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First meeting of Partnership Forum takes place

March 21, 2014

Questions regarding independence of Lead-Organisations under new Forum structure

The results of a rationalisation process on the voluntary organisations core-funded by Foras na Gaeilge were announced in January. Six organisations out of nineteen were selected to receive funding under the new model, and the other organisations will have their funding cut from 30 June 2014.

Under the new model, two forums have been established – an all-island Partnership Forum and a Language Forum for the island which will be made up of groups and community organisations funded by Foras na Gaeilge.

The first meeting of the Partnership Forum took place on Wednesday, 19 March 2014, with the heads of all six Lead-Organisations and senior executives from Foras na Gaeilge in attendance.

The Partnership Forum has been established following instructions from the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) to restructure the funding process of the Irish language core-funded sector. The Partnership Forum will be agreeing a strategic plan for the sector and each other’s plans and ensuring that the lead organisations will be working closely together in the best interests of the language.

While Foras na Gaeilge has stated that the six Lead-organisations will continue to operate independently while carrying out responsibilities within their field, questions have been raised regarding independence from the funding body, Foras na Gaeilge, who lead the Forum.

Foras na Gaeilge said that more meetings of the Partnership Forum will take place in the coming weeks at which language and strategy planning experts will be made available to ensure that all plans keep with principle and best practice.

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End of an era for Foinse as publication ceases

September 11, 2013

Móinear Teo. have announced Foinse will not be available in shops across the country later this month, as was initially intended.

Foinse was established in 1996, and a weekly Irish language newspaper was available nationally until summer 2009, subsidised with funding from Foras na Gaeilge. When the funding from Foras na Gaeilge came to an end, Foinse was relaunched in autumn of 2009, with a new look and a new distribution system.

Until recently, Foinse was available as a supplement with the Irish Independent each Wednesday, and was very popular, especially with school students across the country and with Irish language learners.

In addition to the printed weekly newspaper, Móinéar Teo. also launched many online services over the past number of years including the information website www.foinse.ie and a grammar blog. Foinse added greatly to the content being shared through social media online, on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

While a printed edition of the newspaper will no longer be available, educational material like Foinse Óg and Foinse sa Rang will still be available online at www.foinse.ie.

At the beginning of the year, Foras na Gaeilge announced a decision to cut all funding for the weekly Irish language newspaper ‘Gaelscéal’ before the contract was due to end officially.

A low sales rate was the main reason given by Foras na Gaeilge for this action, with an average amount of 1,300/1,400 hard copies sold in shops weekly.

In a statement last February, CEO of Foras na Gaeilge stated: “There are difficulties with sales and distribution of newspapers worldwide. The Board and the Committee will now be looking at these questions as we move towards founding a new news service for the Irish Language community.”

The latest development means there is no longer any Irish language newspaper available for the Irish speaking community. Foras na Gaeilge held public consultation meetings last spring, as well as a series of focus groups to discuss what form the publication which would replace Gaelscéal would take. No results of this research have been issued as yet.

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Concerns over Gaelscoil representation in Government surveys

January 29, 2013

Significant steps were taken over the past month in the divestment of primary schools from the Catholic Church in 44 areas.

Parents in Kildare received good news two weeks ago when it was announced that a new Gaelscoil would open in the area at the end of the year, however Irish language organisations and patronage body An Foras Pátrúnachta are concerned about representation in surveys that have been distributed until now.

Surveys which were distributed in five areas before Christmas showed that 4-10% of parents were looking for a change in primary school patronage in their area. It was also clear that a large percentage of parents in those areas did not partake in the surveys at all which presents the risk of the public not being properly represented in the survey results.

Minister Ruairí Quinn recently launched primary school patronage surveys in 38 more areas countrywide. There is currently no access to a Gaelscoil in 9 of those areas – Passage West, Roscrea, Birr, Kells, New Ross, Skerries, Mulhuddard, Portmarnock Ballyfermot/ Chapelizod/ Palmerstown.

However it is uncertain whether the Minister believes that any further announcements of school openings is to follow the surveys, due to the stable nature of the population in some of the more rural areas. Minister Quinn did hint that more negotiations might take place to divest current schools from the patronage of the Catholic Church, depending on the outcome of the surveys.

Irish Language organisations are urging parents in these areas to take part in the surveys and for those who wish to send their children to a gaelscoil to show support for An Foras Pátrúnachta.

It is crucial that parents are aware that Irish language education can be made available to their children if there is a demand for it and that religious belief is not the only topic in the surveys.

All surveys must be submitted before 8 February 2013. All information on the reform in patronage can be found at www.foras.ie and an electronic copy of the survey can be found on www.education.ie.

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New children’s books to be won from Gaelport.com

January 15, 2013

This week one lucky subscriber will win a children’s book titled ‘Sicín’, which is distributed by Comharchumann Forbartha an Leith-Triúigh, located in Kerry.
The author of this beautiful book Máiréad Mag Uidhir was born and raised in Limerick. She has spent her working life teaching in her native city, teaching Children with Special Needs in St Joseph’s Primary School in Lisnagry at first and then for thirty years in Scoil Íde, Corbally.

‘Sicín’ is a lovely little book for children. It contains a wonderful story about nestlings who are about to leave the nest for the first time. There are three nestlings in all: Mattie, Jenny and Tiny. The events in the story happen on a Special Day, the day that the little birds are about to fly for the first time and leave the nest. Tiny is the hero of the story. Everybody thinks that he is not brave enough to fly by himself but he confounds the lot of them!

