Bah humbug to Christmas sign

[caption id="attachment_68791" align="alignright" width="600" caption="The Irish language seasonal greeting in front of Belfast City Hall."]


An Irish language Christmas sign has gone up outside Belfast City Hall despite unionist disharmony.

Although it is meant to be the season of goodwill to all men, one unionist councilor branded the new Nollaigh Shona Duit sign as an "act of bad faith."

Sinn Féin councilors at City Hall have described the move - which was voted through at a recent city council meeting - as "a great sentiment of

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peace and good will."

At that meeting unionists walked out accusing Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Alliance Party of breaking an all-party agreement to allow a working group

to make decisions that would normally divide the city.

Sinn Féin councilor Máirtín ó Muilleoir, however, said the sign offered a "great sentiment of peace and goodwill to all the people of Belfast in Irish for the first time."

ó Muilleoir is also president of the Irish Echo.

The sign had been given free of charge from An Cultúrlann, an Irish language center in the west of the city, which recently reopened its newly renovated £2 million facilities on the Falls Road.

Ulster Unionist David Browne said the decision was "an act of bad faith."

"The Irish language or Ulster Scots, it's all gobbledegook to me. The more polite way is to say that I don't understand it," he said.

"Even before the working group had met they did this. It is an act of bad faith," he said. "But I'm not really interested, the sign is up and that is it."

Mr. ó Muilleoir said: "The people who ran City Hall for the entire 20th century would not allow any acknowledgement of the Irish language. They said we broke an agreement?

"Even Scrooge did not come up with that excuse, it is bunkum. These are the people who, when they were running the place, had no interest in

consensus. We have an interest in consensus," he said.