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McGinley must publish amendments to the Official Languages Act - Ó Clochartaigh

15 January, 2014

Sinn Féin’s Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called on Minister for the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley TD, to immediately publish all submissions relating to the review of the Official Languages Act.

Speaking today on the publication of the Government's legislative programme for this parliamentary term, on which the amendment of the Official Languages Act is included on the main list, Ó Clochartaigh said:

“It is two years since the Minister requested submissions from the public on amendments to the Official Languages Act. The department has been working since on a report compiling all recommendations. We were promised that this would be made available when the bill was finished. This report and all submissions need to be made available now so that a comprehensive discussion on the topic can be had.

“Sinn Féin has had no part in the weakening of the Official Languages Act.

“We have had no part in the merging of the Office of the Language Commissioner and the Office of the Ombudsman.

“It is clear that the Minister McGinley has been negligent in the implementation of the act, not the Language Commissioner, and that he should resign, not Seán Ó Cuirreáin. It is ironic that the government is moving forward with the new act now as notice of retirement is given by the current Commissioner.

"It is clear that the Irish language community has lost confidence in the Irish government regarding the implementation of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language and assurance is needed that the Official Languages Act that is to come before the Houses of the Oireachtas this year does not represent another backward step.”

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