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Sinn Féin submission on Irish language act

2 March, 2007

Speaking today after handing in Sinn Féin's proposals on the Irish Language Act which was promised by the British government at St Andrews, to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún said:

"Together with the head of Sinn Féin's culture department, Séanna Walsh, I handed in our party's response to the consultation on Irish language legislation to civil servants from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure at Interpoint in Belfast today.

"At the time of the talks in St Andres, the British government promised an act which was based on the experience of the 26 Counties and that of Wales. We believe this legislation needs to brought through Westminster without delay and with a rights based approach at the core.

"We saw only two days ago a former pupil of mine in court as a result of speaking Irish on the streets of Belfast. This case has come to be seen as a symbol official hostility to Irish and Irish speakers from authorities in the North.

"This is one example of why Sinn Féin will assess any proposals for an Irish language act on the basis of the following four principles; keep to the time-frame and spirit of the St Andrews commitment; place Irish speakers rights at the heart of the act; make available adequate resources to implement the act and appoint an Irish language commissioner for the North." ENDS

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