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Gerry Adams to meet DUP Culture Minister over Irish language legislation

18 July, 2007


After announcing a planned meeting with DUP Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Thursday 26 July @11.30am, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP, MLA reiterated Sinn Féin's call for the rights of Irish speakers to be safeguarded through appropriate legislation.

Mr Adams said: "The Irish language is not the property of any one section of our people. It belongs to everyone…I am urging Minister Poots to be long-sighted in this matter. He is in a unique position to show mature leadership. The Irish language threatens no one. It is not compulsory. Irish language rights threaten no one. "

The Sinn Fein leader continued:

"The revival of the Irish language has been our country's cultural success story. More and more people are using Irish. Young children in particular are being educated in increasing numbers through the medium of Irish and it is their future and their rights that must be secured through legislation.

"The assembly and Minister Poots must make provisions for those Irish speaking children and all Irish speakers in general. I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to act without delay to copper fasten and implement the agreement made at St Andrews.


"It is essential that Irish speakers are granted the following basic demands-

That rights are at the heart of the legislation
That adequate resources are provided to implement the Act
That the proposed commissioner shall have the power, staff and resources to oversee the Act.

"The Irish language is not the property of one section of our people. It belongs to everyone.

"It provides Sinn Féin and the DUP with a unique opportunity to move forward. There is an opportunity now the Irish language and give ownership to all our people - Unionist, Republican, dissenter and the "new Irish".

"I am urging Minister Poots to be long-sighted in this matter. He is in a unique position to show mature leadership. The Irish language threatens no one. It is not compulsory. Irish language rights threaten no one.



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