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

DUP attitude to schools derogatory - Lynch

Published: 17 April, 2016

Sinn Féin Assembly candidate for Fermanagh South Tyrone, Seán Lynch, has said that the DUP attitude to Irish language schools is derogatory and that there will be no return to past discrimination.

Speaking following comments by Arlene Foster, Mr Lynch said:

"The DUP's stance on the Irish language is out of step with the wider community.

"A recent consultation on an Irish language act clearly demonstrated that the community which unionist leaders purport to represent have a much more positive view of the Irish language than is being reflected by the DUP.

"It's simply ridiculous that anyone would be coming out and making such statements to undermine one of the education sector's success stories of the last 30 years.

"The benefits of bilingualism are very well documented, not just in an Irish context but internationally. The results coming from the Irish medium sector are excellent.

"Spending is not based on "preferential treatment" - it is addressing the growing demand for Irish medium education and years of underinvestment in this sector.

"It wasn't uncommon under British direct rule for schools to be denied funding and school children being taught in accommodation, which was frankly not good enough.

"My party colleague, John O'Dowd, in his role as Minister of Education recently announced a new school build for Bunscoil an Traonaigh on the former High School site in Lisnaskea which has been welcomed by all sections of the community.

"This is due to the consistent growth of the school and demand for Irish medium education in the county.

"Mrs Foster is again electioneering and is demonstrating being out of step with the wider community. There will be no return to the days of discrimination of Irish medium education. The Irish Language is open to everyone and threatens no one."