He was speaking after the council threatened to prosecute an 85-year-old Randalstown woman for having an Irish language street sign on her property.
Gerry Kelly commented: “This is the same council which attempted to bring in an ‘English Only’ policy and only relented in the face of a judicial review.
“It is also the same council that funded loyalist bonfires where flags and election posters were burned. Similarly, no action is ever taken to remove illegal loyalist paramilitary flags which are designed to intimidate, yet an 85-year-old woman is threatened with a £2,500 fine for erecting an Irish language sign.
“It is hypocritical and something we see repeated in other unionist-dominated councils.
“They seek to stamp out any displays of Irish identity while turning a blind eye to illegal loyalist bonfires, paramilitary flags and banners proclaiming support for Soldier F – an alleged murderer who is charged with killing civilians on Bloody Sunday.
“Given the behaviour of unionist parties within these councils, it is clear why legislative protection is needed for the Irish language, identity and culture.”