SINN Féin’s Raymond McCartney has said Sinn Féin is committed to securing an Irish Language Act.
He said: “Sinn Féin commends and supports Irish speakers in the long fight to secure the rights of the Irish language community.
“We are proud of the contribution and the efforts that our Party and our Ministers have made to promote the Irish language, and the rights of Irish speakers.
“Sinn Féin supports entirely the implementation of an Acht na Gaeilge.
“Our ministers have delivered unprecedented investment in the Irish Language in the north. Investment that has positively impacted the development of the Irish Language in our communities and in our schools.
“We have fought against bigotry in the Executive and put forward proposals and drafts for legislation on Acht na Gaeilge and for an Irish Language Strategy.
“We launched the first ever state-sponsored programme to attract new learners of Irish – ‘Líofa’.
“None of this has ever before been done before in the history of the 6 county state.
“We understand the importance of the inclusion of pobal na Gaeilge and have provided platforms in the political institutions for Irish Language organisations to be heard and to make an impact.
“There will be no retreat by Sinn Féin in terms of any of this progress.
“Campaign focus and lobbying efforts must continue to be aimed at those who oppose Acht na Gaeilge and language rights.
“Sinn Féin fully recognise that there must be a change in how the DUP in particular treat the Irish Language and Irish identity.
“No political institutions can be reformed without the fulfilment of previously agreed commitments.
“We are committed to ensuring that there will not be a return to the status quo.