Better late than never
Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes warmly the restoration of the Gaeltacht grant for students on State-funded Initial Teacher Education programmes.
Conradh na Gaeilge has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, today, 10 October, of the restoration of the Gaeltacht grant for students on State-funded Initial Teacher Education programmes. This campaign was organised by the Union of Students in Ireland with the co-operation of Conradh na Gaeilge over the last number of years.
Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: “Conradh na Gaeilge is delighted that this funding will again be made available to students to spend some time in Gaeltacht areas. Not only will this, of course, increase their language skills but there will be benefits for the economy of the Gaeltacht areas also, which have suffered from a long-standing lack of investment.
The efforts to restore the grant are another illustration of a successful outcome from working collaboratively and that government decisions can be positively influenced - and for this reason the Union of Students in Ireland should be particularly commended for their role in this campaign. Minister Joe McHugh, who was willing to listen to our opinions and made the decision to restore this funding is also to be commended. Conradh na Gaeilge appreciates the immense importance of the Gaeltacht as an invaluable resource for learners and as a protector of our heritage. Conradh na Gaeilge will continue with our longstanding commitment, made year on year, to support the language at all levels in the community and in the country.”
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: “We are delighted that this campaign has now reached its goal and that the Gaeltacht grant has been reinstated for students on State-funded Initial Teacher Education programmes. Certainly, the fees of €1,500 that the students had to pay in the last few years did not help with the image and status of the language amongst the students. We called again for the restoration of the grant again at #SEAS19 recently as we have continually called for the restoration since the Gaeltacht grant was abolished. We are pleased that the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, has listened to us and to the other politicians who supported the call to restore the grant. USI are to be highly commended for pushing this campaign and also the students who have fought this case in recent years deserve much praise, many of whom will not benefit personally from the restoration as they have already completed their training courses. Conradh na Gaeilge hopes that the students will continue to campaign, especially to achieve an education policy for the Irish language from pre-school to third level.”
Julian de Spáinn,
Ard-Rúnaí Chonradh na Gaeilge
Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha,
Leas-Ardrúnaí / Bainisteoir Abhcóideachta
Róisín Ní Mhaoláin,