DCAL and the Minister are failing to fully implement their obligations under the European Charter.
Sinn Féin MEP for the Six Counties Bairbre de Brún has blasted the Department of culture Arts and Leisure as well as Minister Gregory Campbell in relation to the implementation of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.
Speaking today Ms de Brún said,
"The refusal to bring forward an Irish Language Act is a breach of the European Charter which states:
'In determining their policy with regard to regional or minority languages, the parties shall take into consideration the needs and wishes expressed by the groups which use such languages.
There were two consultation exercises in which a majority of Irish Language groups called for the introduction of an Acht Gaeilge.
The Minister has stated that he is seeking parity between Ulster Scots and Irish. However the charter is explicit that there is a higher duty to promote Irish than Ulster Scots. For example Part II of the Charter (general principles and objectives to be pursued with respect to regional or minority languages) apply to Ulster Scots and the Irish Languages, whereas the specific provisions of Part III (measures to promote the use of regional or minority languages) apply only to Irish.
We in Sinn Féin will not stand for Irish being downgraded or held hostage to the whims and hostility of anti-Irish unionism."