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Minister for the Gaeltacht meets two Irish language organisations in three years – Tóibín

24 May, 2017

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Irish language Peadar Tóibín TD has said that Minister Heather Humphrey’s paltry engagement with the Irish language sector is unacceptable.

In a reply to a Parliamentary Question an Teachta Tóibín received today, it transpires that the Minister with responsibilities for Irish language and the Gaeltacht has met only two Irish language organisations in the past three years.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“This is tantamount with refusing to engage with the Irish language sector. Minister Humphreys has legal responsibility for this sector. She is the voice of this sector at cabinet and she is point blank refusing to meet with Irish language groups. It’s not good enough for senior minister to isolate themselves from their responsibilities through the junior minister.

“Including the attendance of Conradh na Gaeilge along with dozens of other organisations on a public meeting on Brexit is a weak pretence at engagement. This is happening with a backdrop with the first reversal in the numbers of Irish speakers in the state since the 1940s, with the near collapse the Irish language in some areas of the Gaeltacht.

“12,000 people took to the streets of Belfast last weekend to demand Irish language rights. If the Minister won’t engage, how can she learn what are the best steps to take?” 

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