Rage At Irish Government - Budget Cuts Savage Irish Language Programs

The Galway Advertiser, under the headline "Budget a Hammer Blow to Gaeltacht", reports outrage at  funding cuts announced by Dublin to programs that support the Gaeltacht (Irish Language Areas of Ireland). Senator Trevor O' Clochtartaigh, the spokesman for the Irish language and Gaeltacht for the political party of Sinn Fein, is quoted in the article citing the impact of the cuts on infrastructure supporting the Gaeltacht:  "another example of the lack of respect the Government has for the Irsih language and those who speak it."

Cuts to programs which support the language come amidst across the board cuts suffered by the "Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltach", which is the agency that funds projects which support the tongue. Language activists are alarmed at the inordinate burden suffered since the financial crisis by the Gaeltacht Authority (Udaras na Gaeltachta).  The Authority has suffered vicious cuts by Dublin in its funding to create jobs, according to O'Clochtartaigh, amounting to a decline of 78%, from 26 million to the current funding of 5.8 million Euro.

Draconian cuts in funding to the Gaelic Authority are particularly damaging to the ancient tongue of Ireland because it is through the Udaras that employment within the Geltacht is promoted. Linguists are in universal agreement that one of the foundations in reversing the decline of a language is a growing economy and employment within the language area. Because of the the crucial role played by the Gaeltacht Authority in supporting schemes that grow employment within the Gaeltacht, it is an easy jump to agree with Senator O'Clochtartaigh on Dublin's malevolent indifference to the Irish language. 

The Gaeltacht of Ireland (Irish Speaking Area) is defined as follows: "The Gaeltacht covers extensive parts of counties Donegal, Mayo, Galway and Kerry which are all along the western seaboard, and also parts of counties Cork, Meath and Waterford. There are also six populated off shore islands. The total population of the Gaeltacht according to the 2011 census is 101,000.  Around 16,000 Irish speakers reside within the expanding suburbs of Galway City". (Udaras na Gaeltachta)




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