Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Unionists slammed over bi-lingual road signs

2 November, 2005

Requests for Irish and English bi-lingual road signs in three roads in the Glenullin area outside Garvagh Co Derry have been put on hold while Coleraine Borough Council seeks legal advice.

Sinn Féin's Billy Leonard has heavily criticised the position taken by both Unionist parties and has said that comments made by some councillors does not bode well for equality.

"We had straightforward requests to consult the people on the roads concerned. That was all. Yet the unionists couldn‚t decide to endorse that action which is their basic responsibility. Now we have councillors worried about the cost of road signs seeking costly legal advice.

"We had the DUP Mayor openly saying that he was against the idea. Consulting the people didn't seem to interest him. An Ulster Unionist councillor then suggested some form of political intervention and agenda making and said that given the political nature of the council these requests would be turned down.

"They or their colleagues just seem genetically incapable of accepting that people in that community want this basic right, are prepared to make the request, open the idea to consultation and take things from there.

"Many people in the area are Irish, speak Irish and want their culture recognised by having the original name of their road on a sign. It is as simple and profound as that.

"If the Unionist position on consultation indicates their mind-set we could see a battle for basic rights and equality. Once again Coleraine joins the Craigavons and Lisburns of this world." ENDS

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