“Irish language Act must deliver meaningful rights and official recognition for community”

Conradh na Gaeilge remind Secretary of State of duty to implement Irish language act as co-guarantor of 2006 St Andrew’s Agreement in meeting at Hillsborough today

5 January 2019

Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh, Conradh na Gaeilge, commented following today’s meeting:

“Conradh na Gaeilge welcomed the opportunity to meet with SOS Smith at Hillsborough today. In 2006 the Irish Language community was promised an Irish language Act as part of the St Andrews Agreement. In 1998 the co-guarantors of The Good Friday Agreement promised ‘resolute action’ for the Irish language. Today we reminded Secretary of State Smith of his duties, as one of those co-guarantors, to ensure full implementation of those commitments. We delivered the same message to An Tánaiste before Christmas in Dublin. We reimpressed upon Mr Smith the importance of effective legislation that can bring around meaningful change for those who wish to use the language.”

“This new legislation must be drafted, as the St Andrew’s Agreement compels, from the language legislation in Wales and in the south. Those Acts are independent from any other pieces of legislation. They facilitate rights and respect. They secure services and visibility. They recognise their indigenous language as an official language. They provide the security of a commissioner to protect and promote the language. That is what the two governments and the parties must deliver with an Irish Language Act. Speakers of Irish, be they speakers using the language in their home, in their schools or in the community, can no longer be treated as second class citizens.”

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge