Government praised for Irish and Ulster-Scots role

The Government has been praised by a EU report for its efforts in supporting the Irish and Ulster-Scots languages.

The Council of Europe’s first report, which assesses how the UK Government is complying with its obligations under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, said that the government, both during Devolution and in Direct Rule, had been "working in a co-ordinated way to protect and encourage Irish and Ulster-Scots".

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts had praised the Northern Ireland administration for having been “thorough in its work to fulfil its undertakings in relation to Irish”. The Report added: “The work is taken seriously and, despite some shortcomings, the authorities are taking steps to improve the situation.”

In addition, it said: “The Ulster-Scots language is the only Part II language in the UK which, at present, has a governmental structure having set out aims and objectives for supporting the language.”

Commenting on the report, Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister, Angela Smith said: "I am grateful for the Council’s views on how we should prioritise our efforts in the near future and I am encouraged that since the visit of the Council of Europe’s experts, we have made good progress on the two issues they have identified.

“We are currently at an advanced stage of developing the Irish Language Broadcasting Fund and have recently produced Charter Guidance for civil servants which will, among other things, create conditions for the use of Ulster-Scots in public life.”

The European Charter is an international convention designed to protect and promote regional and minority languages.

The UK Government must provide periodic reports to the Council of Europe Committee of Experts who report on each state’s compliance with its Charter obligations.

In Northern Ireland it applies to Irish and Ulster-Scots but not those of other languages such as those of immigrant communities.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

23 January 2024
CC Advice For Travellers Impacted By Storm Isha
The Consumer Council has issued advice for travellers whose arrangements where impacted by Storm Isha, urging them to find out what they are entitled to.
01 February 2024
ABC Council Welcomes Joe Kennedy III And James Applegate
Armagh City, Banbridge, and Craigavon (ABC) Borough Council has welcomed Mr. Joe Kennedy III, US Special Investment Envoy and James Applegate, US Consul General Belfast to The Palace in Armagh.
19 January 2024
Antrim And Newtownabbey Council Launches New Enterprise Support Service
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has announced that a new NI enterprise support service is now live across the Borough, The service 'Go Succeed' aims to offer entrepreneurs, start-ups, and existing businesses throughout the Borough valuable guidance and financial support.
22 January 2024
BCC And NICVA Launch Inclusive Employment Initiative
Belfast City Council and NICVA have hosted more than 200 delegates at Ulster University's Belfast campus to explore how the city can address economic inactivity and achieve a truly inclusive labour market.
19 January 2024
HUB-IN's Funding Brings Innovative Visitor Experiences To Belfast's Maritime Mile
HUB-IN has awarded £120,000 of funding to develop six prototypes that will bring innovative visitor experiences to Belfast's Maritime Mile.