Mid Ulster MLA calls on DUP minister to reconsider decision to scrap Irish bursary

Linda Dillon, MLA
Linda Dillon, MLA

Mid Ulster Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has said an attempt by a DUP minister to roll back on Líofa bursaries is another example of the DUP’s arrogance and disrespect for Irish culture.

Ms Dillon said: “I will be highlighting this issue with the Communities Minister Paul Givan telling him this is wholly unacceptable.

“The Liofa initiative, set up by Carál Ní Chuilín, has been hugely successful and has helped thousands of people learn and improve their Irish.

“Any attempt to roll back on this scheme will be viewed as yet another move by the DUP to disrespect the Irish language.

“I speak as someone who was the recipient of a scholarship to the gaeltacht when I was in secondary school and found it to be both beneficial from an educational and personal development perspective.

“Without the scholarship my family certainly could not have afforded to pay for me to go and I feel this is not only an attack on the language but yet another assault by the DUP on those who are from working class communities.”

Continuing, the Mid Ulster policitican said that she also has a child who is in Irish Medium Education.

“I know that it is essential that these children and young people get the opportunity to attend gaeltacht courses,” she continued. “Perhaps in the spirit of equality and reconciliation the DUP Minister might reconsider his decision.

“This approach is unacceptable and it won’t be lost on the public that this attack on a small fund for Irish language comes at a time when DUP ministers have lost multi-millions of pounds to public purse as a result of the Renewable Heating Initiative scandal.”

Around 100 people a year received bursaries from the Líofa Gaeltacht scheme.