SINN Féin Councillor and Irish language spokesperson Kevin Campbell has welcomed a meeting with the Council’s Irish language officer Pól Ó Frighhil along with Councillor Sharon Duddy ahead of Seachtaine na Gaeilge, Irish Language Week, and with 2019 being the International year of indigenous languages, to discuss a number of important issues affecting the council area.
Councillor Campbell said: “We had a very productive meeting with the Council’s Irish language officer Pól Ó Frighhil and discussed a number of language initiatives the council are involved in at present to help promote the Irish language.
“Amongst the items up for discussion was bilingual street signs.
“We were pleasantly surprised to learn that to date has seen over 366 streets have had new bilingual signage erected since the scheme began a number of years.
“This particular scheme is open to anyone in the Derry and Strabane District Council area that wish to see their street translated into Irish.
“We also discussed (Scéim Tacaíochta Gnó) a Business Support Scheme whereby small businesses, can apply for 50% funding from Foras na Gaeilge to erect bilingual signage for their business.
“This is an excellent way to promote your business bilingually and at the same time avail of a new attractive signs.
“I was also delighted to learn that since 2008, with the appointment of the Irish language officer 176 members of staff enrolled in basic Irish classes with a further 19 going on to accredited courses.
“This is massive progress that many people do not know about and may to encourage others to take up the Irish language.
“To date there are two Irish language officers working for Derry and Strabane District Council to help promote the language on an equal basis.
“To say I’m delighted with the work they are doing would be an understatement.
“If any resident in the council area would like to see their street sign done bilingually or small businesses interested in the signage scheme please contact the Irish language department in the council.
“They will and take you through the process or alternatively contact myself on the email address email@example.com and I will speak to council on your behalf.”