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Elliott accuses council of ‘disingenuous’ job ad to hire Irish language officer

December 20, 2013

UUP MLA Tom Elliott, has questioned if Fermanagh District Council are attempting to hire an Irish language officer ‘by a disingenuous method’.

The MLA was responding to a recent job advertisement opened by the council for an ‘Assistant Good Relations Officer (with responsibility for linguistics, ethnic minorities and cultural expression)’.

The job role indicates that a 3rd level qualification with a major component in Irish Language is ‘essential’ criteria, as is ‘proficient and fluent in Irish, both written and oral’.

Mr Elliott said: “I assumed this was for the linguistic officer that has been talked about. Why would there be a required essential criteria of such high level of Irish qualifications and knowledge and not for any other language? The job description actually talks about having responsibility for ethnic minorities, but no ethnic minority language requirement?”

He added that it ‘sounds like Fermanagh District Council is attempting to employ an Irish Language officer by a disingenuous method. The name of the post does not reflect the essential criteria requirement’.

Mr Elliott claimed it was another attempt to make unionists feel unwelcome in the county, and added that he had written to the council chief executive to ask about this and will also be asking the Equality Commission for a view on this.

However, a council spokesman replied: “The council has recently reviewed its Linguistic Diversity Policy, this work was taken forward by a cross party working group and resulted in the development of an implementation strategy. One of the actions agreed was employment of a linguistic diversity officer.

“Through the council’s Good Relations Programme the council identified an opportunity to extend its existing good relations work through the employment of an assistant good relations officer with specific emphasis on linguistics, ethnic minorities and cultural expression. This post will support the delivery of actions within the Linguistic Diversity Implementation Strategy.

“On balance it is necessary that the assistant good relations officer is proficient and fluent in Irish to support the council’s Linguistic Diversity Policy and the job description has been agreed with OFMDFM.

“This new post will assist with both the delivery of the council’s Good Relations Programme and the delivery of the council’s Linguistic Diversity policy.”


Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com 19 Nollaig 2013

Fermanagh Herald