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Press Statement: Paul Murphy MEP (Socialist Party) 25 February 2014

- *Vote in European Parliament tomorrow will extend second class status
of Irish language for another 5 years*
- *Irish MEPs must explain why they rejected amendments against cuts to
minority languages*

Ahead of tomorrow’s vote to extend a  derogation on providing  full
interpretation of meetings and translation of documents in Irish, Paul
Murphy MEP commented:

“If accepted tomorrow’s vote will extend the second class status of the
Irish language in the institution for another 5 years.

“I participated in the Lá Mór na Gaeilge march in Dublin earlier this
month. The march was highlighting the lack of state support for Irish
language users and the impact of austerity on the Irish speaking community.
This is a rights issue. Irish speakers, and minority language speakers
throughout Europe, have a right to access public services, especially their
elected institutions, in the language of their choice.

“This is part of a series of attacks on the rights of minority language
speakers in the European Parliament. Year after year cuts have been made to
the budget for services in minority languages, resulting in millions of
people around Europe no longer being able to access Parliamentary debates
and documents in their language. I have consistently argued against these
cuts and instead called for cuts to be made to the bloated salaries,
expenses and privileges enjoyed by MEPs as well as to EU arms spending and
other socially useless projects.

” The Parliament must immediately invest in employing and training more
interpreters, translators and other personnel and end the second class
status of Irish and other languages in the European Parliament.

“My group tabled an amendment to the budget of the European Parliament last
October which criticised the restrictions on translation and interpreting
services, unfortunately all MEPs from the Republic of Ireland bar myself
voted against this amendment*. I challenge Irish MEPs to now explain to
Irish language speakers their reasoning for rejecting this amendment. I
also call on Irish MEPs to explain how they will vote tomorrow.

“The Socialist Party supported the campaign to have Irish recognised as an
EU language. This was won through people power putting pressure on the
political establishment. Tomorrow’s vote as well as other cuts to services
in Irish shows that we need to keep up the pressure of people power in
order to make the gains won on paper a reality. It is also essential that
the movement for language rights is linked up with the wider movement
against austerity and cuts to public services. ”

ENDS

Note to editors

*Amendments 60, 61 and 62 were tabled opposing the restriction of
interpretation and translation services. It was voted on 23/10/14,
reference A7-328/2013. Result of vote and how MEPs voted can be found here
http://bit.ly/1ppE2mG

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