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Irish Government’s support for Irish Language Act

Glór na Móna welcomes Irish Government’s support for Irish Language Act and calls on them to reaffirm commitment during negotiations.

Following Minister Coveney’s positive statements in support of an Irish Language Act in recent months, Glór na Móna invited the Minister to their youth and community building to experience first-hand, a vibrant Irish language community in the north.

While a date has not yet been confirmed for such a visit the Minister did state in his letter to Glór na Móna that “the governments firm position is that the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent Agreements must be implemented in full”. He went on to confirm the Irish “governments strong support for a statutory basis for the Irish language in Northern Ireland as envisaged under the St Andrews Agreement”. Furthermore he stated that “As co – guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, the government will continue to work tirelessly for its full implementation”.

In response, Glór na Móna’s Youth Officer Conchur Ó Muadaigh stated;

“It’s encouraging to see such a comprehensive and strong response from the Irish Government in support of the Irish language communities demand for an Irish Language Act. It’s in line with the majority of political parties, MLA’s and the wider community here in the north. It demonstrates that it’s time for action and for the practical fulfilment and implementation of a rights based Irish Language Act and if Stormont can’t deliver on that then the British Government should”.

“We have members of our youth club who were born after the St Andrews Agreement and despite 10 years of continuous power sharing the promises made to them have never been delivered. Our experience tells us that the Assembly cannot deliver the necessary change in this regard. Therefore, it is imperative that this must be agreed by all during the talks. The support of the Irish Government for a stand-alone, rights based Irish Language Act is crucial at this juncture.’

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