Monday, May 20, 2024

Infrastructure Minister pledges to extend use of Irish language across public services in Northern Ireland | The Irish Post

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NORTHERN Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has promised to promote the use of the Irish language on public services across the country.

The Sinn Féin MLA confirmed his intentions following a meeting with the Conradh na Gaeilge organsation this week.

“I want to see more visibility and promotion of Irish Language across public services and in our society,” he said.

“My Department has in place a long-standing policy guide for the Irish language which was developed under the European Charter for Regional Minority Languages and is reviewed annually,” he added.

“This Charter also applies to all public authorities.

“I encourage them to live up to their obligations under this Charter by promoting Irish and other minority languages.

“And the recently passed Identity and Language Act which recognises Irish as an official language.”

Mr O’Dowd highlighted the implementation of bilingual passenger information which is already available across Northern Ireland’s Glider and Metro bus services as a “positive initiative”.

He further confirmed that he has requested government officials to create proposals for the use of multi-lingual traffic signs in Belfast.

“I am committed to advancing the Irish language within my remit,” Mr O’Dowd explained.

“So, I have asked officials to develop proposals for a project that would see the use of multi-lingual traffic signs piloted in the Gaeltacht Quarter in Belfast, which is a growing and thriving Irish language community.”

He added: “Departments and public bodies all have a role to play in supporting and promoting the use of the Irish language. I accept there is more we can do, and I pledge to continue to promote the Irish language as widely as possible.”

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