The Irish-speaking community will gather for a working seminar in The Menlo Park Hotel, Headford Road, Galway City on Friday, 30 September 2011, to prepare a proposal for the Republic's Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) in Northern Ireland, and the cross-border funding body Foras na Gaeilge, incorporating both their planning objectives and the goals of the community.
This is the first official event organised by Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge (APG), a new alliance which sees Irish-language organisations Comhluadar, Comhaltas Uladh, Conradh na Gaeilge, Glór na nGael and Seachtain na Gaeilge officially coming together on various aspects of Irish-language promotion in the community, with a view to providing a better quality of services and more value for money.
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge says: "In light of the huge changes facing the Irish-language sector, how it is funded, and how governments both north and south of the border are looking to promote Irish, Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge believes that all sections of the language community need to be pro-active and work closely together to ensure that we have comprehensive, cohesive input in the process."
As such, Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge are organising a working conference in Galway to explore any possible connections that can be made between the aims of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 - 2030 in the South and Foras na Gaeilge's new all-island language schemes, with a particular emphasis on founding Gaeltacht networks and region-by-region language planning.
Feargal Ó Cuilinn, Director of Comhluadar says: "This Irish-language working seminar will give people working with the community on the ground - professionals and voluntary workers alike - a chance to come together to see what opportunities there are in the very commendable community-based policies outlined in the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 - 2030 for the South, in the context of the language planning proposed in Foras na Gaeilge's new funding model for the whole country."
Officials from the Republic's Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will speak to the attendees at the seminar about founding Gaeltacht networks and Gaeltacht Quarters, while a representative from Foras na Gaeilge will give insight into the aims and targets of regional planning. An independent speaker will also be present on the day to offer an objective view on the possible opportunities and connections open to the Irish-language community.
Julian de Spáinn
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge.
+353 (0)1 4757401 / +353 (0)86 8142757
Feargal Ó Cuilinn,
+353 (0)1 4789191 / +353 (0)87 2908391
Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge (APG) is an alliance of Irish-language organisations working to promote Irish across Ireland and the world through more strategic language-planning.
Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge consists of Comhaltas Uladh, Comhluadar, Conradh na Gaeilge, Glór na nGael and Seachtain na Gaeilge, organisations dealing with different aspects of the promotion of Irish in the community that came together to form a working alliance that would ensure a better provision of services and more value for money.
APG will fulfil the all-island brief for the Irish-language sector following the North/South Ministerial Council's announcement on 02 December 2009 that Foras na Gaeilge would have to look for funding requests from the voluntary sector from "One organization (or perhaps a limited number of organizations, [...]), with a representative, circulating information, advocacy and resources and support provision role to the whole sector".
Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge will continue the work currently undertaken by the united organisations of the alliance, and that programme of work will be added to. APG will continue to organise a national festival of the highest calibre publically celebrating the Irish language; it will further develop its lobbying and advocacy programme; it will emphasise the importance of language transmission from generation to generation; it will run an Irish-language competition, nationally and internationally; it will ensure there are wide-ranging opportunities for people to learn Irish; and it will promote innovative new ways in which Irish can be used. Here follow the strategic objectives of Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge:
- To provide a joined-up plan of action, a structure, and human and physical resources for the operation of the APG;
- To develop and encourage the ability to speak and learn Irish, the transmission and acquisition of the language;
- To increase the use of Irish in the community;
- To acknowledge and extend the status, image, rights and awareness of Irish;
- To nurture the transmission of Irish from generation to generation on an all-Ireland basis; to maintain and promote the Gaeltacht; and to develop new Gaeltacht networks as language sanctuaries.
Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge values the amount of voluntary work done in the sector and will ensure that consistent, expert professional assistance is provided to volunteers, along with offering an independent forum as a support for the invaluable voluntary work done, for the Irish language.
AONTAS PHOBAL NA GAEILGE SEMINAR PROGRAMME:
10.00 - 12.00 Founding Gaeltacht Networks and Gaeltacht Quarters
- Officials from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
- Organisers' representative
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch
13.00 - 15.00 The reasons behind, and the aims of, regional planning
- Foras na Gaeilge representative
- Organisers' representative
15.00 - 15.30 Tea/Coffee
15.30 - 17.00 Identifying the links
- Recommendations from an independent speaker
- Open discussion on those recommendations