A moment of History: Irish is spoken in the British House of Commons for the first time in over 100 years – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

A moment of History: Irish is spoken in the British House of Commons for the first time in over 100 years




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There was a historic moment in the British House of Commons on Wednesday as the Irish language was spoken within the chambers for more than a 100 years.

The moment which could be marked as moment of history came when Welsh MP Liz Saville-Roberts spoke our native language during a debate of the introduction of the Irish Language Act in Northern Ireland.

During a debate over the controversial issue which has led to the downfall of the power sharing agreement in Stormont, Ms Saville-Roberts called on Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Brady to introduce the act under the St Andrew’s Agreement.

The Plaid Cyrmu MP told the house the following: “Is cearta daonna iad cearta teanga agus tá cothrom na féinne tuilte ag lucht labhartha na Gaeilge,” she said.

When queried what did the sentence mean, Ms Saville-Roberts said: “Language rights are human rights and the Irish speakers of Ireland deserve fair play.”

Although Ms Brady agreed that the agreement allowed for the introduction of the Irish language in Northern Ireland, she stated that it was a matter for the power sharing government at Stormont to legislate on.

The use of Irish in the British parliament last occured in 1901 when Thomas O’Donnell represented the Irish Parliamentary Party.

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