News from the Gaelic League – State Services Continually Not Provided in Gaelic as is Required by Law
Six years in to the “20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030", the Gaelic League has condemned the lack of progress by the Irish government in providing State Services in Gaelic as is required by law. Quoting from the press release issued by the Gaelic league (Full Text Below):
“The quantity of complaints made to the Language Commissioner during 2015, the largest amount since the office’s inception in 2004, is proof that the state service is continuously failing to provide fitting services in Irish to citizens of this country. Conradh na Gaeilge insists that this fact must be accepted and that focus must be immediately directed to strengthening the Official Languages Act…”
The Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaelige) are the main voluntary community organisation that promotes the Irish language in Ireland and abroad, The Gaelic League’s main aim is to reinstate the Irish language as the common tongue of Ireland. Since its founding in 1893, members have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life in Ireland, from legal and educational affairs to the development of media and services through Irish. Members of the Gaelic League are in the forefront of campaigns to strengthen the rights of the Irish speaking community.
The following is the full text from the League's website (linked below):
Language Commissioner’s 2015 Yearly Report published today by Rónán Ó Domhnaill
Conradh na Gaeilge are urgently calling for the Official Languages Act to be strengthened following the publication today (27 June 2016) of the Coimisinéir Teanga’s annual report.
Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, says:
“The quantity of complaints made to the Language Commissioner during 2015, the largest amount since the office’s inception in 2004, is proof that the state service is continuously failing to provide fitting services in Irish to citizens of this country. Conradh na Gaeilge insists that this fact must be accepted and that focus must be immediately directed to strengthening the Official Languages Act Conradh na Gaeilge also contend that the failure of the Language Scheme system, which is part of the current Act, must be realised and that it is necessary to ensure that a new system, a system based on the standard of service, be a central part of the amended Act.”
Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha, Vice General-Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, says:
“It is appropriate that Rónán Ó Domhnaill has referred to the lack of jobs that have Irish as a necessary component recognised by Government Departments. This goes to the heart of the matter regarding lack of service in Irish for the people. Without staff fluent in Irish there can be no Irish-language service. It is essential that recruitment is central in State policy to ensure services for the Gaeltacht and Irish-speaking communities.”
Mac Fhlannchadha continues:
“The reference the Coimisinéir Teanga makes to “grave questions” regarding the will of the State to provide services of an equal standard as are provided in English is, however, a cause for concern. There is a resonance here with the words of the President of Ireland, Micheál D Ó hUiginn, over the weekend, as he referred to the lack of visibility of the Irish-language at upper levels of the Civil State system and it is clear that this issue needs urgently addressed."
Conradh na Gaeilge support the recommendation made by the Coimisinéir Teanga that direct action should be taken now to strengthen the Official Languages Act. Conradh na Gaeilge also share the Commissioner’s view that direct action should be taken based on the recommendations from the Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and Gaeltacht, from the public consultation and from the input made directly by the Commissioner himself regarding the application and operation of the Act for Oireachtas Committees and from the observations published by his Office regarding the working directive of the Act.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
The 2015 Annual Report from the Language Commissioner can be accessed at www.coimisineir.ie/downloads/Oifig_an_Choimisineir_Teanga_Tuarascail_Bhl... 2015 Annual