the Irish language.

Mr Brolly said:

"The facts are straightforward. There is a thriving Irish language sector and over 4,000 children currently going through Irish Medium Education. This community will not be treated as second class by Edwin Poots or anyone else.

"All expenditure by the Executive is now subject to equality scrutiny through the Equality Impact Assessment process. If Edwin Poots thinks that the Irish language community are going to stand by and let him drive a coach and horses through his obligations to support Irish then he is sorely mistaken.

"There are a number of key issues of concern to Irish language speakers in the north. These issues include; Acht na Gaelge; the future of the Ceathrú Gaeltachta; Irish medium education; vocational training; Radio Failte and the Irish Language Broadcast fund; bi-lingual signage, and Lá Nua.

"Sinn Féin's strategy in the Executive and in the Assembly includes working to ensure that all government policies and actions are equality proofed using section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act and the Equality Impact Assessment mechanism. These are now part of the legal framework - they are law.

"This means that government policy and the money it spends are being scrutinized to ensure that they are applied and used in the best interests of all citizens." ENDS

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