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DUP approach to Irish Language must change – McElduff

22 June, 2009 - by Barry McElduff

Sinn Féin MLA for west Tyrone and chair of the Assembly’s Culture, Arts and Leisure committee, Barry McElduff, has this afternoon said that it is time for a new approach to the Irish Language from the Democratic Unionist Party.

Mr McElduff said;

“The track record of successive DUP Culture Ministers in relation to An Ghaeilge has, to date, been disgraceful. Their approach has been minimalist and often insulting.

“Edwin Poots and Gregory Campbell both failed in their obligations to bring forward a legislative basis for the promotion of the Irish Language based on respect, rights and entitlements.

“Edwin Poots ruled out an Irish Language Act early during his tenure despite it being a British Government St Andrews Agreement commitment. For months Gregory Campbell was committed to presenting DCAL’s promised ‘Languages Strategy’ to the committee; he put this off and was scheduled to meet with us this coming Thursday.

“We now need to see a willingness from him to accept his responsibilities in relation to the Irish language. I know it is a big ask but there is an opportunity for Minister McCausland to show that he has the ability to move beyond the narrow negative agenda of previous DUP Culture Ministers in relation to the Irish language, it’s speakers and their rights.”

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