Irish Language Groups Launch General Election Drive In Support of Gaelic

In a what may well be a turning point in the fight to restore the Celtic Tongue of Ireland to its rightful place, a coalition of  over 70 Irish Language and Gaeltacht  organisations have put forward an “All Ireland Investment Plan” targeting the creation of approximately 1,200 jobs primarily benefitting Gaelic speakers.  The Plan’s major backers are Conradh na Gaeilge (Gaelic league), the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and Foras na Gaeilge (established under the Good Friday Agreement for the promotion of the Irish Language).

The Gaelic League is reporting on their website that the plan is being considered by sympathetic politicians from the major parties in the South:

“The Irish people have repeatedly reiterated their support for the Irish language in various reports and surveys, and indeed they have even indicated lately that more funding should be provided to this end, but the public also want and need more chances to use the language. The targeted funding being sought in this investment plan would afford communities across the country further opportunities to speak and learn the language, especially at a local level.” Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge

Reflecting the indifference of the current government to the fate of Irish, the budgets for the Gaeltacht and Foras na Gaeilge have suffered a reduction of exceeding 50% since the financial crisis.  At the same time Dublin are pretending to support the tongue by adding more responsibilities to the agencies:

 “The budgets of both Foras na Gaeilge and Údarás na Gaeltachta were reduced substantially in recent years, while at the same time there was a broadening of their responsibilities and additional duties to protect and promote the Irish language and the Gaeltacht were placed upon them. New government policies and legislation such as The 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and The Gaeltacht Act 2012 in the south, and The Strategy to Improve and Protect the Development of the Irish Language 2015-2035 in the north, had significant resource implications for both Foras na Gaeilge and Údarás na Gaeltachta, though these Irish-language and Gaeltacht authorities were not provided with any additional resources necessary for the implementation of these programmes, rather their respective budgets have been severely cut in recent years.”  Cóilin Ó Cearbhaill, President of Conradh na Gaeilge.,16...

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