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Ó Donnghaile says ‘it’s good to talk’ in Irish or English

8 February, 2014

"A chomradaí is é Sinn Fhéin an taon pháirtí ar an oilean atá go hiomlán tiomanta fa chúrsaí Gaeilge fud fad na tíre. Is é muidinne a bhrú chun tosaigh athbheocháin an teanga sna Sé Chontae le breis is tríocha bhliain anuas. Ag achan léibheál de pobal labhartha na Gaeilge na Poblachtanaigh agus gníomhaithe an pháirtí seo lonnaithe.

In achan institiúid tofa sa tír, tá an phairtí ag brú chun tosaigh cearta na nGael.

Níl sampla ar bith níos fearr de seo, na obair an Aire Cultúr ó Thuaidh Carál Ní Chuilín. Faoi ceannasaíocht s’aici tá an teanga ag dul ó neart go neart.

The recent review by Foras na Gaeilge into core-funded organisations has been completed; it was acknowledged by the vast majority of Irish language groups across the country that change was needed.

Be under no illusions, the Irish language faces challenges.

We cannot loose sight of the continued ignorant, bigoted approach of the Unionist parties in the north to the language. Nor can we loose sight of, or allow to continue, the fierce attacks on the Irish language by the government in the South. The Irish speaking community know this and there is no greater example than the principled stand taken by an Comisinéir Teanga to resign his position because the government continues to attack our richest and most precious asset, ár dteanga!

Sinn Féin, following consultation with language organisations, submitted our own input to the review. We agree with the grassroots organisations and want to see real change and proper delivery of services. That is why it is vital to lay the ground for the work that lies ahead, the work of achieving an Acht na Gaeilge for example.

We are determined to develop and promote the Irish language in all aspects of life here, making it accessible and available to all of our people, regardless of the background they come from. What better example of this than Carál’s Líofa 2015 initiative.

It’s at this point, from this Ard Fheis, I want to address Ard-Mhaistir an tOrd Oráisteach i mBéal Feirste, George Chittick; George, whether it’s in English or in Irish, just remember a chara, “it’s good to talk”.

A chomradaí, tá dualgais orainne fosta, caithfidh an pháirtí seo an teanga a fhorbairt agus a chuir chun tosaigh inár noibre. This party has to meet its commitments and activists have to wake-up to the fact that the language is not the responsibility of a few but the responsibility of every, single member to learn it and speak it.

To be Parochial, I’m proud of the record of Belfast City Council in relation to this work. Under our watch Sinn Féin has ensured an investment of £250,000 into the new Spórtlann at Coláiste Feirste, £117,000 into the redevelopment of An Cumann Chluain Ard, £50,000 into Slí na Gaeltachta; we are working on the development of a dedicated Irish language policy for Council and progressing the appointment of an Irish language officer. We have begun Irish language tours of the building, secured Irish language art pieces erected in City Hall; we have secured unprecedented levels of Irish language street signs throughout the city and are committed to ensure this process is made easier for citizens. These are only some examples of the work ongoing at the City Hall.

Mar a deireann an tSeanfhocal, “Is de réir a chéile a thógtar na caisleáin”.

This is happening the parallel with unprecedented investment in Irish language capital projects funded by an Ciste Infhéistíochta - another achievement for the language secured by our party president Gerry Adams.

Sinn Féin is leading the change. Sinn Féin is part and parcel of the Irish language movement, we are committed and we will ensure real rights and real equality for all Irish speakers, of all backgrounds and of all faiths and none.

Oh and I haven’t even mentioned what John O’Dowd has done for Gaeloideachas.

Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Go raibh maith agaibh."

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