Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

"Branding of the new council - an opportunity to revive Irish". - Maguire

Published: 10 January, 2015

At a meeting of the Fermanagh Omagh Shadow Council on 3rd December the Linguistic Diversity Action Plan was passed by 23 votes to 12. This was subsequently called in by the Ulster Unionist Party and was referred back to the Council Meeting held on Wednesday 7th January.

The call-in was unanimously passed, to the delight of Sinn Féin representatives.

Sinn Féin Councillor Tommy Maguire spoke after the meeting,

"The reason for the call-in was that having English and Irish on stationery, vehicles and external signage was seen to be adversely affecting Unionism in Fermanagh, however the report returned from the solicitor indicated that wasn't the case. Unionist representatives wanted branding to be trilingual, to include Ulster Scots.

"The only areas Ulster Scots has been spoken in are North Down, North Antrim, North East Derry, Finn Valley and Donegal - it was never and is not spoken in Fermanagh. Whereas we saw the branding of the new council as an opportunity to revive Irish, a language that was once the native language of the Fermanagh and Omagh districts and continues to grow right across the island of Ireland.

Cllr Maguire continues,

"We understand what it is to be passionate about identity and culture and therefore we were willing to have trilingual signage on both of the cultural and arts buildings in the council area; the Strule Arts Centre in Omagh and the Ardowen Theatre in Enniskillen. We also agreed to a fair and proportional Ulster Scots language policy.

"As a proud Gaeilgeoir myself, I believe the bi-lingual branding should be welcomed and our county should continue to celebrate our native language." ENDS