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Plans to legislate on Irish language set out in Queen’s Speech

10 May 2022 2 minute read
The Prince of Wales delivers the Queen’s Speech. Photo Alastair Grant PA Images
There had been an expectation that the Westminster Government would introduce the legislation before the Stormont election last week.

It fell to the Northern Ireland Office after the Stormont parties were unable to agree to introduce cultural and language legislation in the Northern Ireland Assembly which was part of the New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) deal.

The plans include an Office of Identity and Cultural Expression to promote respect for diversity as well as an Irish Language Commissioner and a commissioner to develop language, arts and literature associated with the Ulster Scots/Ulster British tradition.

The Queen, 96, pulled out of the ceremonial occasion – when she reads out the Government’s legislative programme for the forthcoming parliamentary session – as she continued to experience “episodic mobility problems”.

In the Queen’s absence, the Prince of Wales announced plans to deliver a package of identity and language measures, as promised in the NDNA deal that restored powersharing in early 2020.


The move had been flagged in advance of the speech, but delays in bringing forward the measures had been criticised by Irish language campaigners.

Earlier this year campaigners said that they walked out of a meeting with UK junior minister Conor Burns, citing a lack of clarity on when legislation would be brought forward.

The promised legislation will also place a duty on the Northern Ireland Department of Education to encourage and facilitate the use of Ulster Scots, with the Secretary of State empowered to step in to ensure the commitments are followed by the Executive.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said she had raised the issue in a meeting with Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis on Monday.

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 year ago

So the Irish are giving it to the country that tried to wipe out the Irish language to deal with it? Can’t wait for the old biddy to pop her clogs and we start having adult conversations about democracy.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
1 year ago

Look at all his War medals! Fair play to him, he must be a proper hero!!!
(P.S. you’d think he’d be embarressed, wouldn’t you!)

1 year ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

HEY! He earned those medals! He polished his own boots and made his own bed and ironed his own uniform. Well, his private equerry did at least!
Interesting his mum pulled a sickie so she didn’t have to embarrass herself saying Johnson’s lies and got idiot son No 1 to do it instead

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago
Reply to  Cynan

I suppose we might offer him a crumb of comfort in that we recognise how pissed off he looks with having to spout this Tory tosh. However, the sooner we do away with the ‘Royal Pantomime’ the better. Perhaps it is time we started asking the bigger political parties where they stand on Constitutional Reform and Electoral Reform. I know that the Labour Party membership are behind both, but why is the Starmer leadership so tin eared?

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