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ENGLISH IS BANNED AT MEETINGS; Isles council insists on Gaelic.

Byline: By MARK SMITH

VOTERS who want to follow council sessions in English will need a UN-style translator's headset following a landmark decision.

The Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, or Western Isles Council, has ruled for the first time that committee meetings must be held in Gaelic.

It has promised to provide a simultaneous translation service for English speakers as 41 per cent of isles residents don't speak Gaelic.

Even 13 of its 31 councillors have not mastered the language, which is spoken by some 58,000 people.

Convener Alex MacDonald said yesterday: "It is particularly commendable that chairpersons who are not fluent Gaelic speakers have decided to take committee debates in Gaelic."

mark.smith@mirror.co.uk

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PRAISE: MacDonald
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 13, 2007
Words:121
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