30/08/2017

No Assembly Without Irish Language Act - Adams

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, has said there will be no assembly without an Irish language act.

He was speaking at an event which also saw the SDLP, Alliance, Greens and People Before Profit come together to call for an act.

Speaking at the event organised by Conradh na Gaeilge he said: "The British Government and unionist parties have failed to fulfil their commitment to an Acht Gaeilge and to the full implementation of the Good Friday and St Andrew's Agreements.

"Implementation of these matters must be a bedrock of any future Executive. Equality must be a bedrock for any future Executive.

"The rights of Irish speakers must be recognised and respected."

SDLP Communities Spokesperson Nichola Mallon MLA said an Irish language act threatens no one and no tradition.
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She said: "In the absence of political generosity from across the spectrum, it’s clear that the only way to protect the language, and those who cherish it, is through legislation.

"Irish language speakers have been kicked, insulted and diminished by particular politicians for far too long. No minority community should have to face being treated like a punch bag because of the intolerance of others.

"Legislative protection for languages exists in Scotland and Wales, if the DUP continues to oppose the principle of an Irish Language Act, they need to say why speakers here should be treated differently than in other areas.

"This is an issue which the SDLP had been working on, even before the collapse of the institutions. My colleague Patsy McGlone was preparing legislative proposals to protect, promote and enhance the rights of Irish speakers. This can be resolved in the course of the talks."

(CD)


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