Friday 18 August 2017

Revenue's €60,000 bill for online Irish content - with just 166 users

The Revenue is facing the bill because of the Official Languages Act, which was introduced
in 2003. (Stock picture)
The Revenue is facing the bill because of the Official Languages Act, which was introduced in 2003. (Stock picture)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The Office of the Revenue Commissioners is spending €60,000 to translate its new website into Irish - despite just a few hundred people using the service in the country's first language.

The Revenue is facing the bill because of the Official Languages Act, which was introduced in 2003.

State agencies must have significant amounts of Irish content on their websites.

Compliance with the Act has cost taxpayers millions of euro.

Data supplied to the Irish Independent shows the Revenue Commissioners' existing website had 849,178 unique visitors in the 12 months to the end of February.

Clicked

But just 166 of those landed on an Irish language page when they clicked onto the website.

The figures also reveal that of the pages currently on the website that are available in both English and Irish, the English-language versions attracted 429,000 views from visitors in the 12 months to the end of February, while the Irish-language versions attracted just 458 views.

The Official Language Act aims to see 250,000 people using Irish outside the education system on a daily basis by 2030.

According to the 2011 census, 77,185 people - or 1.6pc of the 4.58 million population that year - were speaking Irish on a daily basis outside the education system.

A spokeswoman for the Revenue Commissioners said the agency is spending €1.7m revamping its website.

The last time it got a makeover was in 2008.

It's currently seeking a service provider to translate about 600,000 English words on the website into Irish as part of the overall redesign.

Irish Independent

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