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DUP discrimination against Irish-Medium Schools must be opposed

15 November, 2004

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA, Philip McGuigan, has said that the recent comments made by Ballymena DUP Councillor Roy Gillespie regarding the setting up of an Irish language primary school is another example of the party's blatantly sectarian attitude.

Mr McGuigan said:

"The setting up of Bunscoileanna and Naoiscoileanna in Ballymena is long overdue and would be a development that most people would gladly welcome.

"Cllr Gillespie's comments about the school being divisive have no foundation in reality but are a continuation of the DUP's policy of opposing equality. Most people will find Mr Gillespie's comments on creating division ironic given his party's appalling record on creating and maintaining division within Ballymena Council area.

"Bunscoileanna and Naoiscoileanna are non-denominational and have a proud record in offering school children an excellent education through the medium of Irish.

"Parents in Ballymena should be able to avail of that choice should they want to see their children benefit from all of the advantages of bilingualism.

"Ballymena is widely recognised as a core area for the development of an Irish-Medium pre-school and primary school. This being the case there is no reason why Ballymena Council should oppose this move. Roy Gillespie's opposition to both the GAA and the Irish Language Sector are based on an anti-Irish agenda. It is this that must be opposed and not Irish Medium Education." ENDS

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