Over 360 bilingual street signs erected in Derry and Strabane

Sinn F�in Councillor and Irish language spokesperson Kevin Campbell ,along with Councillor Sharon Duddy meeting the Council's Irish language officer P�l " Frighhil this week.
Sinn F�in Councillor and Irish language spokesperson Kevin Campbell ,along with Councillor Sharon Duddy meeting the Council's Irish language officer P�l " Frighhil this week.

There are now over 360 bilingual street signs in place across the Derry City & Strabane District Council area.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that almost 180 council employees have enrolled in Irish language classes over the past decade.

The figures emerged following a meeting between Sinn Féin Councillor and Irish language spokesperson, Kevin Campbell and the council’s Irish language officer Pól Ó Frighhil plus Councillor Sharon Duddy ahead of Seachtaine Na Gaeilge, Irish Language Week.

Speaking to the ‘Journal,’ he said: “We discussed a number of language initiatives the council is 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 over 366 streets have had new bilingual signage erected since the scheme began a number of years ago. This particular scheme is open to anyone in the Derry and Strabane District Council area who wishes to see their street translated into Irish.

“We also discussed (Scéim Tacaíochta Gnó) a Business Support Scheme whereby small businesses can apply for 50 per cent funding from Foras Na Gaeilge to erect bilingual signage. This is an excellent way to promote your business bilingually and at the same time avail of a new attractive signs.”

Colr. Campbell said he 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,” he said.

“To date there are two Irish language officers working for 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.”

Colr. Campbell urged any residents or businesses interested in the signage schemes to contact council’s Irish language department or himself via e-mail: kevin.campbell@derrystrabane.com