Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has said that Unionists in the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council are determined to remove any vestiges of Irishness after they proposed renaming theRoe Valley Arts and Culture Center/ Ionad Ealaíon agus Cultúir áGhleann na Ró.
Mr Ó hOisín said,
“The Roe Valley Arts and Culture Centre/ Ionad Ealaíon agus Cultúir Ghleann na Ró was opened 5 years ago at a cost of £4.5m with an agreement that it would be bilingual.
“The proposal to rename it The Alexander Memorial Arts Centre is I believe an attempt to irradiate any vestiges of the Irish language from the council properties.
“The cost to rebrand the centre is around £12,000 and this money would be better spent in providing other services to the community.
“The Irish language is for everyone and threatens no one and the Unionists need to realise that they can be enriched by embracing the language as it is as much a part of their culture as it is to Nationalists.
“I however welcome the new found concern of SDLP Councillor Gerry Mullan for the Irish language given the fact that he voted with the Unionists that any rooms in the centre would not be bilingually named as well as objecting to bilingual townland signage.
“This is another example of the SDLP speaking out of both sides of their mouths and clearly an attempt at electioneering.”