From top: Irish language rights demonstration in Belfast city centre last Saturday: Brandon lewis, UK’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Via The Guardian:
Brandon Lewis, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, is to introduce the identity and language (Northern Ireland) bill at Westminster to recognise and protect Irish and foster Ulster Scots.
It will give the Irish language official status, allow the use of Irish in courts, create two commissioners plus an office of identity and cultural expression and provide £4m to An Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge, an Irish language investment fund. “This bill represents a significant milestone in laying down a new cultural framework,” Lewis said.
Irish language activists welcomed the legislation and urged swift implementation. “That is now the immediate litmus test for the British government. Having legislation is one thing, acting on it is the real test,”
Conchúr Ó Muadaigh, of the Conradh na Gaeilge language group, told the BBC. “Without that immediate action this legislation won’t be worth the paper it is written on.”