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25/02/2003

British Government warned it is "failing the Irish language"

A member of the suspended Northern Ireland power sharing government has warned that the development of the Irish language in television is being undermined by both a funding shortfall and a lack of political will.
Speaking on UNESCO's International Day for Mother Languages, Sinn Fein representative Bairbre de Brun said: "The British Government have failed to live up to specific commitments they made to expand TG4 [the Irish language broadcaster] coverage in the North of Ireland and in providing financial support for Irish language film and television production."
Ms. de Brun went on to outline what measures the Government should take to correct the shortfall. She said: "A fund of £5 million for financial support for Irish language film and television production should be established, and the British Government's Communications Bill should make provision for the Irish language in the way it does for the Welsh language and for Gaelic in Scotland."
The disparity between different Celtic languages was recently highlighted with the launch of Freeview, which included S4C but neither a Scottish nor an Irish language channel, despite calls for TG4 to be carried on the free-to-air network.
(GB)
VMI.TV Ltd

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