“We want to brief SOS on proposals and legitimate need for Irish Language Act” – Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge write to DUP, Sinn Féin, An Taoiseach and all party leaders north and south for urgent meetings regarding Irish Language Act
Conradh na Gaeilge has written letters to all of the parties in the north including the DUP, UUP and Sinn Fein, and to all of the parties in the south including Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, to request meetings with the leaders of those parties, including the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, as a matter of urgency. The Irish language organisation has also requested a special hearing with the new secretary of state Karen Bradley MP so that a special legislation delegation can brief her on their proposals and reasoning for the Irish language Act.
Conradh na Gaeilge are publicly calling for a standalone rights based Irish language Act and the group have published proposals that include the content, cost and implementation best-practice regarding the legislation.
Dr Niall Comer, President, Conradh na Gaeilge, says:
Last year we began to organise as one community and we succeeded in making the Irish language a central issue for politicians here. We had a long series of meetings with party leaders in which we put forward our proposals and reasoning for Irish language legislation. From those meetings we were able to inform the community that a majority of MLAs, 50/90, from across five parties (Alliance, Green Party, PBP, SDLP, Sinn Féin) were for the first time supporting the community led campaign calling for the implementation of a standalone Irish language act. This is legislation that was clearly promised to us over 11 years ago as part of their St Andrew’s Agreement. The Irish government have also publicly pledged their support for the legislation as part of their obligations as co-guarantors of that agreement. The United Nations and the Council of Europe are both also calling for the introduction of this legislation. Let us be very clear the rights of Irish language speakers here are being blocked and denied and we will not stop our campaign until those rights are recognised in law.
Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, Advocacy Manager, Conradh na Gaeilge, says:
In spite of everything that has happened in the last 12 months we still do not have the legislation that was promised to us almost 12 years ago. The British Government and the Irish Government have central roles and major obligations ensuring the implementation of an Irish Language Act. We have been on the phone in recent days to the NIO of Karen Bradley MP, we have written to her personally several times in the last fortnight, and we have presented to her a letter from James Brokenshire in which he had agreed to meet with us so that we could brief him on our proposals for this legislation. It is hugely important that the Secretary of State takes the time to meet with us before the talks begin. We want to brief her on our proposals, we want to explain to her how important this issue is to the community here, to ensure that she hears directly from that community and fully understands the proposals and costings we have put forward. We ask her to honour the commitment given to us by the NIO in October 2017 and to arrange a meeting with us in the coming days.
Our discussion document can also be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/2uApcES
Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin
Advocacy Manager, Conradh na Gaeilge
Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh
Communications Executive, 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