Irish language belongs to all of us - Ní Chuilín

7 March, 2015 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

Is minic a deirim gur linne uilig an Ghaeilge, nach bagairt do dhuine ar bith í agus go bhfuil sí mar chuid den chultúr, den oidhreacht agus den fhéiniúlacht chomhroinnte s'againn.

I have consistently said that the Irish language belongs to all of us, threatens no one and is part of our shared culture, heritage and identity.

I also believe that Acht na Gaeilge is necessary to protect the Irish language as well as promoting social justice, equality and respect.

I am not alone in thinking that Acht na Gaeilge is required and necessary!

International bodies such as the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers and the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have all recommended that there should be specific legislation in the north to ensure protection and respect for the Irish language!

Tugaimis súil ar na comharsana s'againn ar na hoileáin seo. Cad é atá déanta acu lena dteangacha dúchais féin a chosaint? An measann siad go bhfuil gá le reachtaíocht. Is amhlaidh go measann! Tá an Bhreatnais agus Gaeilge na hAlban beirt cosanta sa Bhreatain Bheag agus in Albain agus tá an Ghaeilge cosanta faoi Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla sa deisceart agus is teanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontas Eorpaigh í

What about our neighbours in these islands? What have they done to protect their own indigenous languages? Do they think legislation is necessary? Yes they do! Welsh and Scottish Gaelic are both protected languages in Wales and Scotland and Irish is protected under the Official Languages Act in the south and is an official language of the European Union.

This consultation is also about showing those who oppose Acht na Gaeilge that the Irish language belongs to all us and threatens no one.

Many of those who oppose Acht na Gaeilge often cite cost as the main reason for their opposition. The argument that we cannot afford Acht na Gaeilge is typical of those who understand the cost of everything but the value of nothing!

Tá súil agam go nglacfaidh lucht tacaíochta ar fad na Gaeilge páirt sa chomhairliúchán seo agus go gcuirfidh siad leis lena chur ina luí ar an Fheidhmeannas, ar an Tionól agus ar an phobal uilig na buntáistí a thiocfaidh le hAcht na Gaeilge.

I hope that all supporters of the Irish language will participate in and contribute to this consultation in order to convince the Executive, the Assembly and all our people of the merits of having Acht na Gaeilge.

All views and opinions are of value and I would encourage anyone with an interest in the Irish language to ensure that your voice is heard.