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Irish Sign Language deserves full recognition and must be resourced accordingly – Ó Donnghaile

21 June, 2017 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Speaking after today’s Committee Stage debate on the Irish Sign Language Bill Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has said that not only must Irish Sign Language (ISL) be recognised as an official language of the State but that Government must also commit to resourcing the legislation fully.

Speaking from Leinster House today Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said;

"This legislation is of significance importance to the rights and entitlements of citizens who are deaf; this is an issue of fundamental civil and human rights and we must ensure that ISL is recognised and resourced fully.

"Today’s debate stood in stark contrast to the positive nature and tone of earlier debates and I sincerely hope that today is not indicative of the approach that Government is going to take as this Bill continues to progress through the Seanad.

"I have no doubt that representatives from the Deaf Community who were present today were disheartened and dismayed at the haphazard and chaotic nature of the Government’s approach to this important legislation.

"For our part, Sinn Féin is fully committed to supporting the passage of ISL recognition legislation and will continue to work towards ensuring that the Government fully resource it in order to meet the specific needs and entitlements of citizens who are deaf. We don’t want to see anyone treated as second class citizens, that is why this legislation must go beyond the important issue of recognition alone and ensure that the State delivers what is practically and tangibly needed to ensure full equality and rights to our deaf citizens.

"The approach shown by Government today has to change. The people who joined us in the gallery today and the deaf people across the State deserve no less." CRÍOCH

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