Long: Disappointed at attempts to block language policy

Alliance Councillor Michael Long has said he’s disappointed at the last ditch attempts of Unionist Councillors to block a planned language policy going out for consultation.

After attempts by the DUP to take the plans back to committee, Councillor Long said language should be inclusive and welcoming, with the strategy showcasing Belfast’s diverse nature on a wider platform.

“This is a very exciting policy,” Councillor Long said, “Language defines who we are and this was our opportunity to showcase we are united in celebrating it.”

“Their determination to stall on this strategy would not only have affected the Irish Language aspect of it, but also have a negative impact on future Ulster Scots, newcomer languages and sign language roll out.

“When well-known activists like Linda Ervine from the loyalist community can promote the Irish language and DUP leader Arlene Foster can engage positively with the sector, it makes the stance from Unionist Councilors seem all the more divisive.

“We are well past the time of a new chapter and I look forward to seeing the response to the consultation.”

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