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MP addresses Irish lang comments
27 Nov 2014 10:10
Gregory Campbell of the Democratic Unionist Party has refused to apologise for his recent controversial comments in relation to the Irish language and has said he would do the very same again.
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Speaking to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, he said he was "not against those who use the language but those who abuse the language" and criticised Sinn Féin members who start and end their contributions in Irish when speaking in the Northern Assembly.
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He said it is not appropriate to use the language in debates in the parliament unless the debate relates to it and referenced MPs from Scotland and Wales who are equally committed to their languages but refrain from speaking them when in Westminster.
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He said he cannot see how what he said was offensive and anyone who thought so needed a "humour bypass" as it was just a joke.
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He said he was not in support of a language act for the North and that the Irish language was very well catered for.
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Earlier this month, Mr Campbell made fun of the Sinn Féin culture minister, Carál Ní Chuilín, in the Stormont parliament with the words: "curry my yoghurt can coca coal yer" as a parody of "Go raibh maith agat, a Cheann Comhairle."
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On Saturday, Mr Campbell repeated his mockery of Irish during a speech to the DUP's annual conference, near Belfast.
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Language groups throughout the north have strongly criticised the comments saying they are highly insulting and would be considered racist if directed towards any other culture.
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Yesterday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said he "deplored" the recent comments.
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