28 April 2005 Edition

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Ag cur Gaeilge ar ais i mbéal an phobail - Irish language manifesto launched

"Is gné bhunúsach dár gcultúr agus d'oidhreacht mhuintir na hÉireann í an Ghaeilge agus is gá a chothú," arsa Mitchel McLaughlin. The Sinn Féin candidate for Foyle was launching the party's Irish language election manifesto in Derry on Tuesday. Dúirt sé:

"Is ábhar spreagaidh é fás an Ghaeloideachais agus athbheochán na teanga ar fud na tíre agus tá Sinn Féin chun leanúint le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge agus tacú le pobal na Gaeilge agus le grúpaí Teanga ar fud an oileáin."

The party's Irish language policy is aimed at creating a bilingual society at every level. The objective is to allow the people to reclaim their language. This document sets out practical ways of doing this across a number of key areas - legislation, broadcasting and youth and social provision. Sinn Féin believes that the Irish language in the Six Counties needs strong legislative protection in line with that in the 26 Counties.

Among Sinn Féin's proposals are:

• The introduction of an Irish Language Bill for the north which will give Irish speakers at least the same rights as those on the rest of island.

• The rights of the Irish language speakers to be recognised, protected and promoted in both the proposed Human Rights Bill and the Single Equality Bill.

• The creation of a Commissioner for the Irish language in the north.

• The establishment of an Irish language television channel and at least one Irish language radio station within five years.

• The amendment of the British Communications Act to give a formal recognition to Irish

• The development of an all embracing programme of language classes as an integral part of the education curriculum.

• Sinn Féin's Irish language proposals are available online at http://www.sinnfein.ie/ news/detail/9315

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