DUP Irish language Liofa U-turn: How Twitter reacted
DUP minister Paul Givan has reinstated funding for the Liofa programme in Northern Ireland and it sent the local Twittersphere into a spin on Thursday.
A bitter row erupted between Sinn Fein and the DUP over the communities minister's decision to cut the £50,000 just two days before Christmas.
The bursaries helped Irish language students fund the costs involved in visiting the Gaeltacht region of Donegal.
On Thursday the DUP MLA took to Twitter to say he has found the money for the programme.
My decision on the Líofa Bursary Scheme was not a political decision. I have now identified the necessary funding to advance this scheme.— Paul Givan (@paulgivan) January 12, 2017
The U-turn comes after the minister said his decision was not "anti-Irish" and that he was being "financially prudent".
"If there has been a disparity of funding it has been toward the Irish language and traditions compared to Ulster Scots. So that nails the myth I have been pursuing something that is anti-Irish - quite the opposite in fact," he told the BBC.
Relieved Líofa scheme will continue. Reasons for cancelling in first place need explained - petty swipes that have taken Assembly to brink. https://t.co/Ozuafu4oPq— Naomi Long MLA (@naomi_long) January 12, 2017
Not sure if pins fit very neatly back in grenades, but good to see this reinstated. Spent my teenage summers in Gaeltacht, more the merrier! https://t.co/2tzWxcDZuV— Claire Hanna (@ClaireHanna) January 12, 2017
What a humiliating climbdown by the DUP on 'Irish' funding. Clearly, desperate to avoid an election and portend of rollover after election.— Jim Allister (@JimAllister) January 12, 2017
Given winds in brass neck! You couldn't make it up #notfitfotoffice— Stewart Dickson MLA (@stewartcdickson) January 12, 2017
So Communities Minister has just found £50k down the back of the sofa to give back to fund Irish Language Bursaries. I want that #DUP sofa!— Clare Bailey MLA (@ClareBaileyGPNI) January 12, 2017