Sinn Féin Irish language spokesperson Kevin Campbell says Givan was forced into Líofa u-turn

Derry Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell says Communities Minister Paul Givan had to restore £50,000 for a bursary scheme to allow disadvantaged families send their children to the Gaeltacht in wake of public outrage over its removal.

Thursday, 12th January 2017, 1:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th January 2017, 1:07 pm
Local activists at the weekend protesting over scrapping of Líofa bursary scheme.

He said Mr. Givan’s decision to remove the Líofa bursary funding was “disgraceful”.

The Derry Irish Language spokesperson said: “The decision to cut the Líofa bursary of £50,000 for disadvantaged children was disgraceful.

“While this reversal is welcome, it is a decision that should never have been taken.

“The DUP has demonstrated contempt for the Irish Language and that must change.

“The rights of the Irish Language speakers need to be recognised and respected.”

Mr. Givan announced on Thursday morning that the decision to remove the funding wasn’t political and that he had found money to continue it.

His controversial decision was obliquely referenced by former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in his resignation letter on Monday and directly by Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams in his ultimatum to the DUP on Saturday.

The move sparked protests among Irish language speakers and learners across Ireland.

This morning Mr Givan tweeted: “My decision on the Líofa Bursary Scheme was not a political decision. I have now identified the necessary funding to advance this scheme.”

Among those to respond positively to the annoucement this morning was former victims’ commissioner Patricia McBride who tweeted: “It’s the right thing to do. Maith thú.”

Loyalist Gaeilgeoir Linda Ervine, the widow of the late David Ervince, tweeted: “Pleased to hear that funding is to be reinstated.”