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Language commissioner's resignation is a damning indictment of Government's Irish language policy - Doherty

5 December, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty T.D. has said that the decision of the Irish Language Commissioner, Seán Ó Cuirreáin,to resign is a damning indictment the government’s policy on the Irish language.

The government's response to this resignation has been to refute the Commissioners' criticisms. That is typical of their attitude to the language. If the Ombudsman for Children resigned tomorrow citing government obstruction to her role it would rightly be considered a scandal.

The fact that the government has adopted a dismissive approach shows how little value they place on Irish.

Speaking during Leaders Questions today, Deputy Doherty said:

“Inné d’fhógair an Coimisinéir Teanga, Seán Ó Cuirreáin, go bhfuil sé ag éirí as a chuid dualgais i ndiaidh deich mbliain san phost.

“A Aire, seo an chéad uair ariamh, i stair an Stát seo, gur eirigh duine ag an leibhéal seo as a chuid cúraimí ar an dóigh seo.

“The announcement yesterday by the Language Commissioner that he could no longer continue in his role due to a lack of commitment from state organisations is a damning indictment of this Governments policy on the Irish language.

“Thug sé le fios go bhfuil trí ceathrú do na scéimeanna teanga atá ann le heagraíochta éagsúla stáit imithe in éag. Léirigh sé imní mhór faoi chaighdéan cuid mhaith eile acu.

“Deir sé go bhfuil eagla air go bhfuil oiread dochar déanta agus easpa muiníne sa chóras, nach féidir é a tharrtháil anois.

“Thug sé le tuiscint nach bhfuil iarracht mar is ceart dhá dhéanamh seirbhísí stáit i nGaeilge a chuir ar fáil do shaoránaigh na tíre.

“Theip ar pholasaithe earcaíochta sa státseirbhís le cinntiú go raibh dothain gaeilge ag oibrithe chun freastal ar an bpobal mar is ceart. D’athraigh sibh na rialacha agus dar leis, 'níl bealach ar bith go n-oibreoidh an chóras nua'.

“Ní fhaca sé, in imeacht 30 bliain, an oiread ísle brí agus lagmhisnigh.

“A Aire, An nglacann tu leis go bhfuil an ceart aige?

“A Aire,

“D’fhógair sibh athbhreithniú ar Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla dhá bhliain ó shoin agus níor tharla sin fós. Tá sibh le h-ísliú stádais a thabhairt don Choimisinéir tré comhnascadh le h-Oifig an Ombudsman.

“The Commissioner had to take the unprecedented step of resigning because this Government is totally undermining the work of his office, state organisations are ignoring their legal obligations and in two and a half years in office your Government has done untold damage to the provision of services and supports for Irish language speakers throughout the state?

“An aontaíonn tú gurb é seo an Rialtas is frith Ghaelaigh agus is measa don teanga a bhí againn ariamh? Agus, an aontaíonn tú go gcaithfidh sibh athrú treo a thabhairt i bhfianaise fógra scoir an Choimisinéir Teanga?”

ENDS

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