Stormont (Northern Ireland) spends £200K on bilingual translation

The education minister has defended her department’s expenditure on bilingual documents after it emerged that it has spent more than £100,000 since 2006. Overall Executive departments have spent almost £200,000 on translating documents into Ulster Scots and Irish. The DUP MLA Trevor Clarke, who obtained the figures, said they could not be justified.

However Catriona Ruane, whose department had the highest spend, defended the cost. “I make no apology for providing material to children and people working in our school services through the medium of Irish,” she said. “Gone are the days when the Irish medium sector are going to be treated as second class citizens.”

Mr Clarke said although the amount was small, in terms of the total budget, it could not be justified. “You’ve got schools that are still substandard and lacking in maintenance, and they can’t find the money to maintain those schools and keep them up to a reasonable standard for children,” he said. “I would think the money could be better spent.”