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Government should follow Welsh example on language rights – Senator Ó Clochartaigh

13 May, 2015


Leagan Gaeilge thíos

The government should follow the Welsh example in relation to best practice on delivering language rights for citizens, according to Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

He made his comments after visiting the Welsh Assembly and after meeting the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Sinn Féin’s Irish Language and Gaeltacht spokesperson says:

‘Wales has less of a population than Ireland and their economic situation is equally precarious, but it is quite clear that their commitment to their national language far outstrips that of the Irish government.

‘I visited the ‘Senedd’, as the Welsh Parliament is known yesterday as part of my responsibilities as an Oireachtas member. Welsh could be seen and heard in all aspects of the Assembly’s work. Everyone providing frontline services must be bilingual and all publications and signage are fully bilingual as well.

‘Welsh is regularly used in the institutions and everyday work of the parliament, with translation facilities available for everyone, even the guests in the public gallery.

‘Bilingual translations of all proceedings are done by staff, even what is said in English in the debates and it is available in Welsh in all official reports the next day.   

‘The committees also have the same level of support – without question, without advance notice and that is how it should be. I am constantly impeded from using my native tongue in Oireachtas Committees.

‘Welsh Assembly members and staff could not believe that we do not have the same level of language supports in the Houses of the Oireachtas in Ireland and that our system is inferior by far

‘The Welsh Language Commissioner is also having great success in ensuring language legislation is properly implemented, because the government and state agencies give a much greater priority to implementing language equality there as well.

‘It helps of course that she has a far greater staffing complement than our Language Commissioner. Meri Huws has 47 staff members across three departments in her office, in comparison to five full time equivalents for our Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill. This, she maintains, allows her to have a much more proactive role in promoting best practice in Welsh language policies rather than merely implementing language policing.

‘The Irish government needs to step up to the plate and deliver proper language rights for citizens. They could do worse than follow the Welsh language model. But firstly they must support fundamental language rights for citizens and then allow for proper staffing and resourcing of State Agencies to allow them properly implement the Official Languages Act and provide appropriate services in Irish for the general public.

‘The government in Westminster should also give the same support and rights to Irish speakers in the north as they do to Welsh speakers in Wales.'

Ba chóir don Rialtas sampla na Breataine Bige i leith cearta teanga a leanúint – Ó Clochartaigh

Ba chóir don rialtas sampla na Breataine Bige a leanúint mar dheachleachtais ó thaobh seirbhísí i nGaeilge a chuir ar fáil don phobal, dar leis an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Dúirt sé an méid seo tar éis dó cuairt a thabhairt ar Chomhthionóil na Breataine Bige agus i ndiaidh plé a dhéanamh ar chearta teanga le Coimisinéir Teanga na tíre sin.

Deir urlabhraí Gaeilge & Gaeltachta Shinn Féin:

‘Tá daonra na Breataine Bige níos lú ná daonra na tíre seo agus cúrsaí eacnamaíochta lag go leor ann, ach is léir go bhfuil tiomantas an stáit dá dteanga náisiúnta i bhfad níos treise ná atá in Éirinn.

‘Thug mé cuairt ar ‘Senedd’, nó Parlaimint na Breataine Bige ansin inné mar chuid de mo chuid dualgais mar bhall Oireachtais. Bhí Breatnais le cloisteáil i chuile ghné d’obair an Chomhthionóil. Tá Breatnais ag gach duine atá ag déileáil le seirbhísí túslíne don phobal ann, foilseacháin agus seirbhísí le fáil ann go h-iomlán dhátheangach.

‘Úsáidtear Breatnais go rialta in institiúid agus gnáth obair na Parlaiminte agus córas athghuthaithe ar fáil do gach duine, an pobal féachana sa ngailearaí chomh maith.

‘Déantar leagan dhátheangach do na taifid ar fad, cáipéisíocht agus eile, fiú an méid a deirtear i mBéarla sna díospóireachtaí bíonn sé le fáil i mBreatnais sna tuairiscí oifigiúla ar fad lá arna mhárach.

‘Bíonn na seirbhísí céanna ar fáil sna coistí - gan cheist, gan choinníoll chomh maith. Agus is mar sin is cóir dó a bheith. Cuirtear bac ormsa labhairt i nGaeilge sna comhchoistí Oireachtais an chuid is mó den am.

‘Níor chreid feisirí Parlaiminte na Breataine Bige, ná foireann an comhthionóil nach raibh an tsoláthar céanna againne i dTithe an Oireachtais is atá acu féin, ach córas i bhfad níos bunúsaí.

‘Tá ag éirí go h-an-mhaith le Coimisinéir Teanga na Breataine Bige an reachtaíocht teanga a chuir i bhfeidhm ansin chomh maith, de bharr go bhfuil tosaíocht i bhfad níos treise ag an Rialtas agus na h-áisíneachtaí stáit ansin dá dualgais comhionannas teanga tré chéile.

‘Cuidíonn sé freisin go bhfuil i bhfad níos mó d’fhoireann aici ná atá tugtha do Choimisinéir Teanga s’againn féin. Tá 47 duine ag Meri Huws, trasna trí rannóg ina h-oifig, i gcomparáid le cúigear ag Rónán Ó Domhnaill. Rud dar léi, a chuidíonn chun deáchleachtas polasaithe Breatnaise a spreagadh seachas an iomarca béime a bheith ar phóilíneacht teanga.

‘Caithfidh Rialtas na hÉireann aghaidh dáiríre a thabhairt ar chearta teanga na saoránach. B’fhiú dóibh sampla na Breataine Bige a leanúint mar eiseamláir. Ach, i dtosach báire caithfidh siad seasamh le cearta reachtúla, treoir a thabhairt do na h-áisíneachtaí stáit tacú i ndáiríre le hAcht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla agus acmhainní agus foireann cuí a sholáthar le freastal ar an bpobal.

‘Ba chóir do Rialtas Westminster na cearta agus tacaíocht céanna a thabhairt maidir le cearta teanga do Ghaeilgeoirí sna sé chontae is a thugann siad do lucht na Breatnaise chomh maith.’

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