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Thousands take part in Belfast march in support of Irish Language Act

Speakers urged those with “power and influence to end their decades-long obstruction of Irish language rights”.

People gather outside Belfast City Hall in support of the Irish Language Act.
People gather outside Belfast City Hall in support of the Irish Language Act.
Image: An Dream Dearg Twitter

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE have taken part in a march through Belfast to seek the “immediate implementation” of an Irish Language Act.

The event was organised by An Dream Dearg and saw participants march from Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich to Belfast City Hall.

The provision of an Irish Language Act was a key component of the New Decade, New Approach deal which restored the government of the Northern Ireland Executive after a three-year hiatus.

This has not been implemented to date, but the Northern Ireland Office has said it will introduce an Identity and Language Bill as part of its legislative programme for the next parliamentary session.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis MP, says the Bill will “also recognise and celebrate Northern Ireland’s rich heritage with a balanced package of identity and culture measures previously agreed by the Northern Ireland parties”.

However, Conchúr Ó Muadaigh, spokesperson for An Dream Dearg, told today’s rally: “It is time for the British Government, the DUP and others with power and influence to end their decades-long veto and obstruction of Irish language rights.”

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He added that “the Irish language Act is long overdue and our community cannot be made to wait any longer for the same language rights enjoyed by citizens across these islands”.

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