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Need for clarity on Irish Language Act

The preamble to the St Andrews Agreement states that "the two Governments now believe that the agreement we are publishing today clears the way to restoration (of power-sharing)".

Annex B clearly states: "The Government will introduce an Irish Language Act reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland and work with an incoming Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language".

To anyone reading the agreement, it would appear that the Northern Ireland parties agreed to this, but Peter Robinson now explains that this was never the case for the DUP (News, June 28).

Theresa May should perhaps double-check her recent agreement with the DUP to ensure it does what it says.

If the DUP did not agree to this, then it is clear that "the Government" did and Sinn Fein should perhaps be pushing for the agreement to be implemented by legislation at Westminster, which despite being a devolved matter, can still be done.

This would have two benefits: Sinn Fein would get an Irish Language Act and the DUP can still say no (unless, of course, their agreement with the Tories would require them to support the measure at Westminster).

John McMullan

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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