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Alliance acht na Gaeilge proposals pave way for power-sharing

Paula Bradshaw said Alliance's proposals left no excuse not to re-establish an executive. Picture by Mal McCann

ALLIANCE has said its freshly-published proposals for an Irish language act leave no excuse for the restoration of an executive.

The party yesterday released its Irish language act position paper, though the document leaves open the potential for legislation incorporating the Ulster Scots dialect and "other cultural commitments".

Alliance advocates what it describes as "non-discriminatory" legislation that will give recognition to Irish as an "official" language and demonstrate respect for all who cherish it.

The party said its proposals will broaden rights without compelling schoolchildren to learn Irish or forcing the introduction of bilingual signs in public places.

It also rules out "discriminatory employment practices" and insists Alliance will not "legislate for costly government programmes".

Alliance proposes that assurances are provided not to block the bill in the assembly with a petition of concern and that the act be implemented no more than 12 months from the first meeting of an incoming executive.

South Belfast MLA Paula Bradshaw said her party's "workable proposals" meant there was "no excuse for the DUP and Sinn Féin to continue the political impasse".

"We have also put forward a time-frame in the proposals to enable the restoration of the executive with a guarantee the proposed legislation will become law swiftly upon the re-establishment of the institutions, but with full assembly scrutiny in advance," she said.

"With a deal on these language and culture issues now clearly available, there is now no further excuse whatsoever for the DUP and Sinn Féin not to proceed to nominate a first minister and deputy first minister early next month."

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