Northern Ireland: Unionists' ban plan anti-Irish says group

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Oct 10 13:28:53 UTC 2007

Unionists' ban plan anti-Irish says group

(Aoife McKeever, Irish News)

An Irish-language organisation has said an Ulster Unionist motion
seeking to ban the use of Irish in the assembly as being anti-Irish.
The group Acht is to protest outside Stormont when the motion is being
heard in the assembly at noon tomorrow (Tuesday).

Acht spokesman Ciaran Mac Giolla Bhein said the motion was draconian
and anti-Irish.

"This motion not only contravenes article 73 of the assembly
regulations but also the Good Friday Agreement and the European
Charter for Regional and Minority Lang-uages, both of which uphold the
right to speak and learn Irish," Mr Mac Giolla Bhein said. "The use of
indigenous languages is an internationally recognised human right that
can't be held to ransom by anti-Irish racism or party political

"The Irish-language community firmly believes that instances such as
this highlight the necessity for a rights-based Irish language act in
the six counties." David McNarry – the Ulster Unionist Party's
culture, arts and leisure spokesman – told the assembly last week he
was sick of hearing Irish spoken and was tabling a motion for a debate
to have it banned. Mr McNarry said he would oppose any proposed Irish
language act.

October 9, 2007
This article appeared first in the October 8, 2007 edition of the Irish News.

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