Sinn Féin - On Your Side

de Brún stands up for rights of Irish speakers in European Parliament

15 November, 2011 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún made a point of order today in the European Parliament in Strasbourg regarding the EU's treatment of the Irish Language.

De Brún, along with several Irish MEPs intervened during the President's opening comments to highlight the fact that, although Irish is an official EU language, the treatment it receives on the European Parliament website is far from equal.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, de Brún said: “Today I made the point to President Buzek that progress must be made in this area, such as having the Parliament's website available in Irish.

“When I address the Parliament in Irish, it is only the interpreted versions that are available online. This means that my speech is available in all the official languages, except Irish, the language in which the speech was delivered. The Irish language version of my speech disappears from the European Parliament website once it has been translated into the other 22 official EU languages. This is simply ridiculous!

“I also receive responses in Irish from the European Commission but they are not available on the European Parliament's website either, although the answer is available in 22 other languages.

“The President of the European Parliament is very aware of the need and right of Europe's citizens to be able to speak their own language and he assured Pat the Cope Gallagher, Gay Mitchell and me today that he will look into this very important issue.

“I will continue to speak in Irish in the European Parliament and continue to put pressure on the European Parliament to fully recognise the rights of Irish speakers.”

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