Time for truth on money for Irish language - Dodds

28 February 2017

DUP Deputy Leader and North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has branded Sinn Fein’s demands for equality for the Irish language a massive deception and demanded a detailed audit into the amount of money going to Irish, after it emerged that the language received more than £171million in public funding in just five years.

Nigel Dodds MP

DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs

Nigel Dodds

DUP Deputy Leader and North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has branded Sinn Fein’s demands for equality for the Irish language a massive deception and demanded a detailed audit into the amount of money going to Irish, after it emerged that the language received more than £171million in public funding in just five years.

He said, “Sinn Fein stands on street corners protesting and crying discrimination, demanding more and more for the Irish language, but the truth of the matter is that the Irish language is receiving vast sums of public money, far more than any other cultural identity in Northern Ireland.  Their campaign for language equality is a huge deception, based on telling lies so often that they are accepted as facts,” he said.

Mr Dodds has uncovered information which reveals that in the 5 years of the last Assembly, from 2011/12 to 2015/16, more than £171 million in public funds was provided for the language, including:

£88.4million on Revenue Costs and Grants for Irish Medium Schools1
£30.9millon on Capital Costs for Irish Medium Schools2
£15million on the Irish Language Broadcast Fund3
£11.9million on community grants to Irish Language projects4
£11.1million on Foras na Gaeilge5
£8million on Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge (Capital Infrastructure Fund)6
£5million on Irish Language programmes at the BBC
£0.9million on the Liofa Initiative7

Nigel Dodds added, “Sinn Fein demands more for Irish while other cultures suffer massive discrimination.  We need to see cultural equality in Northern Ireland, but it needs to be real equality, not Trojan horse equality.  A good starting point would be an audit to establish exactly how much funding different cultural identities are receiving and then we can have a meaningful discussion about the equitable distribution of resources.”

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