Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bairbre de Brun First Speech in Irish at the EP

A press release from SF reports that "Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún became the first person to address the European Parliament in Irish since the European Council agreed to give it the status of official working language of the EU. Ms de Brún spoke in Brussels yesterday evening. Commenting today Ms de Brún said: "I am very proud to be the first MEP to address the European Parliament in Irish since agreement on official working language status for the language. All of this has been made possible through the hard work of those who lobbied hard for this." However, Jim Nicholson, UUP MEP declared that: "the push to have Irish upgraded was a purely political campaign. It will only serve to overburden a linguistic regime, which is already struggling to cope with 20 official languages. Given that the estimated initial cost to the taxpayer is EUR3.5 million a year, I feel it is inappropriate for our Government to have backed the measure in Council." Read the two press release here


Here is the SF Communique

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún became the first person to address the European Parliament in Irish since the European Council agreed to give it the status of official working language of the EU. Ms de Brún spoke in Brussels yesterday evening.

Commenting today Ms de Brún said:

"I am very proud to be the first MEP to address the European Parliament in Irish since agreement on official working language status for the language. All of this has been made possible through the hard work of those who lobbied hard for this.

"I extend congratulations and heartfelt thanks to all involved in the STÁDAS campaign for achieving the status of official working language of the European Union for the Irish language.

"This international recognition will have a very great influence not only on the language but on those of us who speak the language and who wish to be on an equal footing with our fellow Europeans. I ask the President of the Parliament to convey to the Council our satisfaction in this matter and would ask also that everything possible be done to meet the needs that arise from this new status between now and 1 January 2007 to ensure that the appropriate services can be provided in Irish." ENDS

Full text of Speech:

Mar Gael agus mar gaeilgeoir failtím roimh chinneadh an Aontais Eorpaigh go dtabharfaí stádas oifigiúil agus oibre don Ghaeilge san Aontas Eorpach. Cuirfidh an t-aitheantas sin chan amháin le stádas na teanga ach beidh tionchar an-mhór ag aitheantas idirnáisiúnta ar stádas lucht labhartha na Gaeilge chomh maith.

Molaim go hard gach éinne atá bainte leis an fheachtas STÁDAS agus na heagraíochta ar fad atá ag obair ar son cothromaíochta do phobal na Gaeilge i gcomhar lenár gcomh Eorpaigh.

Iarraim ar Uachtarán na Pairliminte ár sásamh a chur in iúil don Chomhairle. Iarraim air chomh maith cinntiú go ndéanfaí gach ní is féidir le go mbeidh Pairlimint na hEorpa agus na hinistiúidí eorpacha eile in ann freastal ar na riachtanais a bhaineann leis an stádas nua idir seo agus Mí Eanáir 2007 agus go mbeifear in ann na seirbhísí cuí a sholáthar i nGaeilge.

As an Irish speaker I welcome the decision to accord the status of official working language of the European Union to the Irish language. This international recognition will have a very great influence not only on the language but on those of us who speak the language and who wish to be on an equal footing with our fellow Europeans.

I extend congratulations and heartfelt thanks to all involved in the STÁDAS campaign to achieve this status of official working language of the European Union for the Irish language.

I ask the President of the Parliament to convey to the Council our satisfaction in this matter and would ask also that everything possible be done to meet the needs that arise from this new status between now and 1 January 2007 to ensure that the appropriate services can be provided in Irish.

**************************

PUSH TO HAVE IRISH LANGUAGE UPGRADED WAS A PURELY POLITICAL CAMPAIGN -
NICHOLSON


Speaking from Brussels as Sinn Fein MEP, Barbara De Brun became the
first MEP to address the European Parliament in Irish since it became an
official language of the EU, UUP MEP Jim Nicholson has strongly
criticised the British Government's backing for the upgrade to official
language status in the European Union.

In a statement Mr Nicholson said,

"The push to have Irish upgraded was a purely political campaign. It
will only serve to overburden a linguistic regime, which is already
struggling to cope with 20 official languages. Given that the estimated
initial cost to the taxpayer is EUR3.5 million a year, I feel it is
inappropriate for our Government to have backed the measure in Council.

"Given that the UK Government's endorsement of the upgrade comes only
days after the Commission approved £12 million in state aid i.e. British
taxpayer aid to the Irish Language Broadcast fund in Northern Ireland,
we have got to question the Government's priorities in investing moral
and financial support in the promotion of the Irish language at a time
when budget constraints are being felt in essential public sector areas
such as health and education." Ends

Issued by UUP Press Office -

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