[lg policy] Northern Ireland: DUP will oppose Irish logo on north-west super council

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 21 15:34:08 UTC 2015

DUP will oppose Irish logo on north-west super council
  [image: <span style = 'color : #3c73b3;'>DUP will oppose Irish logo on
north-west super council</span>]
Published 19/02/2015

John Monaghan

 THE DUP has said it will oppose any move to put Irish on the logo of the
north west's new super council.

Although members of the shadow Derry and Strabane District Council have not
yet voted on a design, it is understood nationalists will propose
incorporating Irish.

It comes after the new Newry, Mourne and Down council angered unionists by
voting to make Irish the dominant language on its logos, literature and

Sinn Féin and the SDLP are in favour of an 'Irish-first' policy and hold
majorities on four of the 11 new councils - although one of the four has
already decided to place English above Irish.

The DUP's deputy mayor of Derry, Gary Middleton, said he felt a bilingual
policy would be "a waste of time and money".

"There have been consultations about the new logo with the public and the
overwhelming majority of people came back and said they wanted English only
on the logo," he said.

"Minority languages should be respected but if there was a new proposal to
come forward, I would be opposed."

The councillor described the existing Derry City Council symbol, which
includes English, Irish and Ulster-Scots, as "unsightly".

"There is a significant Polish community here with more fluent speakers
than Irish," he said.

"Unfortunately this has been used as a political football. I think this is
simply down to the fact this is an election year."

It is unclear if Irish would be given dominance over English if it appeared
on the new super council logo.

Strabane District Council has both Irish and English on its logo, with
English appearing first, as in Derry.

Several SDLP and Sinn Féin figures in the new council area either declined
to comment, or did not respond to calls and emails.

The logo of the new Fermanagh and Omagh council is bilingual, but features
English above Irish, contrary to the approach of Newry, Mourne and Down.

SDLP Omagh councillor Joanne Donnelly said it was unlikely the new
authority would change a decision passed weeks ago, when unionists
criticised the exclusion of Ulster-Scots.

"It took a lot of time to come to that decision. I don't see why it should
be a major issue. It is unfortunate that this issue is so politicised," she

"The positioning of Irish was never really discussed. We were just happy
that it went on it."

Mid-Ulster District Council, mean while, has tested a temporary logo for
the past year in English only, but it is expected that Irish will feature
on the design when councillors vote on the issue later this month.

Cáthal Mallaghan of Sinn Féin said that while he fully supported the
inclusion of Irish, the party grouping had not taken a decision.

A draft Irish language policy for the Mid-Ulster council area was also
launched last week by Mr Mallaghan and councillor Sean McPeake, which if
approved would "give the Irish speaking community the opportunity to do
their business in Irish if they wish".

The DUP said the party's policy tended to favour English as the only
language on council logos.

North Belfast assembly member Nelson McCausland said Newry, Mourne and
Down's position "seeks to impose Irish".

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