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

Orange Order attitude to Irish language derogatory - Lynch

Published: 9 February, 2016

Sinn Féin MLA Séan Lynch said the Orange Order's attitude to the Irish Language is derogatory and a major stumbling block to equality.

The Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA was speaking after comments by County Grand Master, Stuart Brooker, on the consultation of a future language strategy.

Mr Lynch said:

"To continually claim that the Irish Language is divisive flies in the face of the facts that many people within the unionist/loyalist community have no fear of the language and actually have realised that it belongs to them and is a rich source of cultural enjoyment.

"Those members of the unionist community are streets ahead of the Orange Order when it comes to the Irish language and, no matter how many times these anti-Irish language views are repeated, they take their own counsel from their experience of the language.

"Contrary to what Mr Brooker says, there are several Gaeltacht areas in the six counties. The Líofa programme continues to go from strength-to-strength and Sinn Féin Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has overseen a range of other measures in order to improve engagement with the Irish language.

"I would question anyone from the Orange Order complaining about pressure being put on the public purse, particularly by something positive like the Irish language, when the cost of policing contentious parades and Twadell Avenue are being carried by our communities.

"The Irish Language is open to everyone and threatens no one."