Northern Ireland

Councillors vote in favour of dual language signs at new Grand Central Station and surrounding area

Belfast City Council committee voted 12-5 with the proposal expected to be passed by full council

Protesters from An Dream Dearg protest at the  new Belfast Transport Hub on Thursday.

Eoghan Ó Garmaile from An Dream Dearg, said*: "As Translink and DFI complete their new £340m Belfast Transport Hub we want to make sure that this new shared space is a beacon of best-practice regarding dual-language Irish-English signage. 'Cros na bhFíodóirí', sitting at the edge of Belfast's Gaeltacht Quarter, must be reflective of the ever-growing Irish speaking community here, and as a shared place, be inclusive of that dual-language reality. This will be entirely cost-neutral if completed during the design and manufacture phase, so this really is a time-sensitive issue. We are calling on Translink, on DFI and the Minister to ensure Weaver's Cross is a comprehensive dual-language facility, including signage, branding and interactive services."

Councillors voted for dual language signs following protesters by An Dream Dearg, the Irish language group, at the new Belfast Transport Hub. on Thursday.

Belfast councillors have voted for dual Irish-English language signs to be placed at the new Belfast Grand Central Station and surrounding Weaver’s Cross area.

Representatives by a majority vote approved a Sinn Féin motion supporting dual language signage at Grand Central Station.

The motion also calls for Irish signage in the wider Weaver’s Cross area, which is still in the early stages of planning and development.

At the council’s Standards and Business Committee twelve members voted for the proposal and five against.

The proposal by councillor Róis-Máire Donnelly states: “This 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.”

The committee decision will have to go to this month’s full Belfast City Council meeting on April 8th for ratification, but is likely to be confirmed due to the majority numbers in favour at committee level.

Construction is continuing around the Europa station on Great Victoria Street with completion is expected on the new facility by the end of this year. The wider development of the Weaver’s Cross area is expected to be completed in third quarter of 2025.