Written answers

Thursday, 6 October 2005

Department of Foreign Affairs

Irish Language

5:00 pm

Photo of Brian O'SheaBrian O'Shea (Waterford, Labour)
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Question 21: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the recent decision by European Union Foreign Ministers to grant official and working status for the Irish language in the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26831/05]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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On 13 June 2005, European Union Foreign Ministers unanimously approved our proposal, first tabled in November 2004, to accord official and working status to the Irish language. This was a major achievement for the Government from which I derive considerable satisfaction.

The decision represents a significant advance for the Irish language. Irish becomes the 21st official and working language of the Union. It will mean that important European Union legislation will be translated into Irish and that Irish can be used in the European Parliament and at meetings of the Council.

The new status of Irish within the EU will take effect on 1 January 2007. In the meantime, the EU institutions will put in place the necessary staff and budgetary resources to give effect to this new policy. The Government will co-operate closely with the institutions in this regard.

Táimse féin thar a bheith sásta le cinneadh seo an Chomhairle, agus tá súil agam go gcuideoidh an staideas nua le forbairt na teangan.

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