Sunday 22 September 2019

Calls for €5.3m to be ring-fenced in the upcoming Budget for new language and Gaeltacht plan

Stock photo: GETTY
Stock photo: GETTY
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

A call has been made for €5.3m to be ring-fenced in the upcoming Budget for a new plan to shore up Irish language and Gaeltacht services.

Conradh na Gaeilge hosted a ten-hour mobile clinic in Buswell’s Hotel in Dublin yesterday in support of a new investment plan, which they say could create over 1,150 jobs.

The Irish Language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan aims to provide essential resources towards the Irish language planning process.

Julian de Spáinn, the General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said that what the body is looking for is supported by 87 Irish-language and Gaeltacht groups. "They have come together to plan for the future. We need to address the devastating cuts that were made over a number of years," he told the Irish Independent.

"It is a basic plan to address the cuts, and address it in a way that will create jobs and provide opportunities," he said.

TDs and Senators were invited to the mobile clinic to hear the concerns of people about the need for funding from all over the country, who had travelled to the event.

Síne Nic an Ailí, who works in communications with Conradh, said that if the funding is secured in the Budget, work could begin on implementing the plan, which will be rolled out over three years.

"There would be more Irish language officers, and more Irish language centres around the country,  giving the public the opportunity to use their Irish and to make Irish more visible," she said.

"We will be hoping for things like family community centres in the Gaeltacht areas to support people raising their children through Irish."

"It's not only time to reverse the cuts, but to make sure the baseline funding that we have at the moment is secure," she said.

"Overall we are looking for €18m over the course of three years, with €5.3m in Budget 2018," said Ms Nic an Ailí.

A breakdown of the €5.3m would includes some €2m for the Údaras na Gaeltachta capital budget, to create employment opportunities in the Gaeltacht.

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