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Increase in language students comes as no surprise – Sinn Fein

12 February, 2009

Commenting on reports carried in the media today that the number of children learning Irish or through Irish at school comes as no surprise according to Sinn Fein education spokesperson John O'Dowd MLA.

Speaking this afternoon Mr O'Dowd said,

"These statistics, obtained by the BBC, indicate that the amount of children learning either Irish or in Irish has increased from 484 in 1991 to 3285 in 2008.

"As well as this the number of children in other Celtic nations, such as Scotland and Wales are increasingly learning their own languages as well.

"More and more parents are recognising the benefits of a bi-lingual education and that is a positive thing.

"The reports quotes Professor Colin Baxter as saying that the brain is stimulated more with two languages than with one.

"It is fitting therefore, that we have an Education Minister here in the North, herself a Gaelgóir, who is committed to raising the standard of linguistics throughout our education system. That is why Cáitríona Ruane has introduced the option of learning Irish or Spanish at school." CRÍOCH

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