Ireland’s bill 101
A vast majority of Irish people support the adoption of legislation to protect the rights of Irish speakers in Northern Ireland.
Sixty-eight percent of some 11, 000 responders to a consultation by Northern Ireland’s government published last October responded favorably to a draft of the proposed Irish Language Act.
The proposed Irish law would use a rights-based approach. That is the same philosophy behind Québec’s language law.
Among the proposed modalities of the law is the creation of a Language commissioner who would have the power to “investigate complaints, and if necessary initiate a review, where there is failure to act on the rights of Irish speakers under the Act or any other enactment that deals with the use or status of the Irish language.”
The law would also stipulate that “Private individuals must have the right to make complaints and have court remedy if necessary.”
In 2005 the Republic of Ireland removed the legal status the English-language name of 2,000 towns, villages and roads in the Gaeltacht region of western Ireland and made the Gaelic version the only one that could be used by governement and public bodies.
Happy St-Patrick’s Day!