18/01/2019

EA Decision To Drop Irish Deemed 'Unacceptable' By Sinn Fein

A decision by the Education Authority (EA) to drop Irish Language translations from its branding has been slammed by Sinn Fein.

The move was initially linked to the change in education ministers when the DUP's Peter Weir took over from Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd, however the EA later confirmed to the Committee on the Administration of Justice that the decision was taken by its chief executive Gavin Boyd to match Department of Education practice at the time.

Sinn Fein MLA Karen Mullan has urged the EA to overturn the decision and reinstate the Irish language translation back onto its logo.

The Foyle MLA said removing it is "unacceptable and falls short of its own equality scheme for changing policy".
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"Following my challenge to the EA's claim that the change was the result of a Ministerial direction the EA was forced to admit that this was not the case but rather an arbitrary decision by the Chief Executive.

"The education system must be inclusive for everyone in our society, including those who wish to be educated through the medium of Irish.

"Government departments also have a duty to promote the Irish language and that includes the use of bilingual logos and Irish on official documentation.

"This type of decision brings into sharp focus the need for Acht Gaeilge to provide legal protections to the Irish language.

"It is now imperative that the EA take the necessary steps to rectify this. 

"I will continue to press the case until there is a reversion to the direction set by John O'Dowd when he was Education Minister." 



(JG/CM)

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