3 July 2003 Edition

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British must act on Irish language commitments

Sinn Féin newly appointed Irish language spokesperson, Magherafelt councillor Sean Mac Giolla Cheara has called on the British government to act on implementing its' commitments on the Irish language. Speaking after a protest organised by Irish language groups outside the Headquarters of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure at the Interpoint on Monday, Cllr Mac Giolla Cheara said:

"Both the Irish government and the British government made specific commitments to support and promote the use of Irish language in the Good Friday Agreement and the Joint Declaration. We now need to see action, particularly from the British government.

"Cuts to the budget of Foras na Gaeilge must be reversed. Minister Eamon Ó Cuiv has already indicated that the Irish government will reverse the cuts it made to the budget of Foras. We now need to see similar commitments from the British direct rule minister.

"Five years after the Agreement was signed, we also need to see resolute action to promote the language. This requires a sea change in the attitude of the British government. It means that they must act to ensure extension of coverage TG4 throughout the north. It means a fund for Irish language TV, radio and film production. It also means that all government forms and communications be routinely available in Irish."

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