UK to make Irish the official language in Northern Ireland

The UK government has unveiled a bill to make Irish the official language in Northern Ireland.

About this, as reported by the European Truth, writes Politico.

Local Unionists seeking close ties to Britain long resisted the move, seeing it as a threat to their own British identity.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis confirmed the move just days after he ordered the UK Department of Health to introduce fully publicly funded abortion services.

This is another move that was previously thwarted by the Unionists in the Northern Ireland Parliament.

The language bill has been repeatedly promised to the nationalist section of society in Northern Ireland.

The nationalist party Sinn Féin hailed Lewis’ move as support for commitments made in the 2006 St. Andrews Agreement.

“Finally, we will see archaic anti-Irish legislation removed and replaced with official recognition of the Irish language so that people can access public services and courts in Irish,” said Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

The 2011 census showed that only 3.7% of people in Northern Ireland claimed to be fluent in Irish, but the Ministry of Education began investing in Irish-medium schools after Sinn Féin had taken that portfolio from previous governments.

Anticipating Lewis’ move, more than 10,000 Irish language activists marched in downtown Belfast over the weekend. About a dozen celebrated on Wednesday outside the parliament building.

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