27/11/2008

Irish Language 'Knows No Boundaries', Say SF

There has been a call for the inclusion of Irish place names within new council boundaries.

Sinn Féin made several recommendation to the Boundary Commission's public hearings - including the use of Irish names - and has now claimed that around 80% of submissions from the Belfast area all called for official recognition of Irish place names, with not one single submission opposed to this position.

Party members Rosie McCorley and Niall Ó Donnghaile both addressed the Commission in Irish, as did Dr Pól Deeds - from the South Belfast Language and Cultural Centre, An Droichead Teo.

Their presentations were simultaneously translated for the benefit of the Commissioners and those attending the presentations.
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Speaking after the hearing Niall Ó Donnghaile said: "It's an excellent indication of how far society is travelling when we are able to make our presentations to the Commission through the medium of Irish at this important session.

"A wide number of important issues were raised by all those citizens making representations, and of course, among them was the question of recognition for bilingual place names within any of the new council areas.

"I would call on the Commission to take these sensible and beneficial recommendations on board, in relation to official recognition of many of the rich Gaelic place names within the city of Belfast."

The Commission is hearing submissions as part of a shake-up of the boundaries and names of Northern Ireland's local government districts, which have recently been unveiled for public comment and scrutiny.

See: Councils Combined

(BMcC/NS)

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