Northern Ireland news

DUP councillor criticised after describing Irish recycling leaflet as 'waste'

Councillor Clement Cuthbertson

THE DUP has again been accused of insulting the Irish language after one of its representatives described a recycling leaflet printed as Gaeilge as "unnecessary waste".

Mid Ulster District Council last week launched of an Irish language version of its recycling guide, to coincide with Seachtain na Gaeilge – the national Irish Language Festival.

The same leaflet was produced in eight other languages, including English.

But DUP councillor Clement Cuthbertson described the leaflet printed in Irish as "ludicrous".

He said nobody in the Mid Ulster council area speaks Irish as their first language.

"When you look at the last census in 2011, it wasn’t even in the top five most spoken languages in the district," he told the News Letter.

Mr Cuthbertson, who has previously described bilingual road signs as "divisive and confrontational", said the leaflet could potentially "end up in landfill".

However, according to the council, only "very small quantities" of the leaflet were printed and it was available in other languages.

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan said the councillor's outburst was the "latest anti-Gaeilge insult" from the DUP.

“When DUP representatives utter these kind of insults, people within nationalism are left asking themselves whether that party has learned anything from the disrespect and arrogance that contributed to the collapse of the Stormont institutions," he said.

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