Hardline version of an Irish language act previously proposed by SF minister

Anyone wondering what Sinn Fein may have in mind for an Irish language act may wish to consider some ideas one of its ministers have raised in recent years.

Monday, 3rd July 2017, 1:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:01 am
Caral Ni Chuilin (former culture minister, far left), Pat Sheehan and Declan Kearney at a Sinn Fein press conference at Stormont Castle, Belfast, on 27/06/17

These are the main proposals put out for consultation by the then Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) minister Caral Ni Chuilin in 2015.

1. Irish to be defined as an official language in the north in such a way as to guarantee services through Irish on a par with those available through English.

2. Provision conferring the right to speak the Irish language in legal proceedings in the north.

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Former Norhtern Ireland culture minister Caral Ni Chuilin.

3. Provision to require the Irish and English languages to be treated on the basis of equality in the conduct of the proceedings of the Assembly.

4. Provision to create the position of an Irish Language Commissioner – (to, among other responsibilities and powers) ensure that the Irish language is treated no less favourably than the English language. Will include power to initiate prosecutions for a newly created summary offence of refusing or failing to co-operate with the work of the Irish Language Commissioner.

5. All state and semi-state bodies, organisations, institutions, local authorities, private finance initiatives, Assembly and bodies/committees thereof, the courts, the police service to promote Irish by recognising and putting into effect the official language status of Irish and the official Gaeltacht status of any so designated areas. Including: provision for affirmative action in favour of Irish speakers in recruitment to the Civil Service and other public bodies.

6. Provision that all public bodies be required to produce schemes, which set out how Irish language services will be provided.

Former Norhtern Ireland culture minister Caral Ni Chuilin.

7. Definition of conditions for recognition of Gaeltacht areas, both rural and urban.

8. Provision for bilingual roadsigns to have the Irish content on a par with English.

9. Provision to guarantee the right to education through the medium of Irish.