NI: Brokenshire pressed to meet with Irish language community over legislation

NI: Brokenshire pressed to meet with Irish language community over legislation

Irish language speakers delivered a letter to Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire today, calling for the introduction of Irish language legislation as per the St Andrews Agreement.

Around 60 people travelled together to Hillsborough Castle, Mr Brokenshire’s official residence, and delivered a letter calling on the minister to meet representatives of the Irish language community to discuss their long-standing campaign for an Irish Language Act.

Gráinne Ní Ghillín of the An Dream Dearg campaign said the event was organised “to highlight the importance of the community in this campaign and to reiterate the role of the British Government”.

Ms Ní Ghillín said it was time for the Government to fulfil its obligations “as co-guarantors of the St Andrews Agreement”.

Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin added: “The Irish language community have been waiting too long for the state to bring in legislation that will protect our human rights; and now is the time for action.

“We are calling on the Secretary of State to officially meet us and discuss this matter with us. We are also calling on him to use his role during the cross-party talks that will reconvene in September, to ensure that this issue is resolved and that outstanding commitments in relation to the Irish language are finally fulfilled.

“The question of an Irish language Act, he will be aware, was recently recommended by the Council of Europe and the United Nations ‘as a matter of priority’; is supported by the NI Human Rights Commission and as was ultimately promised over ten years ago in the St Andrews Agreement. Now is the time.”

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