11 June 2005

Daily Ireland

Language summit

By Conor McMorrow

A convention is being held in Belfast next week to discuss Irish-medium education.
The Irish-language organisation Pobal has been working on a draft law for the Irish language in the North.
The proposed legislation is being drawn up because people in the Irish-language community in the North want to have their rights defined and protected in law.
They want an Irish language act that would give them due recognition in legislation and impose obligations on the state system.
Seán Ó Coinn, chief executive of Comhairle na Gaelscoilaíochta (the Council for Irish-Medium Education), said: “We want as many people as possible from the Irish education and the Irish-medium sectors to attend this convention, including principals, teachers and parents.
“This generation of children in the Irish-medium education sector in the North will benefit most from an Irish language act in future.
“The current Irish-medium education leadership has a grave responsibility because it is they who have to ensure that the rights of these children have legislative protection.”
There are currently more than 3,000 children in the Irish-medium education sector in the North. The convention is being held in the Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich on the Falls Road in west Belfast between 3pm and 6pm on Tuesday.
Organisers said they hoped the convention would raise questions over whether or not the Irish-medium education sector was being denied rights and what the best way forward would be to conteract this with an Irish language act.

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