It was with great disappointment that Conradh na Gaeilge heard the news that Seán Ó Neachtain, MEP, will not contest the European Parliament elections in June due to health concerns. Seán was a vociferous supporter of the STÁDAS campaign to achieve official working language status for Irish in the European Union (EU), and said his proudest achievement in Europe was overseeing this. He placed a special emphasis on equality for speakers of lesser spoken languages in the EU during his seven year tenure as a Member of the European Parliament.
Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, President of Conradh na Gaeilge said: "Not only did Seán Ó Neachtain fully support the STÁDAS campaign from day one, but true to his word, he addressed the European Parliament in only Irish once it had achieved EU official working language status.
"Seán also understood that there were employment opportunities as well as cultural advantages in attaining official working language status for Irish by bringing the language to the heart of the European Union institutes, and he continued to fight tirelessly for language equality at every level in Europe."
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said: "It is a great pity that Seán will not be standing for re-election in June but we wish himself and his family only the best as they face the health issues that are preventing him for contesting the elections this year.
"We can only hope that whoever follows in Ó Neachtain's footsteps will also follow his good example and continue the great work he has done for the Irish language so far. We hope that Irish will continue to be used at every level in Europe in the future so that our national identity, job prospects, and high standing of the language in general, will flourish and prosper further."
Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa
President, Conradh na Gaeilge.
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