#GaelVóta 2017 | The Stance of Parties in the northConradh na Gaeilge worked with local community groups across Ireland to organise local action forums in every county in Ireland as part of the #GaelVóta campaign in the run-up to the general elections north and south last year.

Over 80 Irish-language and Gaeltacht groups, including community and all-Ireland organisations and their funding authorities, agreed an investment plan to create over 1,175 jobs and to provide more opportunities for people to use Irish. We also agreed on representative measures to ensure that the investment plan is acted upon, and that the Irish-language and Gaeltacht community are properly represented at Government level. These are the Irish-Language and Gaeltacht Commitments that form the basis of the #GaelVóta campaign.

Now, with another Assembly election on the horizon, we asked every political party and every election candidate in the north to officially pledge their support for the 3 commitments below. The following are the responses we received from candidates or their parties as of Friday, 17 February 2017, for your information before you cast your vote on 2 March 2017.

Assembly Election (North): Thursday, 2 March 2017

  1. To confirm an Irish-Language Act before joining any Executive in the north
  2. To provide the necessary funding as detailed in the Irish-Language Community Investment Plan
  3. To appoint a Communities Minister and an Education Minister that would implement existing legal obligations and support the wishes of the Irish-language community

* We invited the parties to clarify their position in relation to an Irish-Language Act. Although only one party - People Before Profit - confirmed that it was a red line issue, i.e. that they would not participate in an Executive without provision for an Irish-Language Act being agreed beforehand, other parties with green ticks have confirmed their strong support for an Act as a legislative priority for the Assembly.

** Some parties (marked Other) have informed us that they would promote and support the Irish language within the
Education and Communities Departments. They stated, however, that they could not confirm if they would select those ministries because of the D’Hondt system and the choices of other parties.

*** Where we received no answer either from a party or a candidate, Conradh na Gaeilge is providing an opinion based on election manifestos, public announcements, etc. Any party or candidate can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they wish to support the commitments and we will make the relevent changes.

Responses of Political Parties (North):

Click pdfhere for the political parties' stance on the three main Irish-language commitments.
Click pdfhere for official correspondence with the political parties on the three main commitments.

Responses of the Assembly Election Candidates (North):

Click on a constituency below to see the responses of that constituency's candidates on the commitments.

pdfBelfast East
pdfBelfast North
pdfBelfast South
pdfBelfast West
pdfEast Antrim
pdfEast Derry
pdfFermanagh & South Tyrone
pdfLagan Valley
pdfMid Ulster
pdfNewry & Armagh
pdfNorth Antrim
pdfNorth Down
pdfSouth Antrim
pdfSouth Down
pdfUpper Bann
pdfWest Tyrone

Contact was made with all candidates as per the contact details that were publicly available. We apologise for any information that may be inaccurate as a result of this, or if any candidate has been left out. Any party or candidate can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they wish to support the commitments or would like more information.


Did you know?

  • From the 10 parties that gave their opinion on an Irish-Language Act, either through contacting us or in their manifestos, 7 parties are in favour of an Irish-Language Act while only 3 are against it.
  • Nearly 2 million people on the island of Ireland have some proficiency in Irish
  • Interest in Irish and the use of the language is continuously growing, especially amongst young people. For example, over 1 million people have recently listened to the famous celebrity Ed Sheeran singing in Irish
  • The investment plan and the additional political structures that we are looking for will help achieve the vision for the Irish language as envisaged by the rebellion generation and will properly commemorate 1916
  • The investment plan* proposed above will cater for the 93% of the population who support the revival or preservation of the Irish language (ESRI & NUI Maynooth, 2009) through:
    • Providing an comprehensive programme of usage and learning
    • Funding for Irish language centres in towns across the island
    • Providing Gaeltacht scholarships for young people and families
  • N.B. The additional funding that is needed for the investment plan is €5 million less than the funding made available for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht in 2008

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked so hard to promote these commitments for the Irish-language and Gaeltacht community these past few months. Buíochas ó chroí le gach duine agaibh - ní neart go cur le chéile!

Buíochas ó chroí le gach duine a rinne go leor oibre leis na héilimh seo ar son phobal na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn le cúpla mí anuas.

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge