Standards and Privilege

Part of Assembly Standing Orders – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 7:45 pm on 9th March 1999.

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Photo of Mr Cedric Wilson Mr Cedric Wilson NIUP 7:45 pm, 9th March 1999

It is rather sad that in order to put forward a case, the Member has to misrepresent what I have said. I want to make it very clear — and I thought I did make it clear at the beginning — that I have no objection to the use of the Irish language or any other language in this Chamber. I said that I had a grave concern that the right to use the language was being abused.

Mr Shannon pointed out that on the occasions when Irish has been used in this Chamber, it has been used as a political tool. It has been used in an attempt to embarrass or to cause some feeling of resentment among the Unionist Members of the House.

I have no difficulty with someone reciting a poem in Irish, or using the language if there is a purpose to it. When Irish is spoken there are bemused faces in the Gallery. The European Commissioner summed it all up.