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Irish Language Commissioner post doesn't interest Linda Ervine

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Irish language activist Linda Ervine. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Irish language activist Linda Ervine. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Irish language activist Linda Ervine. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Linda Ervine has no interest in becoming the new Irish Language Commissioner.

The east Belfast woman, a language activist and the sister-in-law of late PUP leader David Ervine, told this newspaper: "I'd be too frightened. I don't think I'd be qualified for it - it's something that would require a legal mind."

Irish-speaking Mrs Ervine, who runs a language programme in the heart of loyalist east Belfast, was suggested as cross-community candidate for the position.

However, she does not believe the job would be for her.

"I'm a people person and I don't think a commissioner role suits that. It's not really a people person job," she said.

"To give up what I'm doing now would be like giving away one of your children.

"I love what I do and I don't want to stop, so I can officially rule myself out."

The Irish Language Commissioner will be responsible for maintaining standards for the use of the language by public authorities and for providing support in relation to those standards.

The position will also involve monitoring how public authorities meet standards and investigating complaints.

A second commissioner with similar functions will be appointed "to enhance and develop the language, arts and literature associated with the Ulster Scots-Ulster British tradition in Northern Ireland".

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