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Sinn Féin welcome BBC apology on the Irish language

18 June, 2009 - by Cathal Ó hOisín

Sinn Fein MLA and Irish language spokesperson, Francie Brolly has welcomed the apology from the BBC with regards to coverage of Bairbre de Brún’s acceptance speech in Irish following her election to the European parliament

Speaking today Mr Brolly said:

“I welcome the BBC’s apology in relation to the interference in the broadcasting of the Irish language section of Bairbre de Brún’s acceptance speech after she was re-elected to the European parliament.

“As Ms de Brún began her speech in Irish a BBC reporter commented that he would continue to talk over it, showing a complete disregard for the Irish language audience and the wider Irish speaking community as a whole.

“The Irish language is protected under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages and therefore the BBC, as a public authority, has a duty to ensure that there is adequate coverage and respect for the language. The continued commentary was completely unacceptable.

“Following numerous complaints from listeners the BBC has apologised stating that the reporters remarks and interjections were “inappropriate” and that they “apologise for any offence caused. I welcome this move and also the fact that the BBC has stated that this instance was not in line with their editorial policy.

“The Irish language is thriving and open to all, with over 65 Irish language schools in the six counties and with almost 4000 children attending. The rights of these children and all Irish speakers must be protected by the BBC.”

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