DUP attitude to Irish language a stumbling block to equality - McCorley
Sinn Féin MLA Rosie McCorley said the DUP’s attitude to the Irish Language is derogatory and a major stumbling block to equality.
The West Belfast MLA was speaking after questions to the Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín in which a DUP MLA made disparaging remarks towards the language.
Rosie McCorely said;
“The comments made by the DUP MLA Gordon Lyons during the minister’s questions reaffirms the view that the DUP still treat the Irish language as a political football and are insulting towards Gaeilgeorí.
“The fact is that during the recent consultation on an Irish Language Act there were 13,000 responses with 95% of the responses in favour of Act na Gaeilge.
“To continually claim that an Irish Language Act is divisive flies in the face of the facts that many people within the unionist/loyalist community have no fear of the language and actually have realised that it belongs to them and is a rich source of cultural enjoyment.
“Those members of the unionist community are streets ahead of the DUP when it comes to the Irish language and no matter how many times he repeats his anti-Irish views, they take their own counsel from their experience of the language.
“Irish threatens no one and no one should be afraid of equality. Hopefully the new leader of the DUP and First Minister Arlene Foster will show leadership when it comes to the rights of Irish language speakers and enthusiasts.
“In her role as First Minister she is there to represent all the people of the North, many of whom see the language as part of their daily lives and an inseparable part of their culture and identity.
“That requires a more positive approach to the Irish language and an end to the type of insulting and disparaging remarks which are common currency in the ranks of the DUP.”