• January 10, 2010

The Celtic League has asked the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office what steps it is (has) taken to comply with a UN recommendation that an Irish Language act should be introduced. (See below):

“Rt Hon David Milliband MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street


Dear Minister,

I write with reference to the concluding observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the combined fourth to fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Crown Dependencies and the Overseas Dependent Territories on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/GBR/

5) at its 14th, 15th and 16th meetings, held on 12 and 13 May 2009 (E/C.12/2009/SR.14-16), and adopted, at its 26th and 27th meetings held on 20 and 22 May.

At para 37 under the section “Principal subjects of concern and recommendations” the report says

The Committee is concerned that there is still no protection in respect of the Irish language in Northern Ireland, whereas the Welsh and the Gaelic languages are protected by the Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, respectively. (arts. 15 and 2)

The Committee recommends that the State party, or the devolved administration in Northern Ireland, adopt an Irish Language Act, with a view to preserving and promoting minority languages and cultural heritage, and invites the State party to provide detailed information on the progress made in its next periodic report.

Can you advise what steps the United Kingdom government has taken to implement the recommendations on the CESCR in this regard?

Could you also make public communication or correspondence to the devolved government in Northern Ireland or other government agencies which signify the United Kingdom governments desire to ensure swift compliance with the CESCR recommendation in respect of an Irish Language Act.

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

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