An Cúradh Chonnachtach - 16/6/2006
Street petition on Irish language as row erupts on Fine Gael policy

Signatures are being collected on the streets of Galway to petition against Fine GaeI's policy to do away with compulsory Irish in the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations.

Glór na nGael, which has Iaunched the campaign to fight Fine Gael's policy, says it has already received almost 4,000 signatures online and yesterday they launched their street petition in Galway City, which is recognised as the Irish language capital of the country.

Glór na nGael said it believed that the FG policy would lower the status of Irish at a time when it was being strengthened in Europe.

"It is true that there are problems with the Irish language curricu]um but the solution to this is not to make Irish optional as an exam subject.

"It would be preferable to carry ont an analysis of the best teaching practice with the help of educational, language and cultural partners, both nationally and internationally, rather than accept Fine GaeIs proposed policy.

"We believe that Irish is an essential part of being Irish and that every effort should be made to ensure that every citizen has the ability to speak Irish," said Nora Welby of Glór na nGael.