FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23 OCTOBER 2020
Walsh welcomes support for new bilingual signage policy in Belfast
Sinn Féin Councillor Seanna Walsh has welcomed support for a proposal to relax the restrictive bilingual street signage policy in Belfast City Council.
The West Belfast Councillor said:
“I welcome cross-party support for a Sinn Féin proposal in the Strategic, Policy and Resources Committee which would relax the stringent bilingual street signage policy in Belfast City Council.
“The proposal will reform the process, with 15% of the street needed to consent and an individual being able to initiate the process.
“This policy would be in line with the objectives set out in the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages and subsequent minority language agreements to protect and grow the Irish language.
“Belfast City Council has one of the most restrictive bilingual street signage policies across the north.
“This restrictive policy runs contrary to the ongoing and flourishing development of the Irish language community in our city – both in traditional Gaeltacht areas and more recently within the PUL community.
“Belfast now has one of the most vibrant and energetic Irish speaking communities in Ireland.
“It is a matter of great pride that our city is quickly emerging as the epicentre of a resurgent Irish language.
“As a Council which has a proud record in standing up for rights and equality over recent years, we must ensure that this extends and fully incorporates the Irish language community.
“Sinn Féin will continue to proactively work with the Irish language community on this matter.”