Sinn Féin will keep up campaign for 'vital' Acht na Gaeilge - Adams
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said an Irish Language Act in the North is vital to protect the language as well as being important in promoting equality and respect.
Mr Adams was speaking this morning at the opening of Ionad Teaghlaigh Ghleann Darach, in Crumlin, County Antrim.
Ionad Teaghlaigh Ghleann Darach is a family centre which will promote Irish language and culture through classes and events
Sinn Féin secured a £20 million package of funding for the Irish language in negotiations with the British Government at Hillsborough Castle in 2010.
The Crumlin centre is partially funded by An Ciste Infheistíocha Gaeilge which disperses money for language capital projects.
The North's Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O'Neill also attended this morning opening.
Speaking in Crumlin Gerry Adams said:
"All the evidence has shown that the needs of minority language users are served better when they have the appropriate legislative endorsement.
"The Welsh language and Scottish Gaelic are both protected languages in Wales and Scotland.
"In the South, Irish is protected under the Official Languages Act.
"But there is no official protection for the language here in the North.
"An Irish Language Act is vital to protect the language as well as being important in promoting equality and respect.
"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.
"Sinn Féin will continue to work for parity of esteem for Irish, for an Acht na Gaeilge in the North, and for adequate support and funding of language cultural organisations throughout Ireland."