Wednesday, 26 October 2011

We've Come a Long Way

The BBC reports that Coláiste Feirste has won an important battle in its struggle to force the Department of Education to fund transport to the school from areas outside Belfast with Irish-language primaries but no equivalent provision at post-primary level.

Granting a full judicial review, Mr. Justice Treacy argued that the Department had "failed to comply with a duty under the Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 to provide suitable transport to encourage Irish education.", adding that "I do not accept the respondent's contention that this duty is merely aspirational."

The "aspirational" argument is of course relevant to many topics involving minority languages, from the access to TG4 in Northern Ireland first promised in 1998 to the promotion of Scots in Scotland, once memorably termed "voluntarism masquerading as policy" by the academic Robert McColl Millar.

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