Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The Irish language belongs to everybody in our society and has been associated with many organisations throughout our history. It is frustrating that the DUP have mocked the Irish language in such an inappropriate way and have refused to apologise despite it being clear that many people have been offended by these comments, including those who would not support the Irish language.
“We should be respectful of our linguistic diversity and allow the promotion of all our languages in a shared society.
“As an MLA for East Belfast, I know how successful the Turas project has been, with a large level of interest among local people. Linda Ervine has shown what can be achieved when the Irish language is promoted on a cross community basis.”
Trevor Lunn MLA said: “I was deeply disappointed that Gregory Campbell chose to repeat his insult of the Irish language at the recent DUP conference. He is perfectly entitled to show his opposition to any issue but it is completely unacceptable to be so intolerant of other people’s views.
“How can the DUP call for respect for their culture when they are so offensive about other people’s culture?
“It is time that we took the politics out of the Irish language and allow those who wish to learn it or about its history to do so without being mocked.”