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Taoiseach confirms Government did not ask for full status for Irish language

6 July, 2004


Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has described as "disgraceful" the Taoiseach's confirmation during Questions in the Dáil today that the Irish Government had not sought full official and working status for the Irish language during its EU presidency.

In answer to a question from Deputy Ó Caoláin the Taoiseach said that the Government was still studying what form of further recognition for Irish to request from the EU. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"None of the EU member governments that the Taoiseach met repeatedly over the past six months has objected to full status for Irish.

"The Taoiseach has confirmed that the Government is looking for some non-existent halfway house. The Taoiseach must know that the procedure to be followed to achieve full working status is straightforward. The Government has to inform the Council of Ministers that the Irish Government wishes the Irish language to be an official working language of the European Union; it then has to request the European Commission to draft and put before the Council of Ministers the appropriate amendment to Regulation 1, 1958.

"The Taoiseach must realise that there is no half way house. Full status would be both a practical and a symbolic advance for the Irish language. He should accept the wishes of all parties in the Oireachtas and the overwhelming support for this proposal in the country, and act to make it happen."

Seasamh scanallach an Rialtais ar stadas

Dúirt Ceannaire Dála Shinn Féin Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin gur scanallach an rud é nár iarr an Rialtas ar an AE stadas iomlán a thabhairt don Ghaeilge le linn a uachtarántacht. D'admhaigh an Taoiseach sa Dáil inniu go raibh an Rialtas fós ag macnamh ar cén saghas stadas don Ghaeilge a iarrfadh siad ar an AE. Dúirt Ó Caoláin:

"Tá seasamh an Rialtais ar an gceist seo scanallach. Níl na ballstáit eile ag dul inár gcoinne do stadas iomlán, nó má tá níl sé ráite go hoscailte acu. Níl leath-bhealach idir stadas na Gaeilge mar atá sí faoi láthair agus stadas iomlán. Ba chóir don Taoiseach éisteacht le guth an phobail. Céim ar aghaidh don Ghaeilge sa tír seo agus san Eoraip a bheadh anseo. Ár bhféinmheas mar náisiún

atá i gceist. "

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