European Language Equality Network (ELEN) unanimously pass resolution supporting Irish Language Act at Annual General Assembly in Dublin
ELEN 2018 General Assembly, representing 45 lesser-used languages with 150 member organisations in 23 European states, hosted by Conradh na Gaeilge
A resolution, supporting the implementation of an Irish language Act in the north of Ireland, has been unanimously passed by the European Language Equality Network (ELEN). The ELEN General Assembly, representing 45 lesser-used languages with 150 member organisations in 23 European states, hosted by Conradh na Gaeilge, welcomed over 40 delegates to Dublin this weekend (Fri 2nd – Sun 4th November 2018), and included keynote addresses from Sixto Molina, Head of Secretariat of European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, Council of Europe, alongside MEPs Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru) and Martina Anderson (Sinn Féin).
The resolution regarding an Irish Language Act, as proposed by ELEN member Conradh na Gaeilge, reads:
Is cearta daonna iad cearta teanga agus tá cothrom na féinne tuilte ag lucht labhartha na Gaeilge. (Language rights are human rights and the Irish speaking community are entitled to equality). Under the St Andrews Agreement of 2006 the British government pledged to introduce an ‘Irish Language Act based on the experiences of Wales and the Republic of Ireland’. ELEN calls upon the British Government to uphold its commitment by introducing an Irish Language Act if power-sharing institutions are not restored within six months?
The ELEN General Assembly also welcomed Daniel Holder, who re-launched research carried out by Conradh na Gaeilge, alongside the Committee for the Administration of Justice (CAJ), based on an audit of Local Council compliance with a newly compiled Irish Language Framework. The research, carried out since the introduction of the new “super-councils” highlights the divergence of compliance with both local and international treaties in relation to the Irish language.
Dr Niall Comer, President, Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“Conradh na Gaeilge is continuously exhausting all possible avenues to ensure the full implementation of the 2006 St Andrews Agreement, which promised an ‘Irish Language Act based on the experiences of Wales and the Republic of Ireland’. The support from the European Languages Equality Network ELEN further consolidates recent reports from COMEX and the Council of Europe, all of which have been hugely critical of the British Government regarding the failure to implement legislation as was previously promised. We will continue to lobby local and international bodies on the issue of language rights, which are already enjoyed by many across Europe.”
Speaking after the ELEN General Assembly, Advocacy Manager of Conradh na Gaeilge, Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin said:
“Language rights are internationally recognised and codified. Those rights have already been enshrined in international law. The European Charter for Regional and Minority languages, The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, have all been ratified by the British Government. Unfortunately, as the Conradh na Gaeilge research has highlighted, local authorities currently struggle to fulfill their modest duties as per those treaties. Much of this is excused by the absence of domestic law here in the north, which fails to provide the legal recognition for Irish here. As was pointed out throughout the ELEN General Assembly and by many of our European colleagues, without domestic legislation and official status for Irish here, there remains a huge deficit regarding language rights and services for the language community. This must change.”
Official pictures from the ELEN General Assembly in Dublin can be accessed here and are free to use: https://bit.ly/2DriR31
The Conradh na Gaeilge & CAJ research report can be accessed here: https://www.peig.ie/images/ECRML_Tuairisc_Final.pdf
Further information on ELEN can be accessed at: www.elen.ngo
Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh
Communications Executive, Conradh na Gaeilge
Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin
Advocacy Manager, 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