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Sinn Féin meets with Equality Commission on Irish Language

3 July, 2008 - by Cathal Ó hOisín, Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin meets with Equality Commission on Irish Language

A Sinn Féin delegation led by Bairbre de Brun MEP and Francie Brolly MLA, party spokesperson for the Irish language, met today with the Equality Commission to discuss their role in relation to the Irish language. The meeting looked at a wide range of issues for which the Equality Commission has responsibility and at the current level of protection and provision for Irish speakers within equality legislation. Speaking after the meeting Bairbre de Brún said :

'Equality for Irish speakers is one of the key concerns for constituents throughout the north of Ireland. Irish is part of the heritage of all and support for the rights of Irish speakers in no way diminishes the rights of others. Facilitating and enabling the use of Irish in everyday life will help promote good relations, a point we stressed with the Equality Commission this morning.

Francie Brolly MLA said :

'The way that the Irish language is treated in this society will be seen by the Irish language community and the community in general as a measure of how far we have come in relation to addressing the inequalities of the past.

"We welcome the acknowledgement of the Commission that current equality legislation does not provide adequate provision and protection for the Irish language. The Equality Commission acknowledged that equality provisions for the Irish language would be more appropriately provided for through specific legislation. I agree with those comments and call for the introduction of an Irish language Act to address the absence in current legislation of protection for the Irish language."


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