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Ní Chuilín calls for end to obstruction of Irish Language Act

10 December, 2014 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has called on Executive parties to back her bid to bring forward a draft Irish Language Act.

The North Belfast MLA was speaking as she prepared to join a protest being held by a coalition of Irish language groups at Stormont today who are demanding an Acht Gaeilge.

Carál Ní Chuilín said:

“I will be joining protestors at Stormont today who are gathering to demand the enactment of an Irish language act.

“It’s appropriate that this demonstration is taking place on International Human Rights Day. It has always been Sinn Féin’s view that legislation is needed to protect the rights and entitlements of Irish language speakers.

“Indeed a key commitment of the Good Friday Agreement was to protect the rights of the Irish speaking community and at St Andrew’s the British government committed to an Irish Language Act.

“However, the British government and the unionist parties have continually frustrated the growing demand for an Irish Language Act.

“Once again this week my party has handed in a paper to the two governments setting out our vision of an Irish Language Act.

“Recent attacks on the Irish speaking community have clearly demonstrated the need for legislation on the language with a rights-based approach. 

“We are calling for an Irish language commissioner, the provision of place names and street names in Irish, provision for the use of Irish in the Assembly, guarantees for Irish language education as well as Irish language schemes and recognition of small Gaeltacht areas.

“There is clearly a need for the British government and the unionist parties to move beyond their blanket denial of rights to Irish speakers and to engage in the debate on shaping an Irish Language Act which meets the needs of the Irish speaking community.”

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