Traffic warning signs in Irish?

January 17, 2011 5:45 PM

Recently it has been reported by the BBC, that both Irish and Ulster-Scots signs could become common place all over Northern Ireland. Conor Murphy, the minister of the Department for Regional Development and Sinn Fein MP has come out and stated that, "We have obligations under the European Charter for the protection of minority languages and the proposed policy will permit the inclusion of either Irish or Ulster-Scots, on town or village welcome signs, some supplementary plate signs for example a 'school' warning sign and certain tourist signs."

From a novelty perspective, these will be great and maybe the odd American that decides to travel to the village his great-great grandfather came from, could get a picture taken. Mr Murphy fails to see that these signs are going to be as useful as a candle in a gale force wind. Consider this, a driver could be travelling along a town or village riddled with signs in a language that was used about the same time as ancient Greek, leaving them totally confused. But more dangerous than that, put this confused driver in front of a school at 3.00pm… I would hate to think of the consequences.

It is true that people in Northern Ireland do speak and read Irish and Ulster-Scots, but these people equally read and speak in English. If anything, Mr Murphy should be considering introducing a number of bi-lingual signs including Polish, Roma or one of the many forms of Chinese, as I could hazard a guess these may well be more popular spoken and written languages within the country.

The costs to proposed sign changes are to be met by the promoter of the sign locally. With this in mind, promoters can include local councils and various government departments.

Once again, we have the EU meddling  in our affairs, and - as usual - its meddling wastes taxpayers' money.  MLAs need to stop fiddling around with roadsigns and cosmetics and focus on the frontline services taxpayers really care about, especially at a time when public finances are under pressure. We cannot afford to waste money in such a way, and taxpayers should not have to pay for it.Recently it has been reported by the BBC, that both Irish and Ulster-Scots signs could become common place all over Northern Ireland. Conor Murphy, the minister of the Department for Regional Development and Sinn Fein MP has come out and stated that, "We have obligations under the European Charter for the protection of minority languages and the proposed policy will permit the inclusion of either Irish or Ulster-Scots, on town or village welcome signs, some supplementary plate signs for example a 'school' warning sign and certain tourist signs."

From a novelty perspective, these will be great and maybe the odd American that decides to travel to the village his great-great grandfather came from, could get a picture taken. Mr Murphy fails to see that these signs are going to be as useful as a candle in a gale force wind. Consider this, a driver could be travelling along a town or village riddled with signs in a language that was used about the same time as ancient Greek, leaving them totally confused. But more dangerous than that, put this confused driver in front of a school at 3.00pm… I would hate to think of the consequences.

It is true that people in Northern Ireland do speak and read Irish and Ulster-Scots, but these people equally read and speak in English. If anything, Mr Murphy should be considering introducing a number of bi-lingual signs including Polish, Roma or one of the many forms of Chinese, as I could hazard a guess these may well be more popular spoken and written languages within the country.

The costs to proposed sign changes are to be met by the promoter of the sign locally. With this in mind, promoters can include local councils and various government departments.

Once again, we have the EU meddling  in our affairs, and - as usual - its meddling wastes taxpayers' money.  MLAs need to stop fiddling around with roadsigns and cosmetics and focus on the frontline services taxpayers really care about, especially at a time when public finances are under pressure. We cannot afford to waste money in such a way, and taxpayers should not have to pay for it.

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