Workable Irish language proposals on table, says Bradshaw

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has said workable proposals on the Irish language are on the table, after Sinn Féin said an Act was essential to any potential deal to restore powersharing.

South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw was speaking after DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy clashed, with the latter saying any agreement required an Irish Language Act.

“The proposals we developed, through discussions with all parties last year, both fulfil the need to avoid cost and compulsion as referred to by Arlene Foster and the need to meet the requirements of past agreements on Irish Language legislation as referred to by Conor Murphy.

“Our legislative proposals were designed to meet the objectives of all sides and it is clear there is no need for anyone to expend further political capital debating legislation from them, which would provide great support and security to those who cherish the Irish Language, but make absolutely no difference to the lives of those who take no interest in it.

“What is of concern to everyone across the community is the failure to tackle waiting lists, reform the school estate, or develop an industrial strategy to protect and promote jobs. Proposals satisfying all parties and enabling a return of the Executive to tackle these issues are on the table. It is long past time those with the biggest mandates took on their responsibilities and helped lead Northern Ireland back to devolved Government.”

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