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'Serious' lack of Irish translators in the EU Parliament

A "SERIOUS" shortage of Irish language translators in Brussels is the main reason why the European Parliament's website is not translated into Irish.

Irish language group Stadas filed an official complaint with the EU Ombudsman, saying the parliament had failed to make Irish available on its website in "an adequate and proportionate way".

However, the Irish Independent has learnt that two jobs for Irish-speaking secretaries within the commission this summer resulted in just 26 applications.

The posts, which were for temporary contracts within the secretarial assistant pool based in Brussels, were advertised by the commission earlier this summer but failed to attract any major interest before the closing date earlier this month.

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A spokesperson for the commission said it had opted for temporary posts because the last competition for secretarial assistants with the Irish language "did not yield a sufficient number of laureates".

Despite the low number of applicants, a spokesman for the commission said it was "very satisfied with the response".

Stadas says that the parliament's failure to translate its website, particularly where it invites interaction with EU citizens, "violates a range of legal rules and principles".

EU Ombudsman P Nikiforos Diamandouros acknowledged the "serious shortage" of Irish translators has impacted on the ability to translate the website.

He recommended that the parliament should ensure adequate and proportionate use of Irish on its website.

A spokesman for the parliament's office in Dublin said that even before the complaint was lodged, the parliament's bureau had adopted a decision requesting an Irish version of the website and work on this was "under way".

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