29 October 1998 Edition

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Irish language under attack in Six County Assembly

The continued insistance of unionists, of all shades, to denigrate the Irish language during Assembly debates is an indicator of how far nationalists have still to travel before their rights are recognised and treated with respect.

The latest upsurge in anti-Irish sentiment occurred on Monday this week when during an Assembly debate unionists bombarded pro-Irish language contributors with insults.

At one point Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams accused the DUP's Willie McCrea of telling Sinn Fein's Mary Nelis to, ``go back to the kitchen and get out''.

The abusive unionist language also stirred the SDLP Assembly member Eamon O'Neill to comment and protest at the,''corner boy comments'', from the unionists.

The upshot of the debate was to decide that the Assembly may give recognition to the Irish language as well as Ulster-Scots. Translation facilities are being drawn up for official Assembly records while simultaneous translation is being considered.

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