A DUP MP has insisted unionist students at Queen’s University in Belfast must be given a welcoming environment for their education, amid a row over Irish language signs.
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell was speaking after the university’s acting vice-chancellor, Professor James C McElnay, had apologised for “any offence caused” by a letter he had sent to Irish language activists.
Irish language society An Cumann Gaelach QUB had hit out after receiving a letter from Prof McElnay which appeared to suggest putting up bilingual signs would contravene the university’s diversity and equality policy.
The group had been pressing for the return of bilingual English-Irish signage that had been removed in 1997.
Speaking to the News Letter, Mr Campbell said: “The issue isn’t about what the acting vice-chancellor said, or what the reaction to what he said has been, the issue has to be about whether the erection of Irish language signs is going to make Queen’s University a more or less welcoming environment.”
He added: “People from the unionist community are, at the moment, a minority of students attending Queen’s. This is an attempt to put up signs that would alienate these students and make the place seem a cold house for them.”