Irish language advocates rallying for Irish language legislation

Irish Language Groups Urge Immediate Legislation

More than fifty Irish language groups and organizations have signed a new letter calling on the British  Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, to fulfill previous commitments and pass Irish language legislation at Westminster ”immediately."

Following a continuous veto over language rights at Stormont, the letter states: “the DUP and others cannot be allowed to facilitate the continuous marginalisation and exclusion of our community," whilst indicating to the British Government that “community confidence in them is now incredibly low”. 

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Stated a release: The New Decade New Approach agreement (January 2020) committed parties and Governments to implementing Irish language legislation within 100 days. By 17 June 2021, the SOS Brandon Lewis gave the Stormont Assembly a final deadline of September 2021 to enact the legislation, otherwise, he committed publicly that Westminster would bring forward the legislation directly by October 2021. That deadline passed and to date no Irish language legislation has been moved or scheduled to be passed at Westminster."

Speaking at the launch of the community letter to the British Government outside Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh, spokesperson for An Dream Dearg, said: “The Irish language community has come together to demand in one voice the immediate implementation of Irish language legislation. Our community was promised a new era of equality in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

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That “resolute action” for the Irish language has never been realised. Time and time again our rights have been denied, vetoed and obstructed by the DUP and others who have yet to accept Irish speakers as equal members of society.

"Our campaign is calling time on the continuous marginalisation of our language and our community. The British Government must now fulfill their own promises and commitments. Not only are they co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement and St Andrew’s, they, alongside the Irish Government, are also co-authors of this Irish language legislation published as a cornerstone component of New Decade New Approach.

"The SOS's October deadline has now passed, leaving community confidence in the British Government at an all time low. This issue remains an urgent litmus test for the British Government and our political institutions. The days of being treated as second class citizens are over.”

The letter has been signed by the following groups: An Droichead Teo., Aonach Mhacha, Conradh na Gaeilge Boirche Iochtar, Cairde Teo., Cairde Turas, Cairde Uí Néil, Ciste Infheistíochta na Gaeilge, Coiste Forbartha Charn Tóchair, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, Comhaltas Uladh, Conradh na Gaeilge, Craobh an Iúir, Gaelaras Mhic Ardgháil, Craobh na Lorgan, Craobh Ard Eoin, Croí Éanna, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Cumann Chluain Árd, Cumann Cultúrtha Mhic Reachtain, Cumann Gaelach Leath Chathail, Cumann Gaelach QUB, Cumann Gaelach UU, Cumann Óige na bhFál, Cumann Óige Uachtar Chluanaí, Cumann Óige Uí Dochartaigh, Cumann Rothaíochta Loch Lao, An Dream Dearg, Foram na nÓg, Forbairt Feirste, Gael Linn, Gael na Glinntí, Gaelchursaí, Gaelphobal Ard Mhacha Theas, Glór an Ghleanna, Glór Mhachaire Fíolta, Glór na Móna, Glór na nGael, Glór na Speiríní, Glór Uachtar Tíre, Ionad na Fuiseoige, Ionad Uíbh Eachach, Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta, CLG Laochra Loch Lao, Misneach, Obair, Oireachtas na Gaeilge, Pobal ar a'n Iúl, Raidió Fáilte, Seacht , Teach Mhamó, Turas, Tús Nua.