Conradh na Gaeilge launched its policy for the general election earlier this month – a policy which has been agreed by both Conradh and more than 80 Irish-language and Gaeltacht community groups, including all the Gaeltacht originations in County Galway.
The investment element of the policy also has the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge. This is the first time that such an agreed policy has been presented by the Irish language and Gaeltacht community.
The policy document is seeking:
1. An investment in an Irish-language and Gaeltacht plan to expand the use of Irish and to create 1,175+ new jobs.
2. The appointment of a senior Minister for Irish and for the Gaeltacht, who has Irish, so that there is an Irish language input at the Government table.
3. The establishment of a joint Oireachtas committee for the Irish language and Gaeltacht affairs of the same standing as other joint Oireachtas committees.
Conradh na Gaeilge’s Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha said: ‘We are calling on every political party and every election candidate to support the above commitments, and we are now working with the language community and voters to seek such support from each candidate looking to be elected in Galway West and Galway East.’
5 reasons an Irish-speaking Senior Minister for the Irish Language and Gaeltacht Affairs is necessary in the next Government:
1. To direct and manage the implementation of the Government’s 20 Year Strategy, and significantly strengthen the Official Languages Bill.
2. To tackle the language crisis in Gaeltacht areas.
3. To highlight the requirements of the Irish-language and Gaeltacht communities at Cabinet level (to this end a Minister who understands the specific needs and problems of the sector is a must).
4. To enter into dialogue with other Senior Ministers whose remit affects the Irish language and Gaeltacht affairs.
5. To ensure adequate funding for the sector.
5 reasons the establishment of a permanent Joint Oireachtas Committee for the Irish Language and Gaeltacht Affairs is necessary:
1. To oversee the implementation of the Government’s 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language.
2. To oversee the state system in general in terms of services provided to the public in the Irish language, especially in Gaeltacht areas.
3. To examine all legislation coming before the Dáil to ensure proper protection for the Irish language and Gaeltacht areas and affairs.
4. To begin initiatives and inquiries to benefit the Irish language and Gaeltacht affairs as appropriate.
5. To collect information from Irish-language and Gaeltacht organisations as well as from the public in relation to aspects of language development, and to use this information in respect of Irish-language rights.