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Nelson McCausland has clearly no intention whatsoever of bringing forward a viable language strategy

1 July, 2010 - by Barry McElduff

Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff, who is the chair of the Culture, Arts and Leisure committee at Stormont has stated that, in his opinion, the appearance of the CAL Minister Nelson McCausland in front of the Committee today was a waste of the Committees time as it is now apparent that Nelson McCausland has no intention of bringing forward a language strategy.

Speaking today Mr McElduff said:

“The Culture Minister Nelson McCaulsand may as well have stuck his head in the door and said hello for all the substance he brought to today's session of the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee.

“One thing is very obvious, and lets be clear about it, Nelson McCausland has no intention of bringing forward a language strategy for the promotion of Irish despite his obligation to do so under the St Andrews and Hillsborough agreements.

“There is now a delay of three years since his predecessor Edwin Poots said he wasn’t bringing forward Irish language legislation and would be drawing up a strategy instead and bringing it to the Executive.

“Since taking office the current Minster has used countless smokescreens, excuses and his personal notion of achieving parity between Irish and Ulster Scots which will, according to the European Committee of Experts on languages (COMEX) do nothing in the promotion and advancement of either language.

“The Human Rights Commission has also expressed serious concerns at the Ministers approach.

“In the latest round of excuses brought to the committee on the last day f this Assembly’s session was that the Department of Education and the Broadcasting sector are holding the strategy up. This is a nonsense which members of the committee rightly cut through.

“The Minister needs to stop the spurious and time-wasting arguments and get on with bringing forward a viable and realistic strategy instead of imposing his own narrow ideological stance on the policy and practice of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.”

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