The head of Pobal, the Irish language umbrella body in Northern Ireland, says she is saddened by the recent negative comments from a few politicians about Irish speakers and the Irish language.

Janet Muller's comment comes as the group prepares for a march in Befast city centre to celebrate the Irish language and to press home their demand for for a comprehensive rights-based Irish Language act.

Pobal says the 2001 Census shows that 10.4% of the population of Northern Ireland has a knowledge of Irish.

The march in Belfast starts at 1pm from Cultúrlann McÁdhamh Ó Fiaich on the Falls Road.