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#Gaelvóta - Majority of parties commit to increased support and protections for Irish language in advance of local council elections

“Conradh na Gaeilge launch #Gaelvóta campaign as Unionist Parties ignore language pledges in the run up to #LE23”


Conradh na Gaeilge has launched it’s #Gaelvóta campaign in Áras na bhFáil, Belfast today ahead of May’s Local Council Elections. Conradh na Gaeilge contacted all political parties and independent candidates across each council area in the north requesting commitments to a series of key manifesto pledges regarding the promotion and protection of the Irish language in the next local council mandate. 


As part of the #Gaelvóta campaign election commitments were sought on the following 5 issues:

  1. The ratification and implementation of an Irish language policy and strategy;

  2. Provision of services in Irish in Council;

  3. Resource the promotion and safeguarding of the Irish language;

  4. Increase the visibility of Irish in the Council area;

  5. Raise awareness of the Irish language and tackle prejudice. 

8 parties responded to the campaign committing to support a majority if the manifesto pledges: Aontú, Alliance, Green Party, SDLP, Sinn Féin, People before Profit, IRSP, Socialist Party NI, as well as a series of independent candidates. 


At the time of publication of this release today, 4 May 2023, Conradh na Gaeilge had not received any response from any of the Unionist Parties (DUP, UUP, TUV, PUP), from the Workers Party or from Cross- community Labour Alternative.


Faoi am foilsithe an ráitis seo inniu, 4ú Bealtaine 2023, ní bhfuarthas aon fhreagra ó aon cheann de na páirtithe aontachtacha (DUP, UUP, TUV), ó pháirtí na nOibrithe nó ó Rogha Lucht Oibre Tras-phobail. 


Michaeline Donnelly, Tanáiste, Conradh na Gaeilge, commented upon the launch of today’s #Gaelvóta campaign:


“As we enter into a new era for the Irish language following the introduction of the new Irish language Act at Westminster, the role of the Irish language in public authorities and local councils will become increasingly prominent. As we approach the local council elections a majority of parties have now endorsed a series of commitments to protect and promote the Irish language. Several councils have little or no protections or recognition for the language and whilst several others already take a progressive approach regarding Irish language provision, many gaps remain to ensure comprehensive protections and measures to promote the language. In the current mandate parties are committing to taking resolute actions regarding policy implementation, resources and increased visibility of the language across local councils.”


Dúirt Conchúr Ó Muadaigh, Bainisteoir Abhchóideachta le Conradh na Gaeilge:


The incoming Irish language Commissioner will introduce a series of best practice standards for Irish language service provision and local councils will be expected to implement those language standards in full. Looking at best practice models elsewhere and international obligations, local councils should now be getting their houses in order regarding language promotion. We want parties to take the next steps in this ongoing process of building comprehensive and authentic Irish language provision in their local authorities. To ensure local councils and representatives meet local demand and local community needs we are asking them to implement this series of manifesto pledges in full during the incoming mandate and to continue meeting Irish language representatives and community members in the coming term as the new era of language rights begins to be rolled out.”


The #Gaelvóta pledges in full and party responses can be accessed in full here:óta


Picture desk:


Caption: “Irish Language representatives at the launch of the #Gaelvóta manifesto campaign outside Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich in West Belfast today.”




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.