Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes provisions within the programme for Government, which have come directly from the community, in particular the New Education Policy for Irish.
Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes some of the provisions mentioned in the programme for government today, in particular, the Education Policy for Irish from pre-school to third-level. Conradh na Gaeilge lobbied for this during the general election with the #Gaeilge4All campaign.
In addition, adequate resourcing and a review of the structure of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta, a stronger Language Bill, the development of Irish language media with Raidió Rí-Rá, are provided for. All of these will be explored in the days and weeks ahead of us.
Conradh na Gaeilge has today, however, made clear that these provisions and commitments are in vain unless adequate funding is provided to Foras na Gaeilge, Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Department of the Gaeltacht, to implement them.
Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
"Conradh na Gaeilge recognises the ambitious provisions set out by the three parties, The Green Party, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, in their programme for Government, but also recognises the shortcomings with no reference to additional measurable funding, as they all pledged €20 million or more in Irish language funding during the general election. We have seen in the past good policies that were merely false promises. If this new Government is serious about implementing these policies at a level that brings about the positive change needed for the language and the community, it must provide additional funding and appoint a Senior Minister for the Gaeltacht with Irish as a cornerstone of this programme for Government. That's what Conradh na Gaeilge is looking for in the coming days.”
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“Each of these parties committed to the Irish language community, as part of their general election campaigns, to provide additional funding for the Irish language. As we have seen with the Twenty Year Strategy 2010-30 and others, policies without financial support will not suffice. This lobbying process is about trust and goodwill. When commitments are given, we expect them to be fulfilled. We are in constant contact with the spokespeople of these parties on the issue of the language and Gaeltacht and hope that we can secure the appropriate support from the parties.”
Conradh na Gaeilge is asking the public to contact members of the three parties, especially the three leaders, and call on them to appoint a Senior Minister with responsibility for the Irish language and Gaeltacht who is fluent in Irish and to provide clarity on funding.