Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 18:06 UK

£6m 'promised to Irish language'

Gerry Adams
Mr Adams said the funding followed 'intense negotiations'

Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams has said Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised £6m to the Irish Language Broadcast Fund.

He said the move followed "intense negotiations" with the government.

"The former culture minister's failure to plan for the future development of the fund meant that it was at risk of ending next March," Mr Adams said.

The DUP's Nelson McCausland said the money was given to make up for the fact Sinn Féin had failed to secure an Irish Language Act.

"This is a fig leaf for Gerry Adams," he said.

"He is a man who is very embarrassed because he has not been able to deliver his Irish Language Act.

"The DUP has vetoed that. It will not come to pass and, by way of a fig leaf, he has managed to produce some money for the continuation of the Irish Language film fund.

However, Mr Adams said he was seeking a meeting with Culture Minister Gregory Campbell to demand the DUP honour the St Andrew's Agreement, which includes an Irish Language Act.

"Of course, this is only one aspect of the efforts to ensure that the rights and entitlements of Irish language speakers are respected," he added.

'Welcome'

Mr Campbell said he welcomed the announcement of a further £6m for the film fund.

"I look forward to being able to ensure that both the Irish Language and Ulster-Scots achieve comparable treatment of funding in the future," he said.

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure agreed to provide £12m of funding to the Irish Language Broadcast Fund over five years until March 2009.

This was with the target of 75 additional hours Irish language broadcasting per year by 2008.

The aim of the fund, which is administered by the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission, is to foster and develop an independent Irish language television production sector in Northern Ireland.





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