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Barry McElduff to chair Stormont Culture, Arts and Leisure committee

5 April, 2007

Sinn Féin have announced that West Tyrone Assembly member Barry McElduff will become chairperson of the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee when the institutions are restored on May 8th.

Mr McElduff is a keen Irish Language speaker and GAA member said that as chair of this important committee in Stormont, he would seek to work with the DUP Minister in delivering cultural rights and equality for all citizens including Irish Language speakers.

Mr McElduff said:

"I am looking forward to the challenge of chairing this particular committee. I aim to work with the DUP Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure in the time ahead on the range of issues which we will have to work on when the institutions go live. The rights of Irish Language speakers will of course form a sizable part of this work.

"Many may be frustrated about the delay in the Irish language Act imposed by the unaccountable British Direct Rule Ministers. Sinn Féin share that frustration. We want a strong Irish Language Act with a rights based approach, adequately funded and with an Irish Language commissioner as soon as possible.

"The British government made commitments on this issue at St. Andrews and these need to be acted upon.

"Delivering on this sort of agenda does not have to divisive if the DUP Minister and the rest of the Committee adopt the sort of approach which has been obvious in recent days as we collectively agreed a date for restoration and the allocation of Departments, Ministers and Committee Chairs." ENDS

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