[Sinn Fein]

2nd December 2002

Sinn Fein Anger over Irish Language Cuts

Sinn Fein spokesperson Gearóid Ó hEára has hit out at the decision by the Dublin Government to cut their funding of the North/South Irish Language body Foras na Gaeilge. Commenting on the 11% cut the Sinn Fein spokesperson, who is one of the party's two nominees to the Language Body said:

"The Dublin Government is effectively cutting back on the commitments made in the Good Friday Agreement. The Irish-speaking community across the island feel that they have been let down."

"We might have expected this from the Northern Ireland Office, who have shown total disregard for Irish in the past, but Charlie Mc Creevy has effectively given them an excuse to cut back on their funding for the Irish Language."

"This cut means a loss of almost 2m to the promotion of Irish and the effects of it could well jeopardise the significant progress achieved by Foras so far."

"Sinn Fein will be raising this matter, as a matter of urgency, with the two governments and demanding that the proper levels of funding and staffing are made available to Foras na Gaeilge to allow them to carry out the task assigned to them under the Good Friday Agreement."

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