Ní Chuilín – We will resource Irish Language Act
Culture and language Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has rejected comments made that she will not resource an Irish Language Act.
The Minister said: "It is premature to state there is no money for the Irish language. It also does not capture all of the actions and the passion with which I am pursuing promoting the Irish language. To me this is not simply about a piece of legislation. It is about challenging and changing how we perceive the Irish language.
"Presently officials in my department are working to determine the scope of the draft bill and this includes likely implementation costs. Until that preparatory work is completed I am not in a position to comment on implementation costs - therefore to say that there is no cash for a law on Irish language is not correct.
"In these times of financial austerity we are all thinking about how and where we spend our money, and I am carefully considering how we can take forward this bill with the best use of available resources - but please make no mistake I am taking this forward.
"I am committed to giving the Irish language its rightful place in our society as a shared language which is very much part of our rich heritage and culture. Scots Gaelic and Welsh have been protected in legislation and I want to see the Irish language afforded the same status. "
The Minister went on to provide an update on Liofa 2015 - a campaign to promote fluency in the Irish language she launched on 5 September.
"Becoming an Irish language champion is not just about the legislation. It is also about spreading the message that Irish is a shared language and can be enjoyed by everyone. Liofa has been endorsed by people from all walks of life. This change is potentially as powerful as a new law as we are seeking to change mindsets. I make no apology that Liofa has cost just over £2,370 - it has since its launch in less than 100 days seen 790 sign on to be Liofa.There is more to come, next week I will be launching a new Liofa rural roadshow offering communities across the North of Ireland the chance to engage with the Irish language. "