15th June 2021
New letter signed by Party Leaders from Alliance, Green Party, PBP, SDLP & Sinn Féin
A new Cross-Party letter has been published today, Tuesday 15 June 2021, calling “on the Executive to urgently agree and publish a timetable to ensure the adoption by the Assembly of the Irish language legislation before the current mandate expires, as published in the New Decade New Approach Agreement in January 2020”.
The letter has been signed by Party leaders from 5 Party leaders representing a majority of 50 MLAs in the Assembly; Naomi Long MLA, Leader, Alliance Party; Clare Bailey MLA, Leader, Green Party; Gerry Carroll MLA, People Before Profit; Colum Eastwood MP, Leader, SDLP; Michelle O’Neill MLA, VP, Sinn Féin.
Dr Niall Comer, President, Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“This cross-party letter represents a majority of parties and MLAs in favour of implementing the Irish language legislation. The letter calls for a new timeline to be agreed ensuring this legislation is on the statute books before the end of this mandate. For that to happen, the process must begin immediately. New Decade New Approach ensured the accompanying language legislation was time-bound to 100 days. That deadline was missed. The letter and spirit of the agreement was to ensure the legislation was in place before the upcoming election. To delay, frustrate or deny that legislation would in practice be to renege on the agreement. Any efforts to do so must be resisted. If the DUP cannot bring themselves to honour their own agreements in a reasonable and modest timeframe within this mandate, then both Governments, as co-guarantors and co-authors of the agreement, must step in and convene dialogue focused on producing an agreed timetable. The only party in the Executive standing in the way of progress is the DUP. The legislation has been agreed and published. The preparatory work within the Executive Office has been completed. This is ready to go. There is no legitimate or reasonable excuse for this delay. The issue of Irish language rights is now an immediate litmus test for the DUP.”
The letter is published in today’s Irish News (15 June 2021) and is also attached below.
Conchúr Ó Muadaigh
Bainisteoir Abhcóideachta, Conradh na Gaeilge
Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh
Bainisteoir Cumarsáide, Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community. The Conradh has over 200 branches and numerous individual members registered around the world, members that work hard to promote the use of Irish in their own areas. Conradh na Gaeilge’s main aim is to promote the use of Irish as the standard language in Ireland. Conradh na Gaeilge was established by Douglas Hyde, Eoin Mac Néill, and their colleagues on the 31st of July 1893. The organisation runs Irish-language courses; advocates for the language rights of Irish-speakers; raises awareness about the language; hosts the international Irish-language festival Seachtain na Gaeilge; manages the Irish-language information hub PEIG.ie and the Irish-language bookshop An Siopa Leabhar; supports Raidió Rí-Rá; and much more. More information: www.cnag.ie