'Council should implement Irish language policy - not threats' - Cushinan
Sinn Féin Councillor Henry Cushinan has called on Antrim and Newtownabbey Council to respect the Irish language by implementing a policy enabling Gaeilge street names where that is supported by residents.
Cllr. Cushinan was commenting after the council warned a resident in Randalstown to remove an Irish language street sign or face a fine of up to £2500.
“This is the same council which attempted to bring in an 'English Only' policy last year despite having received very clear advice to the contrary,” Cllr. Cushinan said.
“That approach was only abandoned in the face of a judicial review but still the council has still not adopted a policy that would enable residents to have Irish language signs erected where this is supported.
“Instead, threatening letters are issued to residents warning them of £2,500 fines with further daily charges of £250 for every day the signs are not removed.
“Sinn Féin will be requesting an urgent meeting with the Council Chief Executive because Irish speakers are citizens and ratepayers. They have rights and are due the same respect and tolerance as all other citizens.
“Rather than denying that, Antrim and Newtownabbey Council should be taking immediate steps to implement a signage policy that respects the rights of the Irish Language community and identity.”