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Jim Nicholson exposes his anti-Irish agenda - Bairbre de Brún

4 July, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today said that Jim Nicholson MEP 'should put aside his obvious disdain for the Irish language and recognize that Irish deserves to be on a par with the other languages of Europe'.

Ms de Brún made her comments after Mr Nicholson criticized the decision to make the Irish language an official and working language of the European Union on January 1st 2007.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"Jim Nicholson should put aside his obvious disdain for the Irish language and recognize that Irish deserves to be on a par with the other languages of Europe. This is an issue of equality. For many unionists, the fundamental issue of equality remains an alien concept.

"This is the same attitude which sees Mr Nicholson's colleagues in the Ulster Unionist Party and members of the DUP team up to oppose funding for the annual St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast.

"Nevertheless, as a fluent Irish speaker I welcome the Irish language becoming an official and working language of the EU on January 1st 2007. Campaigners across Ireland, and even further-afield have worked tirelessly to reach this point. No amount of begrudgery can deny the language its rightful and equal place amongst Europe's languages and cultures.

"We must continue to work to ensure that all of the necessary arrangements are in place by January 2007, including interpretation and translation facilities. Irish MEPs need to work together to ensure that both the Irish government and the EU institutions understand the requirements for implementing the decision which made Irish the 21st official and working language of the EU." ENDS

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