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Ó Cúiv urged to raise issue of Irish language North and South

14 February, 2008


Bairbre de Brún MEP has urged the Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cúiv to raise the issue of the Irish language North and South with the Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orban.

Ms de Brún was speaking before a ministerial conference on promoting multilingualism, which will be held in Brussels tomorrow (Friday 15 February), hosted by Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orban and aimed at making the ministers of member States aware of the broad impact of multilingualism on different spheres of our society. Minister ó Cuív will attend the conference with his fellow Ministers.

Ms de Brún said,

"I urge Minister Ó Cúiv to raise the issue of the Irish language with Commissioner Orban and with the other Ministers in attendance at the conference tomorrow.

"The Minister should inform Commissioner Orban that the Irish government demand that the Irish language, as an official working language of the European Union, be accomodated and used effectively.

"I would urge Minister Ó Cúiv also to raise the issue of rights for Irish speakers in the six counties and raise the demand for legislation.

"Táim ag iarraidh ar Ó Cuív ceist na Gaeilge a thógáil leis an Chomisinéir Orban agus leis na h-airí eile le linn na chomhdhála (thuasluaite) amárach.

"Iarraim air chuir in iúl don Choimisinéir Orban go bhfuil Rialtas na hÉireann ag éileamh cur i bhfeidhm éifeachtach don chinneadh stádas a thabhairt don Ghaeilge mar theanga oifigiúil agus oibre den AE.

"Iarraim air ceist cearta do Ghaeilgeoirí sna Sé Chontae a thógáil fosta agus an géarghá atá ann do reachtaíocht chun na cearta sin a chosaint.

"Some of those with greatest experience of promoting multilingualism will gather at this conference tomorrow. They will undoubtedly have advice on how to avoid crises such as the one facing our Irish language daily newspaper Lá Nua at present.

"This is an opportune event to give An Ghaeilge/Irish a platform in Europe and must not be missed.

"Minister Ó Cuív will undoubtedly also want to see how multilingualism in the wider sphere is promoted across Europe as Ireland is now home to a range of groups and communities with a wide range of mother tongues. The health of our society will be judged by our ability to accommodate the needs of these communities also." ENDS

Note to editor-

A ministerial conference on multilingualism will be held in Brussels on 15 February 2008. It will be co-chaired by Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orban and Minister for Education and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia Milan Zver.

The conference aims at making the ministers of member States aware of the broad impact of multilingualism on different spheres of our society, gather their proposals for promoting multilingualism at the European and national levels, and identify some areas for common action to promote multilingualism in the coming years.

Discussion will be preceded by three keynote speeches. Viscount Etienne Davignon, chairman of the Business Forum, will give a speech on Languages mean business, Amin Maalouf, chairman of the Group of Intellectuals for Intercultural Dialogue a speech on Languages in the dialogue of cultures, and Dr. Marko Stabej, Professor of Linguistics at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, a speech on Living in a country with many tongues.

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