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Irish Government must ensure there is no shelving of EU Irish language status - Bairbre de Brún

14 December, 2004


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today urged the Irish government not to 'drop the ball' on the campaign for full working status for the Irish language in the EU. Ms de Brún said that any slowing down of the process would be regarded as 'a slap in the face to those who have worked tirelessly to ensure equality for the language in the EU'.

Ms de Brún was responding to weekend reports, which suggested the Irish government would accede to delays in processing full working status for the Irish language at EU level.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"Just a few short weeks ago, I commended Irish government efforts to have the Irish language recognised as an official working language of the European Union. Amidst great fanfare, the government informed us they had set in train this process. However, recent reports have suggested that the Government may accede to delays in processing full working status for the Irish language at EU level.

"I am calling upon the Irish government to pursue this issue vigorously at the highest levels of the European Union. I am also seeking a commitment from government that this remains a priority issues for them.

"Sinn Féin has made the recognition of the Irish language at EU level a party priority and has campaigned long and hard with other Irish speakers and Irish language organisations to ensure that Irish is recognised as an official working language of the EU. Any slowing down of this process will be regarded as a slap in the face to those who have worked tirelessly to ensure equality for the language in the EU. The government must not drop the ball on this issue.

"Sinn Féin is calling upon the Taoiseach to make the full recognition and status for the Irish language in the EU a government priority". ENDS

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