Sinn Féin East Derry MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has clashed with Transport Minister Danny Kennedy and slammed his decision to refuse bilingual road signage as an affront to the right of equality for Irish speakers.
He said “The Irish speaking community is not happy with the Ministers refusal on the grounds of equality. His argument that it is not feasible because of the cost to the public purse is simply not the case. The cost of the signage would have to be borne by the community or organisation that requested it. This is an affront to the right of equality for Irish speakers who are growing in numbers by the day. Both the main towns in this borough have Irish medium schools – Limavady and Dungiven.
Mr Ó hOisín continued “I should not have to remind Mr Kennedy that discrimination comes with a considerable cost. In 1998 his party colleague Michael McGimpsey then the Unionist Minister for Sport gave the IFA a £9million grant for the development of local soccer. The GAA as was usual in those days got nothing. The GAA Ulster Council issued discrimination proceedings and the Department settled out of court for £6.7 million. The gates had been prised open and we have kept them open since. We will not let the matter rest here and will look at this again.”