Criticism of Executive on Irish language policy ‘extremely embarrassing’ – Bradley
SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh, Dominic Bradley says criticism of the Executive in a report published by the Council of Europe over how it promotes the Irish language is “extremely embarrassing”.
Bradley was speaking after the Council’s report said more should be done to promote Irish, including in courts and the Assembly.
Speaking to Newry Times, Bradley said, “It is extremely embarrassing that the Executive has not yet responded to the committee of experts who are charged with monitoring the implementation of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages across the UK.
“There are several outstanding issues in relation to the Irish language arising from The St Andrews Agreement. These include the Irish Language Act, and the Irish language and Ulster Scots strategies.
“Even though the consultation on the Irish language/Ulster Scots strategies, is long complete, there is no sign of the publication of either of these strategies, not to mention their implementation.
“In the meantime, Irish language organisations in the north are under severe threat from the new funding model, which Foras na Gaeilge is promoting. We no longer have a daily or weekly Irish language newspaper. All of these shortcomings are compounded by the failure of the Executive to agree input into the committee of experts report.
Bradley added, “There is an obligation on the Executive to look up to expectations in this respect and to co-operate, not only with the monitoring exercise on the Charter, but with its implementation.”
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