This is a lovely little herostory for children in the age group 4 – 8. It’s a simple, humorous, well-written story about overcoming all the odds and there is an important lesson contained therein: everyone can be a hero if he/she is brave enough.

The book is beautifully illustrated with some beautiful coloured illustrations by Mary and Emma Gilleece. This book would be very suitable in class for primary schoolchildren in the age group 4 – 8.

This week’s question:

Name the author of the book ‘Sicín’ ?

• Éilís Ni Dhuibhne
• Ríona Ní Congáil
• Máiréad Mag Uidhir
• Anna Heussaff

Please forward answers along with yours school’s name and contact details to the following email address: duais@comhdhail.ie and have the words “Comórtas Gaelport” as the subject of your mail.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 12 noon 24th January 2013.

We are grateful to Comharchumann Forbartha an Leith Triúigh Teoranta who kindly supplied the prize for this competition.

Congratulations to Padaí Ó Mianáin from Derry who won some wonderful CDs in our last edition.


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Éileamh ar éagsulacht i mbunscoileanna na tíre

December 12, 2012

Online debate over Education Minister’s stance on Irish language

December 12, 2012

Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn today has said that the amount of time spent on the teaching of Irish and religion in primary schools is an issue of concern.

The statement has prompted debate online once again over the status of the Irish language in the education system with many Irish language speakers responding on Facebook and Twitter to the remarks.

According to a report published on the Irish Examiner and Breaking News websites today, the Minister is quoted as saying “the official time allocation for religion and Irish is high relative to other subjects. Am I personally concerned by that? Yes I am. But this is a choice that parents and teachers and the patrons of schools have to make.”

A recent international study has found that while Ireland’s level of reading, maths and science skills is above average, the country’s schools failed to make it on to the list of top schools.

The subject became a hot topic during the 2011 general election when the Labour Party, among others, came out against Fine Gael’s proposal to remove Irish as a core Leaving Certificate subject, a proposal which was later abandoned.

Minister Ruairí Quinn has said that he believes too much time is spent on the teaching of Irish and Religion, and he has expressed the same views since becoming Minister for Education. The Minister raised the question of time spent on Irish and religion in April and claimed at the time that the subject would need to be reconsidered id literacy and numeracy skills are to improve.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

Fun in the classroom with Foinse Óg

October 2, 2012

A new series of online learning resources for teachers has recently been made available free of charge on www.foinse.ie.

The new learning material adds to the educational support that Foinse has provided for a number of years. The newest resources have been developed in association with COGG, by primary school teachers for primary school teachers and are entirely based on the primary school curriculum.

Hundreds of new resources have been added to the website and many cater for all levels of Irish. Multi-coloured based on curriculum themes are designed to be used interactively on a white board or a projector and can also be printed to use in the classroom. Interactive games, crosswords, jigsaws and exercises are also available allowing teachers to attend to students of varying levels of learning within the one lesson. The website is also a great resource for parents.

The newspaper Foinse also provides parents and teachers with learning resources every Wednesday with the Irish Independent. A new lesson plan will be printed in Foinse every Wednesday as a constant resource for teachers and parents who wish to make Irish exciting and engaging for their children.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

Níos mó béime ar scíthléitheoireacht- Comhdháil léitheoireachta

September 25, 2012

Rogha Gaelscolaíochta le tairiscint do thuismitheoirí

September 20, 2012

Good news for Gaeltacht language assistance services

September 14, 2012

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht announced this week the allocation of funding to the amount of €762,378 for language assistance services in Gaeltacht areas.

Minister Dinny McGinley announced an extra €150,000 in addition to last year’s grant in order to further develop services within Gaeltacht areas through the Language Assistance Scheme. The funds awarded to Muintearas and Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne will ensure the continued provision and development of these important services throughout the school year.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has approved almost €1.6 milliúin in grants to Gaeltacht areas in the last three months.

A total of €300,000 was approved in June of this year for various projects in several Gaeltacht regions including €100,000 for the Connacht Gaelic Athletic Association, €10,000 for minor refurbishment in Coláíste Uisce and €29,000 for Corca Dhuibhne’s Health Service Executive.

Support for traditional music, dance and song was made clear throughout the Summer with €12,000 approved towards the cost of musical instruments and the development of Conamara Láir Teo, a grant of €110,000 for An Gaelacdamh in An Spidéal in June and a further €20,000 awarded in July.

Tourism and community facilities are also set to benefit in the coming months from recently announced grants. Comharchumann Mhic Dara, An Cheathrú Rua, will receive a grant of €256,000 for the purchase of a new building that will function as a public hall and accommodation for the Irish college.

The Department approved a total of €180,260 for reconstruction and improvement works on several Gaeltacht islands; Árainn Mhór, Toraigh, Inis Fraoich, Inis Oírr, Béara agus Oileán Baoi.

A grant of €50,000 was announced in July for Comhlacht Traenach na Gaeltachta Láir towards the cost of the development of Loch Fhinne as a tourist and heritage region. Coiste Pobail an Tulaigh, Baile na hAbhann will receive €45,000 to complete the area’s town hall.

For more information on Department funding visit www.ahg.gov.ie.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

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