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Cost of preserving Irish in the EU

IN response to John Glennon's letter 'Please show respect for our language' (Letters, 27/01/11), I have received several emails regarding my parliamentary question on Irish translation since last Monday, when the original letter on the subject was published.

All of these have been respectful and cordial, with most simply seeking further information and clarity on the purpose of my question. None thought it necessary to raise the subject of the proficiency in Irish of my late father -- a man who dedicated his life to serving this country -- and nor do I feel it appropriate to do so.

In response, I noted that my question was just that, a question, designed to access information and nothing else. It is not unreasonable to ask what your money is being spent on and whether the taxpayer is getting value for money.

I fully support the status of Irish as an official working language of the EU, as does the Labour Party, as you noted. However, I do not believe that the stated aim of achieving 250,000 active users will be realised through current policy.

Finally, it is unfortunate that you have not thus far been aware of the work which I have been doing in the European Parliament.

As well as my work in areas such as Alzheimer's disease, cross-border healthcare and climate change, I have been working to address transparency issues in Ireland and Europe, and I am quoted by this newspaper yesterday in this context..

Nessa Childers MEP
European Parliament, Brussels

Irish Independent