Conradh na Gaeilge to deliver £610,000 Irish language funding to community groups in two schemes aimed at tackling Covid challenges

Funds of £610,000 to be made available to groups as Department for Communities set aside £1.2m to help Irish language groups through Covid from the £29m Barnett support for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Languages.

Conradh na Gaeilge will administer and deliver two funding schemes from the £29m Barnett funding received by the Department for Communities for the arts, culture, heritage and languages. £2.5m of that funding has been set aside for indigenous languages, to be shared between Irish, Ulster-Scots and sign languages. The Irish language community will directly benefit from £1.2m of that fund, aimed at providing financial support for community and Irish language groups through ongoing Covid difficulties. Conradh na Gaeilge will deliver half of that funding, £610,000, and the other half will be delivered to Irish language centres through An Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge.

Conradh na Gaeilge will facilitate this funding through two schemes which are aimed at community groups, as follows:

  • SPG+ Relief & Relaunch Fund 2020-2021 (Covid19) - £460,000

This fund is aimed at Irish language community groups dealing with ongoing challenges and difficulties brought about as a result of the Covid pandemic, especially concerning financial implications of Covid and staffing and programme income losses, since the beginning of April of this year. Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes applications for up to £30,000 from community groups with core staff, wage and income losses as a result of Covid, especially those groups currently on the Scéim Phobal Gaeilge. Applications of up to £15,000 will also be welcomed from community groups as a relief fund for income losses throughout the year. All groups will be invited to seek funding to help relaunch their groups and their programmes of activities at the beginning of the new year, dealing with the new Covid normal. 

  • Community Events Fund: Towards Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia 2021 - £150,000

This fund is a stimulus fund to create increased, renewed and new opportunities for communities to use the Irish language in the new year. As many groups and participants of classes, events and festivals have been largely suspended since March, this fund will act as a catalyst to encourage people to re-engage with the language in their own communities, as facilitated by their local Irish language group. Conradh na Gaeilge hopes that over 30 groups will directly benefit from funding of £2,500 or £5,000 between January and the end of March 2021. 

Commenting on the launch of the new funding schemes announced today, Dr Niall Comer, President, Conradh na Gaeilge, said: 

“Covid has undoubtedly had a devastating impact across the board on every aspect of community life and society as we know it. The ongoing implications of Covid have left many under huge financial and existential pressures. This funding is aimed at helping Irish language community groups navigate those financial challenges in the months ahead and to address many of the wage and income losses incurred already this year. We hope this financial intervention will be a catalyst and a stimulus for groups as they seek to meet the ongoing impacts of Covid head-on and deliver services and programmes in the ‘new normal’, whatever that may look like in the coming time. Conradh na Gaeilge will ensure this funding meets the most pressing needs of groups in the community and will support them in their efforts to provide language services to communities and financial reassurances to their staff.”

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: 

“I am delighted to announce this vital funding intervention, delivered by Conradh na Gaeilge, to support local Irish Language community groups who have experienced wages and income losses as a result of Covid-19. This funding will help stabilise those community groups who avail of it and help them to regroup and grow their programme of community events and initiatives in the new year and, in doing so it will also provide a stimulus for Seachtain na Gaeilge 2021 to provide a range of Irish Language events.  Alongside the funding that will be administered by An Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge, Irish Language groups and centres will be able to access much-needed support to ensure continuing survival.  Today also sees the opening of important support programmes for the Ulster-Scots and Sign Language communities whose work has also been impacted by Covid.”  

Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes applications for both of these funds from today, 4 November 2020, up to 5 pm on 2 December 2020.

FURTHER INFORMATION & APPLICATION DETAILS

Full details, priorities and criteria for both schemes can be accessed below. Groups can also access the guidelines of the schemes and the application portals at the following links:

Further details on the Department for Communities £29m funding can be accessed HERE 

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge