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Opposition criticises Government Committee on the Irish Language

November 26, 2013

Two meetings held by Government committee on Irish language and Gaeltacht affairs in the past year

The Government committee which is chaired by an Taoiseach was heavily criticised in the Dail this week during a discussion regarding the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language.

While answering questions from Micheál Martin TD (Fianna Fail), Gerry Adams TD (Sinn Féin) and Joe Higgins TD (Socialist Party), an Taoiseach Enda Kenny informed the House that the committee, which was established to monitor the implementation of the Strategy, held only two meetings throughout the past year.

The strategy was launched in 2010 with the aim of increasing the number of daily Irish language speakers from its current figure of 83,000 people to 250,000 people in the next 20 years. Nine distinct areas for proposed initiatives are set out in the Strategy, as well as goals for each area including Education, An Ghaeltacht, Early Immersion, Public and Community Services, Technology and the Media, Legislation and language status.

The Irish language community expressed their disappointment with its implementation in July of this year when the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht published a Strategy progress report. Since that report, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has announced funding to Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta Teo. will come to an end in December of this year and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform announced the removal of the points system from the civil service which awarded extra points to those who completed recruitment examinations through Irish.

An Taoiseach informed the Dáil that €500,000 had been allocated for the implementation of the Strategy in October’s budget and that Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley is visiting various Gaeltacht regions on a weekly basis to ensure the implementation of Government policy.

The Government’s latest proposals and cuts where criticised by the Opposition as well as the changes to the appointment of the members of Údarás na Gaeltachta under Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 and the recent report published by the Chief Inspector which highlights major flaws in the learning and teaching of Irish in the education system.

©Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com 22 Samhain 2013