The Ulster Unionist Party’s Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie MC, has welcomed the intervention of a Conradh na Gaeilge spokesman on BBC Radio Ulster, outlining their demands in relation to an Irish Language Act.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“On BBC Radio Ulster this morning a representative of Conradh na Gaeilge confirmed what we have been saying all along.
“They want affirmative action for Irish speakers within the civil service and wider public sector, dual signage on all public buildings, an audit of language skills of civil servants and Irish road signs throughout Northern Ireland, whether they are welcome or not, even on the Shankill Road. It is the thin end of the wedge.
“It is nothing less than a bid to introduce bi-lingualism and to change the face of Northern Ireland.
“The reality is that Stormont is not sitting and our schools and hospitals are in crisis.
“The fact is that even in the Republic where Irish was elevated and given huge Government support for almost a Century, the use of the Irish language is in decline as the Gaeltacht shrinks.
“The Belfast Agreement made provision for Irish and Ulster Scots. Nobody can seriously claim that anyone in Northern Ireland is discriminated against because they do not have the right to learn or speak Irish. I have no quarrel with those who speak Irish and cherish the language, but it’s time to get real.”