Belfast Telegraph

Mixed views on whether Act would be beneficial for Northern Ireland

Claire O'Boyle went out on the streets of east Belfast to find out if local people supported an Irish Language Act

By Claire O'Boyle

Retired town planner Clive Graham (68) is from Bangor

The whole thing depends on how it's executed. If it is abused, and the language is politicised or weaponised, then that is a problem for me.

However, if it's done properly, like it has been in Scotland and Wales, then I have no problem with it, there's no reason it should offend anyone.

The Irish language should be for everyone and Protestants in this country have a strong history with it.

If it was done properly, then I'd think of learning it myself. I'd say let us all have a go and we might get a lot out of it.

Irish doesn't just belong to Sinn Fein.

Gabby Mackin (38) is a mum-of-two and assistant manager in a charity shop. She's from east Belfast

I went to a Catholic school and learned Irish up to third year, but I've never used it.

I think this Act, and replacing all the signs through the whole of Northern Ireland, isn't a good idea. People are crying out for funding in lots of other spheres like health and education, so it seems like we're getting our priorities wrong if this goes through and takes money from elsewhere.

Ultimately, it shouldn't be holding the whole process up, either way.

Classroom assistant and mum-of-three Su Parks (42) lives in Ballyhackamore

I'm originally from America but have been living in Belfast for 12 years and I don't see why an Irish Language Act is a problem.

People should have the right to have their own language recognised and catered for properly.

In all honesty, I feel like this is Ireland, it's the Irish language and part of many people's culture, so I can see why it would be beneficial.

My 13-year-old is studying three languages, none of them Irish, but I think it would be lovely if she could learn it too. It would be good for all children here to have the option.

Grandfather Tony White (71) is retired and from Magherafelt

I think it's a load of nonsense and just gives them all an excuse to keep on arguing with one another.

To be truthful, I think there probably should be an Irish Language Act - however, if there wasn't I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. It would be no skin off my nose.

If they're going to do it, get on with it, that's all I'd say.

But most important is to stop all the arguing and decide one way or another so everyone can move on.

Belfast Telegraph

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