Skip to main content

#Líofa - 'Findings of Equality Commission Líofa Investigation demonstrate need for Irish Language Act' - @CnaG

Irish Language Community seek explanation and apology for discriminatory Líofa decision

Liofa 1

Conradh na Gaeilge has welcomed the findings of the Equality Commission investigation which concluded that the Department for Communities “failed to comply with its approved Equality Scheme commitments on screening and equality impact assessment relating to funding decisions for the Líofa Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme” in December 2016.

A report from The Detail (26 April 2017) also revealed that the Minister at the time, Paul Givan MLA DUP, refused to retain the scheme in spite of the advice given to him by his officials:

‘A ministerial briefing paper prepared for Mr Givan by a senior Department of Communities official advised that the majority of applicants were children from deprived backgrounds whose parents could not otherwise afford the summer language courses in County Donegal.’

‘The document also suggested the option of reducing the size of the fund to avoid its closure, but six days after the five-page report was submitted, an emailed response said: “Minister has commented 'No scheme'.’ (See:

Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, Advocacy Manager with Conradh na Gaeilge says:

“Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes the findings of the Equality Commission Líofa investigation which concluded that the Department for Communities failed to comply with their equality schemes and obligations. We are, however, not surprised by these findings. This cross-community, means-tested scheme was launched to provide learning opportunities for young people, the most disadvantaged young people in our society. Between these new findings and the research published by The Detail, it is clear that there was a deliberate agenda to target and get rid of this scheme. This was just the latest in a long line of decisions from DUP Ministers attacking the Irish-language and Irish-medium education. That pattern of regressive actions cannot continue. The only resolution is that of legislative, rights-based protections for the language which is enjoyed by others across these islands.”

Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge says:

 “The Líofa decision and now the findings from this investigation have highlighted the urgent need for rights-based legislative protection for the Irish-language. Since we received the email notifying us of the Líofa decision Conradh na Gaeilge has been lobbying continuously for an Irish-language Act; with the demand for an Irish-language Act here now being unprecedented. This discriminatory decision was the catalyst for the powerful, grassroots, organic campaign which led to the reinstatement of the Líofa bursaries and which has also inspired a new debate around the role and status of the Irish language in our society. The Irish Language Community deserve and seek both an explanation and an apology for the  discriminatory Líofa decision and we hope that the importance of schemes like Líofa are recognised and protected moving forward.”



Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin

Advocacy Manager, Conradh na Gaeilge

00 44 28 90 315647 | 00 44 7545293841| This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh

Communications Executive, Conradh na Gaeilge

00 44 28 90 315647 | 00 44 77 16690237 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


See The Detail report on Líofa decisions:

Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community. The Conradh has over 200 branches and numerous individual members registered around the world, members that work hard to promote the use of Irish in their own areas. Conradh na Gaeilge’s main aim is to promote the use of Irish as the standard language in Ireland. Conradh na Gaeilge was established by Douglas Hyde, Eoin Mac Néill, and their colleagues on the 31st of July 1893. The organisation runs Irish-language courses; advocates for the language rights of Irish-speakers; raises awareness about the language; hosts the international Irish-language festival Seachtain na Gaeilge; manages the Irish-language information hub and the Irish-language bookshop An Siopa Leabhar; supports Raidió Rí-Rá; and much more. More



Conradh na Gaeilge

6 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.
Phone: +353 (0) 1 475 7401, Fax: +353 (0) 1 475 7844, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.