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DUP belligerence will not halt Irish language campaign in EU - de Brún

30 July, 2004


Sinn Féin MEP for the Six Counties Bairbre de Brún, has today said that 'DUP belligerence towards the Irish language will not deter the campaign to have Irish recognised as a full official working language of the EU'.

Ms de Brún was responding to comments made by the DUP's Jim Allister MEP, who said that to make Irish an official language within the EU would be a 'waste of taxpayers money'.

Speaking today, Ms de Brún said:

"I am not surprised by Jim Allister's latest outburst on the status of the Irish language within the EU. The DUP have been consistently opposed to the principle of equality in all sectors of Irish society. DUP belligerence toward the Irish language will not deter those campaigning to have Irish recognised as a full official working language of the EU.

"This is about equality. Irish language activists and speakers have tirelessly lobbied to ensure that the Irish language will no longer be treated as a second-class language, either within the EU institutions or in Ireland. Mr Allister should understand that equality threatens no one.

"I welcome the current efforts by the Irish Government to seek the full official recognition of the Irish language within the EU. Sinn Féin MEPs are ready to assist those working toward this goal." ENDS

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