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Latest DUP Irish insult slammed

15 March, 2019 - by Pat Sheehan

The DUP leadership should clarify its position on the rights of Irish language speakers following the latest anti-Gaeilge insult from one of their party councillors, Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has said.

The West Belfast MLA was commenting after DUP Councillor Clement Cuthbertson attacked the decision by Mid Ulster District Council to produce an Irish language information leaflet to coincide with Seachtain na Gaeilge. Cllr Cuthbertson branded the decision ludicrous as ‘no one in Mid Ulster speaks Irish as their first language’.

Pat Sheehan said: “Either through ignorance or arrogance, Cllr Cuthbertson has just dismissed the hundreds of young people in Mid-Ulster who are receiving their education with Irish as their first language.

“So not only is he wrong in his assertion, he is being insulting to the thousands of people who see the right to receive correspondence from their local authority in Irish as an important recognition of their national identity.

“When DUP representatives utter these kind of insults, people within nationalism are left asking themselves whether that party has learned anything from the disrespect and arrogance that contributed to the collapse of the Stormont institutions.

“The DUP leadership regularly claim they have no objection to the use of the Irish language so they now need to clarify how that sits with the latest insulting remark from one of their councillors.”

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