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McCausland refuses to acknowledge Human Right obligations on Irish Language Act

30 September, 2010

Sinn Féin MLA and member of the Culture, Arts and Leisure committee Billy Leonard has indicated that Sinn Féin has requested a meeting with the Human Rights Commission with regards to Minister Nelson McCausland's assertion that the the opinion of the Human Rights Commission has no relevance in his refusal to bring forward an Irish Language Act.

Speaking today Mr Leonard said:

“Nelson McCausland, as Minster for Culture, Arts and Leisure is guilty of sticking his head in the sand when it comes to dealing with the rights and entitlements of the Irish Language community.

“Previous DUP Ministers refused to acknowledge the overwhelming response to a consultation process which called for the implementation of an Act. This Minister has constantly delayed bringing forward a language strategy that was in place of an act.

“Now, in his latest response, he refuses to acknowledge that his reasons for not introducing an Irish Language Act is not human rights complaint.

“This is the opinion f the Human Right Commission yet in response to a question tabled to the Minster his response stated that the HRC opinion has “no direct relevance to the introduction if an Irish Language Act”.

“The fact that the Irish Language communities rights are being infringed under European directives under the European Charter for Minority Languages would dictate otherwise.

“It is certainly our belief that the Minister cannot and should not ignore this opinion.  

“Sinn Féin have requested a meeting with Monica McWilliams to discuss this matter in order to pursue the Minister is his obligations”

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