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Sinn Féin call on Irish speakers engage in consultation on Irish Language Act

3 January, 2007

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Culture and the Irish Language, East Derry MLA Francie Brolly has welcomed the positive tone of the DCAL consultation document on the implementation of an Irish Language Act for the North and has called on Irish speakers and supporters of the Irish language to respond positively to the document.

DCAL issued their consultation document on the 8th December and the final date for submission of comments is the 2nd of March 2007.

Mr Brolly said that the initial findings of the Equality Impact Assessment indicate that an Irish Language Act "has the potential to improve community relations as it will potentially give the Irish Language a more accessible platform for all sections of the community" and said that in this time of new beginnings he would appeal to the protestant community to see this as an opportunity rather than a threat.

The Sinn Féin spokesperson said that it was important that those in the protestant community understood that there was no threat in such an act and that alarmist talk of compulsory Irish and people being forced to learn Irish had no basis in fact. An Irish Language Act confers rights on those who wish to learn and use Irish and will not affect those who have no inclination to speak Irish.

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