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New Irish language commissioner named

February 12, 2014

TELEVISION journalist Ronan O Domhnaill is to be appointed as the new Irish language commissioner.

He replaces the outgoing Commissioner Sean O Cuirreain, who resigned amid controversy last December. Mr O Cuirreain, who served in the post for 10 years and had another two years to go in his term, said the Government had no intention of implementing the many policy promises they made on the Irish language. The outgoing commissioner also said Irish-speaking people could not do business through Irish with state services despite the theoretical official status given the language. The resignation caused upset among Irish-speaking communities and a language rights demonstration is planned for Dublin on Saturday, February 15, starting at 2pm from Parnell Square.

The Irish language organisation, Conradh na Gaeilge, welcomed the new commissioner’s appointment but expressed disappointment that no effort was made to address the criticisms made by Mr O Cuirreain. Mr O Domhnaill, aged 38 and a native Irish speaker from An Cheathru Rua, Connemara, is a political correspondent with Irish-language broadcast services TG4 and Nuacht RTE. His appointment carries a yearly salary of €115,000. It must be ratified by the Dail and Seanad before it is formally confirmed by the President and Mr O Domhnaill will take up office on February 22 next.