Success For Proposal Giving Irish Equal Status With English on Road Signs Throughout Ireland

A proposal by the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge) was in the news this month when it was reported that the Mr. Leo Varadkar, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport  announced his support for a scheme put forwad by the Gaelic League to introduce road signage that gives equal treatment to place names in Irish and English.  In actual fact the new design will give Irish precedence as the place name in Irish will continue to be placed above the place name in English but for the first time both will be in same text and in lettering of equal size.  This change will be budget nuetral as the new signs will be put up only when the old signage is in need of replacement.  

The Irish Times reported that the proposal was based on a study commissioned by the Conradh na Gaeilge (Gaelic league): "Conducted by Royal Society of Arts Fellow Garrett Reil, the study was aimed at discovering more efficient and safer means of delivering information to drivers as well as delivering the promise of equal status for Irish."  The endorsement of the Gaelic league proposal by Minister Varadkar must be followed up by a legislative change as Irish law in it's current form inexplicably requires that English be given precedence over Irish in road signage.

The Irish Independent quoted Julian de Spainn, Secretary General of the Gaelic League, commenting on Minister Varadkar's endorsement of the League's plan: "It's all about the language.  All these things make a difference.  We teach children about the importance of langauge, and they go outside and see English is more prevalent on road signs.  It differentiates us from other countries, too, which can only be a good thing for tourism." 

" The Conradh na Gaeilge is the main voluntary organisation that promotes the Irish language in Ireland and abroad.  It's aim is to reinstate the Irish language as the common tongue of Ireland.  Since it's foundation on 31 July 1893, members of the Conradh have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life in Ireland from legal and educational affairs to development of new media and services through Irish." -

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