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Northern Ireland: Linguistic Diversity

House of Lords written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Given the promise of total equality and parity of esteem outlined in the Belfast agreement of 1998, what is the policy of the Northern Ireland Office towards the languages of (a) Ulster Scots and (b) Irish.

Photo of Lord Williams of Mostyn Lord Williams of Mostyn President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords

As I indicated in my Answer to the noble Lord of 1 May, Official Report col. WA 133, the Belfast agreement affirmed the parties recognition of the "importance of respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to linguistic diversity, including in Northern Ireland, the Irish language, Ulster-Scots and the languages of the various ethnic communities, all of which are part of the cultural wealth of the island of Ireland".

The Northern Ireland Office fully supports all aspects of the Belfast agreement and works to ensure that there is equality and respect for the diverse languages, including Irish and Ulster-Scots, which form part of the cultural wealth of Northern Ireland. Rebo

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