Sinn Féin First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill has welcomed confirmation that legislation for an Irish Language Act will finally be tabled in Westminster.
Speaking from London, Michelle O’Neill said:
“At the weekend almost 20,000 people took to the streets of Belfast as part of their campaign for respect and their Language rights to be delivered.
“The determination, confidence and vibrancy of the Irish language community shone through. It was a pleasure to watch.
“I welcome confirmation that the British government will finally table legislation to deliver an Acht Gaeilge.
“This day belongs to those who never gave up, those that have campaigned for over 15 years.
“This now needs to be done before the summer recess and without any more delay.
“Gaelgeoirí have waited over 15 years for the British government to live up to its promises and deliver Acht, they shouldn’t have to wait a day longer.
“It’s also good news that An Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge will receive £4 million of funding to continue to assist and develop Irish language communities and projects and create jobs.
“It’s important that we now see the Irish Language Act delivered to give official recognition of the Irish language in this state, appoint An Comisinéir Teanga, repeal draconian laws preventing the use of Irish in our courts and ensure that people can access public services through Irish.
“The language and cultural package agreed in New Decade, New Approach symbolises respect for diversity, tolerance and mutual understanding for each other’s identity, language and culture.”