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Irish MEPs must work together to ensure implementation of Irish as an official and a working language of EU - de Brún

24 April, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will today meet with EU officials from the European Commission and Parliament to discuss the official working status for the Irish Language in the EU.

She will be accompanied at the meeting by Dr Pádraig Ó Laighin and Proinsias Ó Maolchalain BL of STÁDAS.

Today's meetings at the European Parliament have been organised to further explore issues raised when an Irish language delegation travelled to Brussels last month at the invitation of Ms de Brún.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"I am pleased to welcome back an Irish language delegation for another round of meetings with EU officials to ascertain what progress has been made towards the implementation of the European Council decision to make Irish an official and a working language of the EU.

"Whilst it is clear that any such undertaking in translation and interpretation services may present some teething problems, the gap between the European Council decision last year and the date for implementation from January 1st 2007 was designed to allow all concerned to make all the necessary preparations.

"In a meeting with the Irish Government‚s Permanent Representation in Brussels last month, the delegation was informed that a new department has already been established to provide a translation service which will henceforth make 70-80% of European legislation available in Irish in accordance with the regulation.

"The position is less clear at this point, however, with regard to other publications, the EU websites and interpretation. These are among the issues we wish to explore in our meetings today, with particular reference to the rules of procedure of the European Parliament.

"If all Irish MEPs work together we can ensure that both the Irish government and the EU institutions understand the requirements for implementing the decision which made Irish the 21st official language of the EU." ENDS

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