Northern Ireland

Campaigners welcome council backing for dual language signage at new Belfast Grand Central Station

Council ratifies motion calling on Translink to install signage including Irish at Weaver’s Cross

A plan for the new Belfast Grand Central Station (Translink/PA)
The new Belfast Grand Central Station is dur to open next year.

Irish language campaigners have welcomed council backing for calls to install dual language signage at Belfast’s new £340m bus and rail station.

Belfast City Council members have ratified a decision by the local authority’s Standards and Business Committee to call on Translink to have both English and Irish signage at Grand Central Station.

The new station at the Weaver’s Cross site will replace the nearby Great Victoria Street station and is set to be the largest transport hub in the island of Ireland when it is completed next year.

The council motion agreed at the monthly meeting on Monday night “fully supports the installation of bilingual internal and external signage at Cros na bhFíodóirí – Weavers Cross”.

It adds the council “will also write to Translink urging them to install bilingual signage at Weavers Cross and to ask what steps they are taking to fulfil their obligations under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, and ensuring shared public spaces are welcoming and cater to the bespoke needs of the Irish language community”.

Campaign group An Dream Dearg, which recently held a meeting with Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd to discuss signage at the new station, have said they “warmly welcome” the council’s backing for Irish visibility at the hub.

Eoghan Ó Garmaile said: “We have been clear throughout the past 2 years of this process that public and shared spaces like Cros na bhFíodóirí can no longer exclude the Irish language; the council’s motion means that we now have clear community support, council support, as well as the support of the Minister for Infrastructure himself.

He added: “That cross-cutting coalition supporting dual-language provision is extremely strong and should urge Translink to reconsider their monolingual position on this issue. The onus is now on Translink to engage, to commit and to fully realise their obligations under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages through comprehensive bilingual provision.”

A Translink spokesperson told the Irish News: “We recognise there is an interest regarding the inclusion of multi-lingual signage at Belfast Grand Central Station.

“We will engage with all interested parties on this moving forward.”