Northern Ireland news

Unionists `walk out' of council meeting during Irish language presentation

Sinn Féin councillor Dermot Nicholl chaired the meeting. Picture by Mal McCann

A WALK out of a council meeting by unionist politicians during a presentation about the Irish language has been branded "childish".

Some members of Causeway Coast and Glens Council appeared to switch off their cameras during a committee meeting that was being held remotely.

Conradh na Gaeilge (CnaG) had been invited to the leisure and development committee to discuss Seachtain na Gaeilge, an international Irish language festival.

Sinn Féin councillor Dermot Nicholl, who chaired the meeting, said councils should help to enhance and promote Irish.

"Unionists members of council showed complete disrespect and contempt for the Irish language and those who speak it and value it by staging a childish walk out during a presentation by Conradh na Gaelige," he said.

"The Irish language is an integral part of the lives of a growing number of people who use it daily and their rights should be protected. Councils should be doing their best to become more progressive and inclusive for all members of society."

CnaG advocacy manager Conchúr Ó Muadaigh, said the group met councils regularly to discuss the promotion and protection of Irish.

"We are disappointed that several councillors missed out on the opportunity to learn about and discuss the Irish language," he said.

"Language, respect and equality commitments were all central in the New Decade New Approach agreement and remain outstanding.

"Conradh na Gaeilge will continue to meet and lobby all parties across the board and make the case for the Irish language to representatives of all communities and all backgrounds."

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