Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams 'ignoramus' description of Paul Givan shows progress on 'Trojan horse b*****ds' remark, says DUP man

DUP Communities Minister Paul Givan said Gerry Adams description of him as an "ignoramus" over his decision to end funding for an Irish language programme showed "progress" on previous remarks aimed at unionists, in a tongue-in-cheek response to the Sinn Fein president.

At the weekend Gerry Adams described the minister's decision to cut £50,000 to the Liofa programme as a snub to the language and a "ignorant decision taken by an ignoramus".

Speaking to the BBC Stephen Nolan show Mr Givan denied he was trying to get back at Sinn Fein by axing the funding, saying the republican party had created a "tantrum" over him being prudent with financial planning.

Asked what he thought of Mr Adams "ignoramus" remark, the MLA said: "Given that it is Gerry Adams resorting to calling names, I think that speaks for itself.

"I don't need to give credence to someone of his character in respect of the way he wants to go about throwing names about.

"We know what he said in the past that 'equality was the Trojan horse to break these...' and he then used the expletive word.

"So I suppose being called an ignoramus is progress on what he called us before."

Asked if he was opposed to funding Irish language programmes, Mr Givan responded: "Let me be very clear, at Stormont the Irish language has received so far under my watch as minister £2.7million that has went to Irish traditions.

"In space of having to deal with a budget that is not agreed it would have been premature to have committed to expenditure.

"My department is looking to make cuts of around 3-5% depending on different models. Right across the department cuts are having to be made."

The minister would not be drawn on if other programmes had been cut at the same time of his pre-Christmas Liofa decision.

He went on: "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 pursing something that is anti-Irish - quite the opposite in fact.

"The Irish language does not belong to republicans, nationalists or to the Catholic community. It belongs to all of us.

"And to sectarianise it the way Sinn Fein has, does damage to the language and they need to reflect on that.

"When you politicise and use it as a cultural weapon, which is what Sinn Fein has done repeatedly that is what causes the damage to the Irish language.

"I believe people wanting to learn the language is something which should be encouraged and my department provide funding to do that."

In November 2014 Gerry Adams told a public meeting equality was the Trojan horse of the entire republican strategy to "break these b*****ds".

He later apologised for using the swear word and said his comments were aimed at bigots.

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