Ask not what the NI Executive can do for regional and minority languages…

Aha, it’s that time of year again. You know, when the Culture Minister is asked to compile a report for the UK’s submission to the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, s/he does, and then nothing comes back… It happened to Gregory Campbell’s report three years ago (which sank without trace with the deputy First Minister), and last year it happened to Minister Carál Ní Chuilín.

Inside Ireland reports..

The UK government’s submission to the Council of Europe was delayed “by the difficulties in obtaining a contribution” from Northern Ireland but was subsequently published in March 2013.

The foreword notes that:

“Despite repeated requests from the UK government, the devolved administration in Northern Ireland has been unable to agree a contribution to this report reflecting the views and actions of the Northern Ireland Executive.

“The UK government expresses its concern at this outcome.”


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  • The UK government should politely inform Brussels that Northern Ireland has gone from an active shooting war to a kultur kampf (culture war) phase and until that is resolved there will not be a policy. But that forcing it to have a policy could actually make things worse.

  • “Ask not what the NI Executive Irish government can do for regional and minority languages…”

    An Coimisinéir Teanga Seán Ó Cuirreáin has announced his intention to step down following the failure by Government to implement legislation designed to improve services to the public through Irish. ..

    “Requiring the people of the Gaeltacht to conduct their business in English with state agencies flies in the face of any policy which suggests that the survival of the Gaeltacht is on the State’s agenda,” he said.

    The absence of staff with competence in both official languages is one of the main obstacles to the delivery of services in Irish as well as in English, Mr Ó Cuirreáin said. He added that it is “essential” that the issue of the Irish language in recruitment and promotion in the civil service be revisited “immediately”. .. source