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Sinn Fein launches Irish language proposals at Fine Gael HQ

15 February, 2011 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking this morning after launching Sinn Féin’s Irish language Proposals outside the Fine Gael party’s Head Quarters in Dublin, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty said they had chosen Fine Gael’s offices as a sign of protest at their plans to reduce the status of the Irish language for second level students.

He said:

“In contrast to Fine Gael, Sinn Féin is committed to the protection and restoration of the Irish language. Rather than taking measures that will contribute to the dissolution of Irish, we believe the state should in fact be taking constructive steps to strengthen, support and encourage its growth.

“Unlike Fine Gael’s proposal to de- prioritise Irish by removing it from the second level education system as compulsory, we in Sinn Féin commit ourselves 100% to its promotion.

“We have today launched a list of proposals which we believe if implemented, would further protect the Irish language. One among many of those proposed is that there should be an Aire Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta in Cabinet with responsibility to deliver on the 20 year strategy.

“Equality is an integral part of a democratic society and this, as we have stated in our party’s manifesto, includes upholding the rights of Irish language speakers.

“We believe that the future of the Irish language depends upon the continuing existence of sustainable Gaeltacht communities where Irish remains the primary language of the community. These communities must be protected, supported and developed. That is why we advocate proper resourcing into the education system and are promoting the right to be educated through the Irish language.

“We also believe the right to education through Irish should be constitutionally and legally enshrined as one of the primary steps in protecting its existence for generations to come.”


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