Ireland Arlene Foster plays down concerns over Irish language laws

09:26  14 february  2018
09:26  14 february  2018 Source:   pressassociation.com

Rock band Horslips are feuding with 'saddo' Irexiteers over the use of their classic song

  Rock band Horslips are feuding with 'saddo' Irexiteers over the use of their classic song Dearg Doom was played at last weekend’s Irexit conference.Horslips published a post on their Facebook page earlier today in which they made clear they were not happy that the song was used at the conference.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has dismissed any suggestion of a standalone Irish language law emerging from Stormont's power-sharing negotiations. Mrs Foster said rumours about what legislation might look like were "not grounded in any sort of reality".

Arlene Isabel Foster MLA PC (née Kelly; born 3 July 1970) is a Northern Irish politician serving as Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party since December 2015 and Member of the Northern Ireland

DUP leader Arlene Foster (Niall Carson/PA) © Provided by The Press Association DUP leader Arlene Foster (Niall Carson/PA) Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster has rubbished speculation about the shape of Irish language laws that might emerge from Stormont’s powersharing negotiations.

Mrs Foster said rumours about what legislation might look like were “not grounded in any sort of reality”.

In an interview with the Press Association, the DUP leader again insisted her party would not sign off on a stand-alone Irish Language Act – a key Sinn Fein demand throughout the 13-month impasse.

She also ruled out any laws that would require bilingual road signs in Northern Ireland; compulsory teaching of Irish in schools; or quotas of Irish language speakers within the civil service.

Stormont’s former first minister also moved to temper expectations that a deal to restore devolution is likely this week.

“I am hopeful that we will move toward devolution again,” she said.

“Whether it is this week, whether it is in a couple of weeks or whether it’s in a couple of months what I must ensure is that we have an accommodation that everybody feels content with.”

Mrs Foster also made clear that if devolution is restored she expects to be first minister of the new administration. Sinn Fein had previously ruled out her return to the post while an inquiry into a botched green energy scheme continued.

Pictured: 'Freak accident' sees customer plough through window of Dublin car showroom

  Pictured: 'Freak accident' sees customer plough through window of Dublin car showroom Pictured: 'Freak accident' sees customer plough through window of Dublin car showroomToyota replied to concerns on Twitter after an image of the incident was posted online, confirming that the driver’s foot slipped, the car was automatic, and it was a “miracle no one was hurt”.

This article is over 9 months old. Arlene Foster : ‘What we cannot and will not do is simply to agree to one-sided demands.’ Unionists will only accept legislation for the Irish language if it also includes protections for British culture and the Ulster Scots identity, Arlene Foster has said.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has in-depth experience of detailed and tricky negotiations in Ulster politics. “I told her the Irish language should not frighten unionists given the role played by Presbyterian scholars Laura Ingalls Wilder's name removed from book award over racism concerns .

“I am the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party so therefore I will be the person that’s put forward by the party to be first minister,” she said.

The Prime Minister and Taoiseach travelled to Stormont on Monday to encourage the region’s parties to finally end the deadlock that has left Northern Ireland without a functioning government since last January.

Theresa May urged them to make “one final push” to strike a deal to salvage powersharing.

Mrs Foster said while the leaders were welcome, their presence proved a “bit of a distraction” as it interrupted negotiations. The DUP leader said the governments had been told in advance of their trip that “the deal wasn’t done”.

The DUP did not meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Monday but Mrs Foster rejected the suggestion that recent frayed relations between the two over Brexit was the reason. She said she did not feel it necessary to meet Mr Vardakar because the negotiations were touching on matters solely related to internal matters within Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein wants a standalone piece of legislation to protect speakers – an Irish Language Act – but the DUP has long insisted it would only countenance new laws if they also incorporate other cultures, such as Ulster Scots.

The mood music emerging from the negotiations has been more positive in recent days, with growing anticipation that a resolution is close.

Mrs Foster said speculation about what new language laws might look like had caused public concern.

Two Irish men are wanted in the UK in connection with the murder of an 87-year-old man

  Two Irish men are wanted in the UK in connection with the murder of an 87-year-old man Police are keen to talk to Jimmy Michael Connors, 28, and Tom Joseph Ward, 17 ,  about their whereabouts on the day of the incident.Connors is described as 5ft 5ins, average build with an Irish accent.Ward, who resides in Stoke-on-Trent occasionally, is described as 5ft 8ins, average build with an Irish accent.Detective Inspector Dan Ison, the senior investigating officer, said: “Both men have links throughout the country and are known to frequent the London, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Yorkshire areas.

Arlene Foster warns Leo Varadkar not to " play around" with Northern Ireland over Brexit. Image copyright PA. Image caption The Irish government has said it will veto the start of Brexit trade talks unless border issues are concerned .

They will be voting for the DUP because they believe we are the only party that supports the unborn. DUP leader Arlene Foster . The devolved Stormont assembly has not sat for months following a row between the DUP and Sinn Fein over a botched green energy scheme, but Downing Street is

“Some of the speculation yesterday wasn’t grounded in any sort of reality at all,” she said.

“There won’t be a stand-alone Irish Language Act – we have always made that very clear, people aren’t going to be forced to learn Irish, there isn’t going to be Irish compulsory in schools, there’s not going to be bilingual signs or quotas in the civil service.

“Some of the speculation has actually caused a lot of concern right across the community in Northern Ireland and it‘s important that we say that that is not based in reality.

“What we are trying to find is an accommodation and a way forward that values those people who are Irish speakers but doesn’t impinge on the lives of those who aren’t Irish speakers and I think that’s important.”

Mrs Foster said language was not the only remaining sticking point, and said gaps still had to be bridged on other wrangles between the two parties.

“We have made very good progress in these last three weeks – these last three weeks has been quite intensive and we have made good progress,” she said.

Sinn Fein senior negotiator Conor Murphy said an Irish Language Act was essential to any deal to restore the political institutions.

He said talks were at a critical stage and the party was focused on achieving a deal.

“However they want to describe it, the DUP know that agreement requires an Acht Gaeilge.

“The DUP need to make up their mind about whether they are up for a deal or not.

“This is a time for leadership and calm heads and there is a responsibility on all involved not to react to some of the noise from people who simply don’t want an agreement.”

For more of the most popular News, Sport, Lifestyle & Entertainment on MSN, Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter

Emotions high ahead of Irish abortion poll .
From the tragedy of teenager Ann Lovett to the death of Savita Halappanavar - abortion is the most emotive of issues.It was here beneath the gaze of a statue of the Virgin Mary on a similar January day that Ann Lovett, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, died giving birth to a baby son.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!