Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Monday, 27 February 2012

NSMC: Waterways and Language

Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin reported back to the assembly on the latest North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC) meeting on language, on 27 February 2012.

The meeting received progress reports from the two language bodies, Foras na Gaelige and the Ulster Scots Agency.

Matters discussed at the meeting included participation in the Olympic torch relay, language courses, and music and dance tuition.

The DUP's Michelle McIlveen welcomed the fact that there was no longer a problem for the Ulster-Scots Agency to extend its work outside Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The minister gave her backing and encouragement to the agency to extend its work.

Sinn Fein's Cathal O Hoisin asked the minister about the Irish government's cancellation for financial reasons of its plans to decentralise Foras na Gaelige to Gweedore in County Donegal.

Ms Ni Chuilin said she was not given prior knowledge of the Irish government's decision, and suggested that it could hamper the development of the language.

Earlier, the minister briefed MLAs on the latest NSMC meeting on inland waterways.

This included an update from Waterways Ireland on the extension of moorings in Counties Fermanagh, Clare and Tipperary, and a progress report on the restoration of the Ulster Canal from Clones to Upper Lough Erne.

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