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Bairbre de Brún to host delegation from Irish language groups at European Parliament

6 March, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will tomorrow host a delegation of representatives from a range of Irish language organisations on a visit to the European Parliament in Brussels.

The delegation is comprised of approximately 20 language enthusiasts from across Ireland, who will meet with a number of MEPs, NGOs and European officials. Meetings have also been arranged with both the Irish Permanent Representation and British Permanent Representation.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"As an Irish speaker I am delighted to host a delegation from a range of Irish language organisations to visit the European Parliament in Brussels tomorrow (Tuesday 7th March).

"Tomorrow's meetings come at a very exciting time for the Irish language across the country. The language is more popular now than at any time in our history - the number of established and newly developed Irish speaking schools is testament to this, as is the flourishing Irish language media, business opportunities and the innovative and exciting Gaeltacht Quarter in Belfast.

"Is tréimhse spreagthach í seo don teanga ar fud na tíre. Tá meas níos mó ar an Ghaeilge anois ná mar a bhí ariamh agus is soiléir an fhianaise í an líon sin Gaelcoileanna seanfhorbartha agus nuafhorbartha atá ann.

"Beidh thart fá 20 díograiseoir na Gaeilge i láthair ó Éirinn agus casfar Feisirí éagsúla Eorpacha orthu chomh maith le daoine ó eagraíochtaí neamhRialtas agus oifigigh Eorpacha. Ina theannta sin, tá cruinnithe socraithe leis an Ionadaíocht Éireannach Sheasmhach agus an Ionadaíocht Bhreatnach Sheasmhach.

"The delegation will meet with NGOs, European institution officials, MEPs and and political group staff to discuss Irish language rights, the status of the language as an official, working language of the EU, proposals for an Irish Language Act for the Six Counties and promotion of the language in the context of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages

"Those travelling to the European Parliament tomorrow come with an exciting message about language development and potential and will wish to discuss this in the context of the implementation of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, and the status of Irish as an official, working language of the EU. Irish language group POBAL recently launched a report on the implementation of the European Charter, as well as recommendations for an Irish Language Act in the North, and these will feature in the range of issues under discussion.

"An mhí seo caite seoladh a gcuid moltaí ag an ghrúpa teanga POBAL d'Acht Teanga na Gaeilge. Le linn na gcruinnithe amárach ardófar a cheist seo i measc ceisteanna eile, an Cháirt Eorpach um Teangacha Réigiúnda agus Mionteangacha san áireamh.

" Beidh an-suim ag an toscaireacht chomh maith san obair atá idir lamha ag na hinstitiúidí Eorpacha le go mbeidh an Ghaeilge ina teanga oifigiúil oibre an AE le héifeacht iomlán ó Eanáir 1ú 2007. Léirigh oifigigh amhras éigin faoi seo anuraidh. Tá cruinnithe eagraithe agam don lá amárach le go dtig leis an toscaireacht fírinne na ceiste sin a phlé agus a chinntiú.

"The delegation will also wish to ascertain if the implementation of Irish as a full official working language of the EU is still on course for completion by 1st January 2007. At a meeting late last year EU officials had expressed some concern that there might not be enough Irish language translators to ensure full status for the language. I will be facilitating discussions with European officials to discuss the latest situation and the way forward on this issue." ENDS

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