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Much work yet to do in promoting our language and culture – Ní Riada

24 January, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada today praised and congratulated the many thousands of members of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, as the traditional music organisation was presented with the prestigious European Citizen’s Prize.

 In closing remarks to those attending the presentation ceremony in the Brú Ború cultural centre in County Tipperary, Ní Riada spoke of the progress that still has to be made in defending and promoting our heritage, culture and language.

 Liadh Ní Riada said:

 “I want to congratulate each and every member of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. They have earned this prize with their tireless work in teaching our music and promoting our rich culture and heritage across the generations, through branches in every part of Ireland and further afield.”

 “Comhaltas is a grassroots, non-profit cultural movement that is embedded in communities throughout Ireland, which transfers the skills and knowledge of our music and culture, and inspires respect and pride in our traditions.”

 “There is a strength that we take from our cultural identity, from our language and our heritage. Our music, song, and dance are a central part of that cultural identity, and they tell a lot about our outlook, our experiences and our understandings as a people.”

 “It is clear, unfortunately, that we still have to defend and assert our culture and identity in the face of an establishment that is at best disinterested, and at worst downright hostile. This much is evident in the absolute dearth of interest and political will that our Government has with regard to our national language, to our arts and to our cultural life.”

 “There is still much work to be done in defending our cultural heritage and bringing about the Gaelic renaissance that Pearse dreamed of. Sinn Féin will continue to work for parity of esteem for Irish, for an Irish Language Act in the Six Counties, to support and fund our cultural organisations, and to stand against the retrograde attitude of this Government in relation to Irish.”

 “We will continue to teach, to create, to play and to speak, because we understand the nature of our strength and our self-reliance as a people. We will continue to live and promote our culture, and in spite of the Government if needs be.”

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