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Irish Language Act gaining momentum - Bairbre de Brún

31 October, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today said that preparatory work for the introduction of an Irish Language Act is gaining momentum. Ms de Brún made her comments as she prepared for 'Oireachtas na Gaeilge' - an All-Ireland Irish language festival being held this week (2nd-5th November) in Derry city.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"People from across Ireland will gather in Derry this week for Oireachtas na Gaeilge. This week's events will see the usual high standard in the range of competitions as well as debates, drama, music, dancing, book launches and a host of other vibrant events. This is the first time the event has been held in the Six Counties for a decade, and is a testament to the strides made by the Irish language community over the last number of years. It is also fitting that the event is being held in the north at this time, given that the campaign for parity of esteem for Irish speakers is gathering momentum.

"It is essential that Irish language activists fully support POBAL's current campaign and I want to pay tribute to their hard work in keeping this issue to the forefront of public debate. Their continuing work ensures that Irish will have an ever more important place in the future, that Irish language speakers have clear rights that will be upheld, and that the state is aware of its duties and responsibilities.

"This week of events is testament to the vibrancy of the Irish language community but is by no means directed at Irish speakers alone. Oireachtas na Gaeilge holds something for everyone and is enjoyed each year by young and old alike. I would take this opportunity to call upon everyone to make an effort to support these events." ENDS

Note to Editor:

Ms de Brún will speak at an Oireachtas na Gaeilge sponsored event on the impact of the Hunger Strike on the Irish language. This event will take place in the Calgach Centre, Derry at 8pm, November 2nd.

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