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This week's announcement on Irish language legislation has welcomed by campaigning group An Dream Dearg despite grave concerns by Irish Language organisations on British Government longstanding failures to honour agreements and rights. 

In a statement Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin,spokesperson for An Dream Dearg said “The latest announcement that language legislation will be brought through Westminster is an historic staging post in our long-standing campaign for language rights, recognition and respect. For the first time since agreeing to introduce an Irish language act at St Andrews in 2006, the British Government has publicly committed to enact the legislation,  and subvert the veto of political unionism to prevent our rights being provided for through Stormont. It is testament to the commitment and perseverance of the Irish language community which has seen schools, young people, parents and families take to the streets for many years in pursuit of equality and human rights. This announcement is a direct result of that activism and grass-roots organising and we commend our community for their diligence and dedication. The Dream Dearg campaign, from then until now, has proved that ordinary people can make change happen from below. We are proud to have played a positive role in enabling civil society to reclaim its democratic voice in holding those with power and responsibility to account.

Pictured at the An Dream Dearg demonstration for Irish Language rights in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at a An Dream Dearg demonstration for Irish Language rights in Newry in 2017. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

"However, the Irish language community rightly have grave concerns around the British Governments long-standing failures to honour agreements and rights. The British Government have actively and intentionally suppressed and excluded our native language through centuries of colonisation. This commitment comes 15 years after they committed to introducing an Irish language Act in an internationally binding  agreement at St Andrew’s, one they have reneged on ever since. Local parties now have an obligation to ensure the British Government fulfills this obligation and latest commitment, without any additional delay.

"We have been brought to the edge once again by the intransigence and obstructionism of the DUP who have acted in bad faith by their inability to accept long outstanding human rights commitments for the Irish language community here in the north of Ireland. They have once again elevated their own opposition to language rights over the need for a truly shared and inclusive society. 

"An Dream Dearg commits to fight for full implementation of this language legislation, for local delivery by September, and failing that, for the British Government to honour their latest commitment by October. An Dream Dearg will not be mere spectators, we will be organising and setting our own campaigning agenda as we have done in recent years. Furthermore, we commit to pursuing a full, comprehensive, rights-based Acht Gaeilge that will deliver full equality for our community in the coming years. Whilst this legislation falls well short of that international standard, it is nevertheless an historic advancement in our campaign for rights and equality. We will continue to #SeasAnFód for #AchtAnois.”


 Fáilte curtha roimh an fhógra stairiúil maidir le reachtaíocht Ghaeilge d’ainneoin nós seanbhunaithe Rialtas na Breataine gan beart a dhéanamh de réir briathair maidir le comhaontuithe agus cearta 

Dúirt Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, urlabhraí An Dream Dearg “Is céim stairiúil é an fógra go dtabharfar reachtaíocht teanga isteach tríd Westminster san fheachtas fada s’againne ar son cearta, cothromas agus cóir do phobal na Gaeilge. Den chéad uair ó thoiligh Rialtas na Breataine i gCill Rìmhinn in 2006 acht Gaeilge a thabhairt isteach, tá coimitmint déanta acu an reachtaíocht a achtú agus an veto diobhálach a bhíonn á imirt ag aontachtaithe in Stormont chun cosc a chur ar ár gcearta a shárú. Is léiriú é an fhógairt seo ar dhiongbháilteacht agus ar bhuanseasmhacht phobal na Gaeilge – lucht scoileanna, daoine óga, tuismitheoirí agus teaghlaigh – a tháinig amach ar na sráideanna go minic thar na blianta chun seasamh ar son an chomhionannais agus cearta daonna. Is toradh díreach é an fhógairt seo ar a ngníomhachas siúd agus ar an eagrúchán ón bhun aníos agus molann muid go hard an pobal s’againn as a ndíograis. Tá sé léirithe ag feachtas An Dream Dearg gur féidir le gnáthdhaoine brú a chur le hathruithe a bhaint amach sa tsochaí. Tá muid thar a bheith bródúil go bhfuil ról dearfach againn i gcumasú saoránach chun a nguth a ardú ar bhonn daonlathach chun go mbeidh siad siúd atá i gcumhacht freagrach agus cuntasach don phobal.

Mar sin féin, is ábhar mór buairimh dúinn é nós seanbhunaithe rialtais éagsúla de chuid na Breataine gan na coimitmintí a dhéanann siad i dtaca le cearta i gcomhaontuithe polaitíochta a chomhlíonadh. Leis na céadta anuas, agus tríd an choilíneachas, tá imeallú agus cos ar bolg á dhéanamh ag Rialtas na Breataine ar theanga dhúchais na tíre seo. Tá 15 bliana ann ó rinne siad gealltanas i gComhaontú Chill Rìmhinn Acht na Gaeilge a thabhairt isteach, comhaontú idirnáisiúnta a bhfuil bunús dlíthiúil leis agus ar chúlaigh siad uaidh i gcónaí, go dtí anois. Tá freagracht anois ar na páirtithe áitiúla a chinntiú go gcomhlíonfaidh Rialtas na Breataine an dualgas agus an choimitmint is déanaí seo acu gan a thuilleadh moille. 

Mar gheall ar cheanndánacht agus righne an DUP, mar gheall ar a gcur i gcoinne cearta daonna do phobal na Gaeilge ó thuaidh, tá an tsochaí ar imeall géarchéime, agus ní den chéad uair. Arís eile tá sé léirithe ag an DUP gur tábhachtaí leo an col atá acu le cearta teanga ná sochaí a thógáil atá cothrom, uilechuimsitheach do chách. 

Geallann An Dream Dearg go dtroidfidh muid le go gcuirfidh an Feidhmeannas anseo sa tuaisceart an reachtaíocht teanga i bhfeidhm go huile is go hiomlán faoi mhí Mheán Fómhair, agus sa chás nach dtarlóidh sé sin, go dtroidfidh muid le go ndéanfaidh Rialtas na Breataine an choimitmint is déanaí dá gcuid a chomhlíonadh faoi mhí Dheireadh Fómhair. Ní sheasfaidh An Dream Dearg siar. Ní iománaí ar an chlaí sinn. Beidh muid ag eagrú agus ag leagan amach ár gclár feachtasaíochta féin, mar atá déanta againn le blianta beaga anuas. Chomh maith leis sin, geallaimid go leanfaidh muid orainn ag éileamh Acht Gaeilge cuimsitheach, cearta-bhunaithe chun comhionannas a bhaint amach dár bpobal sna blianta beaga atá amach romhainn. Cé nach bhfuil an reachtaíocht atá geallta den chaighdeán idirnáisiúnta is inmholta, is dul chun cinn stairiúil é inár bhfeachtas ar son cearta agus comhionannais. Leanfaidh muid orainn ag seasamh an fhóid ar son achta. #SeasAnFód #AchtAnois.”

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