Left-wing party to make council call for Irish act

Belfast City Hall, the seat of the council
Belfast City Hall, the seat of the council

Matt Collins, a Belfast City councillor for the socialist People Before Profit party, is set to propose a motion calling for the council to support an Irish language act.

Councillor Collins, based in the Black Mountain district in the city’s west, will make the call on Thursday at the latest monthly gathering of the full city council.

He said such a move is “about the basic right of Irish speakers”.

He added an Irish act was “something that anyone with any sense of social justice and equality should support and it defies belief that any party would continue to deny it”.

The wording of the motion is as follows:

“This council notes the positive revival of the Irish language in Belfast over the past number of decades.

“Today, the city of Belfast has a historically large concentration of Irish speakers, which includes a growing number of Irish medium schools, providing for thousands of pupils and thousands more residents who speak the Irish language on a daily basis.

“The council also recognises the impressive grassroots movement that has developed in recent years calling for an Irish language act, in order to safeguard and strengthen rights for the Irish language community, a call that has received widespread political support.

“The council believes that such a move is crucial in delivering fair and proper treatment for the Irish language community and supports the introduction of an Irish language act.”