Open letter demands government action on Irish language

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill at a protest in support of an Irish language act at Stormont: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill at a protest in support of an Irish language act at Stormont: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
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Two hundred civic, political and sporting figures have signed an open letter to Theresa May and Leo Varadkar calling for “resolute action” on Irish language legislation.

Published in Wednesday’s Irish News, the letter calls for the UK and Irish prime ministers to “fulfil their duties” and fully implement the “commitment made in the St Andrew’s Agreement of 2006” to an Irish language act.

Among the signatories are boxers Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes, political leaders Gerry Adams and Colum Eastwood, and solicitors Niall Murphy and Padraig O Muirigh.

Journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey, along with Bernadette McAliskey and Linda Ervine, have also added their names.

The letter states: “In the case of a failure to agree an Irish Language Act in the current talks, we call upon the British Government to implement their outstanding commitments in accordance with the St Andrew’s Agreement and for the Irish Government to fulfil their duties as co-guarantors of that agreement.”

It concludes: “The Irish language community, for too long marginalised and discriminated against, must be treated with equality.”