Patsy McGlone MLA for Mid Ulster

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Assembly Questions

Patsy McGlone 6th February 2017

McGlone slams Foster’s Irish Language comment

SDLP Mid Ulster candidate Patsy McGlone has slammed comments made by DUP Leader Arlene Foster about the Irish Language and has said that they underscore the need for statutory protection for Irish speakers.

Mr McGlone said, “The offensive frenzy that has gripped the DUP in an effort to distract from their disastrous management of government and the millions they have cost the tax payers fools no one. But for a party leader who is campaigning to be a part of a partnership government to speak so offensively about an entire community reveals the corruption at the core of the last Executive that led to its collapse.

“The Irish Language belongs to no party. It belongs to no community. It is a communal element of our rich cultural inheritance and that cannot be diminished by anyone. Today's comments, rooted in the politics of division and hate stand in stark contrast to the opportunity to embrace cooperation and compromise for the common good that this election offers.

“Whatever happens, at the far side of the election, the need for statutory protection for Irish Language speakers is all the more important. Arlene Foster has proven today that there are parties that refuse to respect the rights and ambitions of those who speak Irish. In those circumstances, those rights and protections must be written into law. Before the collapse of the institutions, I was preparing an Irish Language Act. That work will continue. It is more important than ever.”