Northern Ireland

'Curry my yoghurt': 'Pure ignorance' NI Assembly clash over Irish language

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Media captionGregory Campbell, when invited to speak, said "curry my yoghurt can coca coalyer"

Sinn Féin Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has accused the DUP's Gregory Campbell of "pure ignorance" in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The clash came during a debate on the Irish language and Ulster Scots.

When invited to speak by principal deputy speaker Mitchel McLaughlin, Mr Campbell replied: "Curry my yoghurt can coca coalyer".

In Irish, the phrase "go raibh maith agat, Ceann Comhairle" means "thank you, speaker".

Mr Campbell then asked the minister about a minority languages strategy.

However, Ms Ní Chuilín refused to answer the question, saying that Mr Campbell's behaviour was not "befitting a member of the assembly".

"If it's anything to go by what you just did, we don't need a strategy for pure ignorance," said Ms Ní Chuilín.

In a later tweet, Ms Ní Chuilín said that she had complained to the speaker's office about "Gregory Campbell's mockery of the Irish language".

Image caption Carál Ní Chuilín accused the DUP's Gregory Campbell of "pure ignorance"

Rosie McCorley MLA, Sinn Féin Irish language spokesperson, said: "Unfortunately this is nothing new from the DUP who have blocked the development on an Irish language act, and whose representatives have a long history of insults to the Irish speaking community.

"While this might be funny in Gregory's little closed world, it is hugely insulting to all of those who promote the huge benefits of endorsing and enhancing bilingualism in our society especially in our children."