'New Decade, New Approach' provides for official recognition of Irish and new Irish Language Commissioner

Document tabled.
Document tabled.

The 'New Decade, New Approach' document published by the Irish and British governments on Thursday provides for the official recognition of Irish in the North and a new Irish Language Commissioner.

The putative accord will remove some anti-Irish provisions in law.

"The legislation in respect of Irish language will also include the repeal of the Administration of Justice (Language) Act (Ireland) 1737 and make any necessary statutory provision for births, marriages and deaths to be registrable through Irish, and for wills to be validly made in Irish, as an option
and matter for individual choice.

"Irish and other languages will be facilitated
when deemed necessary by the courts.

"Nothing in the legislation will affect
the status of the English Language," the document states.

A new Ulster Scots/Ulster British tradition Commissioner will also be appointed.

Both commissioners will fall under the auspices of a new Office of Identity and Cultural Expression if the deal is agreed.

The document also provides for the reform of the Petition of Concern.

"The threshold for a Petition of Concern will remain at 30 MLAs, but a Petition can only be triggered by members from two or more parties.

"For this purpose, an independent Member is to be treated as a party if that Member was elected on an independent platform," it states.

The document if available for download at the Northern Ireland Office website.