Liofa funding restoration must not be allowed to distract from RHI, says McDonough-Brown

Alliance Belfast Councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown has said while the restoration of Irish language funding by the Communities Minister is welcome, it must not be allowed to distract from the DUP’s pledge to hold an independent inquiry into the RHI scandal.

The South Belfast Councillor was speaking after Paul Givan announced he had identified the necessary funding to advance the Liofa Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme, which he previously cut just before Christmas. The cross-community programme is worth around £50,000 a year.

“The restoration of this funding is welcome, but it looks more desperate than decent,” he said.

“The original decision was one that smacked of provocation and, sadly, fits a long pattern of DUP disrespect. For the Minister to suggest it was not political is risible. The Irish language belongs to us all and there’s a growing recognition of its value.

“Though I wonder whether the DUP are trying to distract from their leader’s pledge earlier this week to hold an independent, judge-led inquiry into the RHI scheme. The cost of Liofa is less than a day’s worth of subsidy in that scandal and it is vital we continue to hold them to account.”

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