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Tourist Board missing opportunity by minimum use of Irish

3 April, 2014 - by Rosie McCorley

 Sinn Féin MLA Rosie McCorley has accused the Tourist Board of being dismissive of the Irish language.

 Speaking after a presentation from the Tourist Board to the committee for Culture Arts and Leisure Ms. McCorley said,

 “I raised the issue of the minimalist treatment of the Irish language in the way the Tourist Board approaches the issue of bilingual signage and was disappointed with the answer from Chief Executive Alan Clarke.

 “Mr Clarke said that they would look at the inclusion of Irish if there was a proven demand and that it will improve visitor experience'.

 “I raised the issue that there is a growing community who use Irish as their first language who are being discriminated against in many attractions. 

 “Irish is part of our cultural wealth that can enhance our attractions through promoting our diversity and richness. 

 “I also pointed out that under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages the Tourist Board have a responsibility to promote the Irish language in their signage.

 “In spite of my stating a number of times that they were missing a great opportunity to promote Irish culture by failing to adopt bilingual signage where possible, Alan Clarke remained steadfast in his attitude.

 'I think it's disappointing that the Tourist Board is not really committed to developing a tourist product that embraces all the cultures on the island.”

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