Conradh na Gaeilge has welcomed the announcement from the Minister for the Gaeltacht, Seán Kyne TD, that €1.5 million is to be added to the budget for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht, the Islands and the Foras Teanga in 2019. This reflects a 10% increase in the funding from the previous year, an increase which is broadly in line with the increase in Arts Council Funding. However, an inequity still exists in comparison to the other Departments in the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as the Culture Department received an increase of 14% and the Heritage Department 15% respectively.
Dr. Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“We are more hopeful for the future as the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Seán Kyne, TD, were willing to listen to the recommendations put forward by Conradh na Gaeilge and to the requests of the Irish language community in general that extra funding should be made available in 2019. All research shows the perilous state of the Gaeltacht and it is essential that extra funding be made available to the Gaeltacht. It is with this in mind that we welcome the extra €500k that has been granted to Údarás na Gaeltachta’s capital budget. This increase, combined with the funding that has recently been granted from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the Regional Enterprise Development Fund for the development of Páirc na Mara in Cill Chiaráin will go some way to the further development of job creation in the Gaeltacht.
As President of Conradh na Gaeilge I would like to extend my thanks to the Irish Language Community Groups in the Gaeltacht and throughout Ireland who continue lobbying the Government for funding and to achieve their basic right as Irish speakers. Conradh na Gaeilge will continue to work with these groups in the years to come.
Julian de Spáinn, Ard-Rúnaí of Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“With this increased funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta’s capital budget, funding from 2017, funding from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Údarás will have €14.9 million at its disposal in 2019 to create jobs. We welcome the increased funding of €750k for the Department’s Community and Language Support Programme, and the extra €250k to be spent on the promotion of Irish outside the Gaeltacht areas.
These are significant steps towards the implementation of the Investment Plan for Irish and the Gaeltacht, a plan which has been agreed by 90 Irish Language and Gaeltacht groups. Conradh na Gaeilge will continue to co-ordinate this campaign to ensure that the aims of the plan are fulfilled.