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Irish language campaigners to meet with Irish MEPs at European Parliament

7 March, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this morning welcomed a delegation from a range of Irish language organisations 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 the Irish Permanent Representation in Brussels.

Speaking today Ms de Brun said:

"I am very pleased to be hosting today's delegation from a range of Irish language organisations and from across Ireland. Today's meetings will allow those working across the spectrum of Irish language groups to meet with European officials and MEPs to discuss a number of important issues.

"Throughout the course of the day we will be meeting with a wide range of organisations, and both fellow Irish MEPs and those from further afield. The delegation are keen to engage with MEPs on issues such as the introduction of an Irish Language Act for the Six Counties, ensuring the full implementation of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages in respect of the Irish language and the introduction of official and working EU status for the language on January 1st 2007. They will also explore avenues for further networking and activity at European level in the future.

"The significance of a delegation of Irish language activists traveling to the European Parliament in Brussels should not be underestimated. Today's visit comes at a time of great revival and optimism for the language across Ireland. Those visiting the parliament today are keen to ensure that the Irish language is treated with the respect which it deserves - it deserves equal status on a par with English, German or French." ENDS

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