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Housing Executive must show equality to Irish Language – Ó Donnghaile

17 September, 2009

Sinn Féin representative for east Belfast, Niall Ó Donnghaile has criticised the Housing Executive for showing clear inequality to Irish language speakers throughout the north.

Mr Ó Donnghaile’s comments come after he was contacted by a constituent and Housing Executive tenant after they received a leaflet from HE called ‘Housing Executive – Improving communication for all’.

Speaking today Mr Ó Donnghaile said;

“I am more than delighted to see the Housing Executive attempting to improve communication and information sharing with their tenants, I commend them for that. However I do note that several languages are contained in the ‘Improving communication’ document with the exception of Irish.

On further investigation I also discovered that the Housing Executive’s website is available in numerous languages, and rightly so, but not available in Irish.

Given the ever-growing amount of Irish speakers throughout the north and indeed the legal protection guaranteed to Irish and Irish speakers under current equality legislation, the European Charter and the Good Friday Agreement I find it amazing that while on one hand the HE are attempting to improve communication, they are overlooking 10% of the population who speak Gaeilge.

I will be writing to both the Housing Minister Margaret Ritchie and the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive Paddy McIntyre, urging them to rectify this problem as soon as possible and thereby allowing them to further improve communication with the Irish speaking population across the Six Counties.” CRÍOCH

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