SDLP South Belfast MLA Matthew O’Toole has backed a student campaign for an Irish language residential scheme at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).
Students and staff at QUB have worked with stakeholders to propose a residential scheme where Irish language students live and socialise together, alongside other plans including more options to study Irish alongside other courses offered by the university.
South Belfast MLA Mr O’Toole said:
“I welcome these proposals from students and staff at Queen’s University Belfast aimed at enhancing the experience for Irish language students and they have the full support of myself and the SDLP.
“The creation of a residential space for like minded students to live and socialise would further the development of Irish in our community and allow those with a passion for the language to develop their skills by using them on a more regular basis. It would also allow students to build friendships and relationships when starting university and create life long bonds for those who remain in the Irish language sector after completing their studies.
“I would also back calls for a wider range of options for those wishing to study Irish alongside other subjects. We need to remove what barriers remain to allow as many people as possible to study Irish and the more choice available the more likely students are to continue their Irish studies. QUB has committed itself to promoting Irish and other languages and we all must do what we can to encourage the number of Irish speakers to grow and allow the language to thrive.”