Irish language Hillsborough ‘stunt’ part of ‘aggressive’ plan

Pacemaker Press 15/8/2017 
Irish Language activists  (An Dream Dearg ) at Hillsborough Castle on Tuesday, Who delivered a letter each for the security of State James Brokenshire, as the seek  a Irish language act to be implemented.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/8/2017 Irish Language activists (An Dream Dearg ) at Hillsborough Castle on Tuesday, Who delivered a letter each for the security of State James Brokenshire, as the seek a Irish language act to be implemented. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Aggressive Irish language demands in the form of high-profile stunts must be met with firm resistance, TUV leader Jim Allister has said.

His comments came after Irish language activists staged a picket outside Hillsborough Castle yesterday, calling on the secretary of state to intervene on the Irish language act.

Children and teenagers educated in Irish language schools were among those to hand in letters at the front gates of the castle, which is Mr Brokenshire’s official residence in Northern Ireland.

Protestors demanded a meeting with the secretary of state who they also urged to push for a resolution on an Irish language act.

Mr Allister said: “It’s part of the aggressive demands-led campaign that this insatiable group has.

“A firm, resolute line of resistance needs to be adopted.

“It is quite clear that the whole point of an Irish language act is to hollow out the public service, to make it a cold house for unionism, and to make those with the capacity to speak the language gain preference in the public service. It would irrevocably de-Britishcise Northern Ireland, and leave Northern Ireland a place apart in the UK allied to a Gaelic culture.”

He added: “The secretary of state would be very foolish if he was swayed by such a stunt.”

Campaigner Grainne Ni Ghillin said at Hillsborough Castle: “The call for an Irish language act is one that comes directly from our streets, from our families, our schools and our young people.

“We have taken this to the very heart of the political debate and we want to keep it there until our rights are realised in law.

“The British government can no longer stand by.

“It is high time they fulfilled their own obligations as co-guarantors of the St Andrews Agreement, and as a government that facilitates the same legislation in both Scotland and Wales.”