Irish language strategy a major boost for the Gaeltacht

New Irish language strategy a major boost for the Gaeltacht – Ó’Domhnaill

The status Gaeltacht regions will be upgraded in a bid to promote and protect our culture, according to Donegal South West Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó’Domhnaill.

Details have been unveiled of a new 20-year strategy for the Irish language, which aims to increase the daily speakers of Irish across the country from 83,000 to 250,000 by 2030. There is also a target to increase daily speakers in Gaeltacht areas by 25% over the same period.

Senator Ó’Domhnaill – who is on the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta – has described the strategy as evidence of the Government’s commitment to supporting what is a vital part of our culture and identity.

“This is an ambitious but achievable plan, which seeks to preserve our beautiful national language for future generations. Through intensive work with academics, researchers and stakeholders, the Government has come up with a strategy to promote Irish across schools, homes, communities and the workplace,” explained Senator Ó’Domhnaill.

“The plan recognises the pivotal role played by Gaeltacht areas in preserving our heritage and it promotes the growth of these regions throughout the country. Under new criteria, each Gaeltacht community must have an extensive language plan and will be given two years to meet targets in order to keep its status. New areas can be granted Gaeltacht status if they meet the criteria.”

“I am delighted that Údarás na Gaeltachta will be given increased powers under this strategy, as this is something I have consistently fought for. The organisation will be renamed Údarás na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta and it will have responsibility for all Irish language matters throughout the State, as well as keeping its enterprise functions.”

“There will also be increased promotion of Irish in schools. It’s important that our teachers display a love for the language and have the materials and syllabus to pass this on to our children. Under the strategy, teachers will be required to have a stronger grasp of Irish and 20% of places on teaching courses will be kept for students who were educated through Irish.”

“I have consistently fought for a strong strategy to increase the use of Irish right across the country and protect the culture and economy of the Gaeltacht. I am convinced that this is plan will achieve that goal and I welcome the Government’s commitment to this,” concluded Senator Ó’Domhnaill.

Posted: Dec 22, 2010     |     Categories: Donegal South West