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Tóibín criticises backtrack on Irish language road signs

21 October, 2014

Sinn Fein TD Peadar Tóibín has today called on the Transport Minister to come before the Dáil and explain his decision to roll back on his predecessor’s commitment to introduce road signage to give the Irish language parity with English on the country’s roads.

The Meath West TD said:

“In May of this year the former Transport Minister confirmed with me that he had asked the National Roads Authority to pilot a scheme of newly-designed road signs to give the Irish language parity with English on the country’s roads.

“These newly designed signs were based on recommendations set out in a study by Conradh na Gaeilge. The new signs were to be introduced on a phased basis as old ones needed replacement making the measure cost neutral, a decision the majority of citizens polled supported. They were also to be similar to those used safely in other countries’. 

“Yet again Fine Gael has shown it has absolutely no interest is supporting or promoting the Irish language. It is deeply disappointing and indeed frustrating that Paschal Donohoe appears to have now rolled back on the former Minister for Transport’s commitment.

“Let’s not forget the Taoiseach just recently appointed a Minister of State for the Gaeltacht who does not have working Irish, and no additional public monies have been allocated to the Údarás capital budget, Foras na Gaeilge or indeed the Implementation of the 20-year Strategy on the Irish language. It appears Fine Gael in government is actively working against the survival of the Irish language.

“'I hope that the Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport will come before the Dáil to explain why he has decided to roll back on this small cost free measure that would in time have a significant impact in supporting the Irish language.”

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