26 June 2003 Edition

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De Brún calls on Smith to deliver for Irish speakers

Speaking at a seminar on the way forward for the Irish language, organised by POBAL in Belfast last week, Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle member Bairbre de Brún said:

"I welcome the indication from Minister Éamon Ó Cuív that the Irish government has decided to restore the §1.6 million funding to Foras na Gaeilge, which they lost through cuts to their budget at the end of 2002.

"The British government also made cuts at the time and I call on Angela Smith to tell us now when she will restore this funding to Foras na Gaeilge.

"The Good Friday Agreement also held out the commitment of an Irish language film and television production fund. Five years later we need to see this fund in place. We were told that the business case would be completed in April of this year. Angela Smith must deliver now for Irish speakers.

De Brún also paid tribute to the work done by POBAL in recent years to give voice to the needs of the Irish speaking community in the North.

"It is increasingly being recognised that linguistic diversity helps create prosperity for all. The day to day work of POBAL as an umbrella body for the Irish speaking community has contributed greatly to this growing awareness."

An Phoblacht
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