Conradh na Gaeilge are extremely concerned over the lack of fairness shown in Budget 2018 with an insufficient €2.5 million contribution proposed for the Irish language and for the Gaeltacht in 2018 from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
‘’A large percentage of this allocation is going towards language planning in the Gaeltacht, which is to be welcomed, but the Government has let down 87 Irish language and Gaeltacht groups as it is not allocating sufficient funding to their agreed investment plan’’ said Dr Niall Comer, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge.
‘’The investment plan for the Irish language and Gaeltacht has the potential to create more than 1,150 jobs and provide many more opportunities for people to use the language.’’
‘’Given that significant increases in funding were being sought by representatives of the Department of the Gaeltacht and by Minister Joe McHugh himself on behalf of the language, which is to be commended, it is disappointing that the appropriate allocation for the Irish language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan in 2018 has not been made accordingly. Because of this, Conradh na Gaeilge is now calling on the Taoiseach to intervene directly in the process of the revised estimates to ensure fairness and equality for the language community and the financing of the language investment plan as a whole.’’
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: "The Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht's imbalance is apparent when you take into account the Department's boast that the Arts Council's budget has increased by 20% over the last three years, and that an additional €3 million has been allocated to the Council for 2018. At the same time, Foras na Gaeilge’s baseline budget has been reduced by 4.5% over the last three years and there is only an additional €2.5 million provision being provided to the Department of the Gaeltacht for all matters relating to the Irish language and the Gaeltacht next year, including the statutory obligations of language planning on the Gaeltacht communities. "
Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha, Advocacy Manager of Conradh na Gaeilge, said, "The Gaeltacht Cooperatives, who are not getting enough funding for their work and proper administration, or indeed for the rent and expenses of their offices, are angry and frustrated. The Irish Language Community Schemes are struggling with financing their work programmes and Foras na Gaeilge’s youth and other schemes are being reduced due to lack of funding and lack of continuity. Conradh na Gaeilge believes that it is now time for the Government and the state authorities to recognise the language rights of the Irish speaking community and to invest properly in the language and the Gaeltacht.’’
Conradh na Gaeilge is calling for the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to intervene and to solve the problems facing the Irish language and Gaeltacht community by fully financing the language investment plan in the revised budget process.