Ó Domhnaill condemns axing of Gaeltacht Scholarships

The Government’s decision to axe Gaeltacht and Irish Language Scholarships is a disgrace and will damage efforts to promote our national language, according to Donegal Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill.

Senator Ó Domhnaill raised a motion in Seanad Éireann this week calling on the Government to reverse these damaging cuts, announced in Budget 2012. He also called on the Government to reinstate the DEIS status of Pobal Scoil Gaoth Dobhair and P.C.C Falcarragh secondary schools.

Questioning the Minister of State at the Department of Education Seán Sherlock, Senator Ó Domhnaill said, “I consider these cuts an attack on the Irish language,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.

“The Gaeltacht and Irish Language Scholarships were initially established to promote the language and commemorate Easter Week 1916. That the Government would remove these important schemes as we approach the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising is a disgrace.

“The Government decision taken in the last Budget means five individual scholarship schemes will be replaced by one insignificant and non Irish Language and available only to Second Level pupils attending DEIS Secondary Schools.”

“Only 60 of these grants will now be available to the entire country. The proposal is in stark contrast 20 Year Irish Language Strategy put forward by Fianna Fáil in Government and the Fianna Fáil Government and supported by all parties. This strategy focused on provided special supports to students who strived to develop their Irish Language skills.

“The fact that the DEIS status of secondary schools such as Pobal Scoil Gaoth Dobhair and P.C.C Falcarragh is no longer in place means that pupils attending these schools will no longer eligible to obtain traditional Gaeltacht Scholarships.

“I am calling on the Government to review the planned scrapping of Language Scholarships and also to review the DEIS status of both Secondary Schools. It is incredible to think that almost all the primary schools feeding into both of these secondary schools have DEIS status but this is not retained at secondary level. There appears to be no consistency in supports here,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.

Posted: Jun 21, 2012     |     Categories: Uncategorized