Ballymena ‘afraid’ of Irish Language - O’Loan
BALLYMENA has been accused of being ‘afraid’ of the Irish Language.
SDLP Councillor Declan O’Loan had recently attended a conference on the Irish Language draft strategy and at last Monday night’s meeting of council suggested that they make a response to this strategy.
He said: “It was a very interesting conference, there were speakers from Scotland and Wales who presented their local strategies.
“They were from places where they have the support of all political parties because they saw their language as a very important asset. I hope this council will make a response to the draft strategy and ask if a session is held here. There is clearly an anxiety from many here but Irish is very significant part of our culture.”
Sinn Fein Councillor Monica Digney agreed, she said: “I would like to commend councillor O’Loan and would agree with everything that he has said. I think there’s a great fear in Ballymena about it and it is something we need to look at in more depth.”
However DUP Councillor Hubert Nicholl highlighted concerns at how much money translating items into Irish can cost, he said: “I find that the Scottish Gaelic is used on a daily basis, while Irish is rarely used in Ballymena.
“It cost £6,000 to get the highway code translated into Irish and only one person has ever requested a copy of it in Irish. I know what Councillor O’Loan is saying and if he wants to do that, it’s OK, but public money shouldn’t be spent knowing it is not going to be used. We are trying to save money.”
TUV Councillor Roy Gillespie said “people can’t understand it.”
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Weather for Ballymena
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
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