Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Fein to raise concerns with BBC Trust

25 September, 2007

Sinn Féin East Derry MLA Francie Brolly and West Belfast MLA Paul Maskey will meet with representatives of the newly formed BBC Trust today, Tuesday 25th September, at Stormont to discuss issues including Irish language programming, impartiality and the designation of the BBC under section 75.

Speaking before the meeting Mr Brolly said:

"The Irish language is thriving. With over 65 Irish language schools and almost 4000 children the BBC has a responsibility to protect and promote the rights of these children and all Irish speakers. Yet in comparison to Scots Gaelic and Welsh there is a serious under provision for Irish here.

Mr Maskey added:

"In recent days Sinn Fein has voiced concern about a conflict of interest of a senior member of the BBC editorial team here. There has been a tacit acknowledgement of these concerns and the complaint is now being investigated by the BBC controller.

"However, Sinn Fein have consistently argued that the BBC should be designated, as a 'public authority', under section 75 to carry out its functions with 'due regard' to the need to promote equality."

The Sinn Féin delegation will also raise issues about the issue of equality for victims and BBC coverage of Orange Order parades.

Note to Editors

Per capita spending on Welsh by the BBC is £31.34 compared to £5.32 here in the north of Ireland.

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