South and East Belfast Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

ACHT campaign!

12 February, 2007

A Chairde/ A Chomradaí,

Our negotiating team has consistently placed the status of the Irish language at the centre of our political agenda. During the recent discussions at St. Andrews we secured a commitment from the British Prime Minister to introduce an Irish Language Act.

Experience in this process, however, has taught us that it is one thing to get a commitment from a British government but it is entirely another getting them to implement it. This is nowhere more clear than when dealing with the British government and its political system in the north on the issue of the Irish language.

Rejectionist unionism and elements of the British system will seek to prevent this Act from becoming law. We must overcome this to ensure that they fail and that an Irish Language Act becomes a reality.

If an Irish language Act is to become a reality it will require a public campaign to maximise political pressure for this objective. Sinn Féin will play our role in this.

Is cinnte go mbeidh tuilleadh brú de dhíth sula mbogann said ach níorchúlaigh Pobal na Gaeilge go fóill! Tá a' fhios againn cad é atá le déanamh agus tá muid agus tá sibhse uilig, tá súil agam, reidh dó!

It was the vocal, active campaign of language activists in the Stádas campaign, which forced a change of heart by the Irish government. Sinn Féin activists played their full part in that successful campaign and will need to do so again to ensure the success of the current campaign for a language act in the 6 counties.

Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas ón chroí a thabhairt do na daoine sin, go háirithe na sluaite de na daoine óga a chuaigh amach ar shráideanna Bhaile Átha Cliath agus a sheas an fód don teanga. Maith sibh!

It is essential, comrades, that our party activists across the country come out in force and stand shoulder to shoulder with the Irish language community on Saturday the 24th February in Belfast in the national rally in support of an Irish Language Act in the north. It's imperative that we mobilise to take part in the Belfast rally which will be assembling at Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich on the Falls road at 1pm, in the heart of our Burgeoning Gaeltacht Quarter, before marching into the centre of Belfast to Poets' Square for a rally.

Tá mé ag dúil go mór le sibh a fheiceáil linn ar an lá. I look forward to seeing you on the day.

Ádh mór.

Gearóid Mac Adhaimh, Uachtáran Shinn Féin.