Ní tír gan teanga

I welcome the fact that Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív has urged Edwin Poots to implement an Irish language Act.

This comes as Human Rights commissioner Monica McWilliams has written to the SOS asking how he plans to proceed on the issue of an Irish language act. There is currently no legislation on Irish in the six counties, this is a minimum expected by the Framework Convention on National Minorities.

Minister Ó Cuív said "The Act is a commitment in the St Andrew's Agreement and I hope that all political parties will work together to find a way forward."

Poots decided against an Irish Language Act despite the fact that 65% of respondents to the departments consultation were in favour of it.

Mr Ó Cuív added "I will play my part as the minister in the Republic with direct responsibility for the Irish language"

One of the things that many will not know is that as Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív has a responsibility to advance the use of the Irish language "in the rest of the country, both North and South"

I remember when I was on the QUB Students' Union executive and we were facing opposition to the bi-lingual student hand book, Éamon Ó Cuív offered us tremendous help and support.

I have no doubt that if it wasn't for his help and support we never would have been able to produce the Bi-lingual "Book they tried to ban".

I hope that Éamon Ó Cuív is able to help with this impasse, he has a statutory responsibility to advance the use of Irish on this island and this Act is a major part of that.

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