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Sinn Féin Oireachtas members to begin ‘Irish language rights trial’– Ó Clochartaigh

3 March, 2015

A number of Sinn Féin Oireachtas Members are to begin a ‘Triail Cearta Teanga’ or Irish language rights trial on Monday, in a bid to assess the ability of the Oireachtas to facilitate those who seek to exercise their Irish Language Rights. The Triail Cearta Teanga will also seek to support our party colleague Liadh Ní Riada as she seeks to win those same rights in the European Parliament.

TD’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Dessie Ellis and Peadar Tóibín as well as Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh will be using only Irish in all engagements with the Oireachtas next week, as part of a calendar of events in conjunction with Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“We wish to support Liadh’s language strike in protest against the derogation of the Irish language in Europe. We are also looking to assert our bilingual rights in the Dáil and the Seanad and we are choosing to use only Irish in a bid to see how well our language needs can be met.

"We are calling on the support services, staff and colleagues to support and join us in our efforts. We are asking all to use as much Irish as they can. We are also calling on the media not to tune out, but to make an effort for once to support parliamentarians who wish to do their business 'as Gaeilge' as opposed to ignoring us. 

“A majority of citizens believe that state services should be available in Irish, and a recent Millward Brown survey has supported this. However there are many obstructions to using state services in Irish in the Houses of the Oireachtas. There is only one committee room where simultaneous translation can take place for example. Legislation and explanatory memoranda are published in English only.  

“If you can’t fulfil duties at the heart of the stat e how are Irish language speakers and those from Gaeltacht areas expected or encouraged to engage with state services in their native tongue? Our official language is not supported in reality by institutions at the heart of Ireland and a series of actions by the current government undermining the Irish language has underscored this fact.

“Our Irish language rights trial will highlight how Irish language needs are not being met in Ireland as well as in Europe. Irish should not be continually given second class status.”

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