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Allister challenges Sinn Fein on misuse of office to promote Gaelic culture

01 September 2011

TUV Leader Jim Allister has challenged the launch of an Irish language promotion campaign by the DCAL Minister as a partisan ‘abuse of power’ and demanded to know the cost of the project and whether the proposal was equality proofed, pursuant to Section 75 of the NI Act 1998.

In a letter to MLAs the Minister has decreed one of her priorities is ‘the promotion of the Gaelic culture’ and in that regard is launching an Irish language promotion campaign entitled ‘Liofa 2015’ in the Long Gallery at Stormont next Monday.

In a statement Mr Allister said:-

“Unlike their timid counterparts in government, Sinn Fein takes every opportunity to peddle their own political agenda. From the moment they politicised Irish as a cultural weapon of war - by describing every word spoken as a bullet in the freedom struggle - they have set about ramming it down our throats.

“Now, the latest phase in this divisive anti-British vendetta is to use departmental office, money and facilities to promote their language agenda. In historical culture Irish has its place, but as a living and working language it is a non-starter in the 21st century, whether it be the Long Kesh variety that the minister speaks or the real thing which she and her Sinn Fein colleagues emasculate every time they fumble and mumble through the mantra they have adopted as the introduction to everything they say.

“Making promotion of the Gaelic culture a policy priority is something with Section 75 ramifications and, therefore, I am asking the department to clarify when this policy was equally proofed and how much its one-sided implementation will cost.”

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NI politics