With Irish-language and Gaeltacht affairs prominent in the public eye recently*, Conradh na Gaeilge commends the Sinn Féin party for seizing the opportunity to raise the question of the use of Irish in the Houses of the Oireachtas, and in the media in general, by organising a presentation ceremony of the Irish speakers' symbol An Fáinne at Leinster House, Dublin 2 at 12.00 noon today, Wednesday, 29 June 2011.
Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, Tánaiste of Conradh na Gaeilge says: "It is a critical time for the Irish language, especially in light of the fact that the implementation structure and legislation for The 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 - 2030 are being drafted by the Government at present, and Sinn Féin are to be commended for the support the party is showing for the use of the language in the Dáil, for the implementation of the Strategy in full, and for Údarás na Gaeltachta."
Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Irish-language and Gaeltacht affairs says: "Sinn Féin are fully committed to the Irish language and we are determined to encourage more members of the Oireachtas to speak Irish in both the Dáil and in the Seanad in future, and indeed that there will also be an increase in general in media coverage through Irish of the country's affairs.
"Sinn Féin are clearly sticking to their word and are already actively showing their support of the Irish language, with party representatives often speaking in Irish in the Dáil and in the Seanad, and by generating publicity for the language with this presentation ceremony of symbolic Irish-language fáinní on Wednesday."
Regarding the discussion of political matters through Irish in the Houses of the Oireachtas, Ó Cearbhaill said: "The English-language media have a tendency not to cover debates or issues discussed through Irish in the Dáil or in the Seanad, which in turns makes TDs and Senators reluctant to use their Irish in the Oireachtas.
"To rectify this disparity, Conradh na Gaeilge is advocating the implementation of a plan in Leinster House to ensure that the adequate translation facilities are available and being used by the English-language media, and that a course is provided to Oireachtas members and to journalists alike on language awareness and how best to present issues discussed in Irish to the public."
Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill
Tánaiste, Conradh na Gaeilge
Trevor Ó Clochartaigh
Sinn Féin Senator
* Conradh na Gaeilge and Guth na Gaeltachta organised an information day for TDs and Senators in Buswells on 01 June 2011 to update them on Irish-language and Gaeltacht affairs; there were debates on the Government's 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language in the Dáil on 26 May 2011 and in the Seanad on 09 June 2011; and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Dinny McGinley TD, made an announcement regarding Údarás na Gaeltachta on 03 June 2011.
Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community working to promote the language. There are over 200 branches of Conradh na Gaeilge and since its foundation in 1893, members of the Conradh have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life in Ireland and especially its use in their own areas. Conraitheoirí are at the forefront of campaigns to secure and strengthen the rights of the Irish language community. It is also possible to register as an individual member of the Conradh. www.cnag.ie
Conradh na Gaeilge launched the first national network of Irish-language conversation circles called Is Leor Beirt (meaning it only takes two) in 2009. The idea behind the scheme is that you don't always need a big group to get people speaking Irish; it is enough to have two Irish-speakers meeting up regularly to speak Irish, and to welcome other people with an interest in it to the table. This helps people overcome their fear and lack of confidence speaking the language by providing a safe, friendly and informal setting to use their cúpla focal. The first Is Leor Beirt @ Teach Laighean was held on 04 Márta 2010. https://cnag.ie/index.php?page=feachtais&campaign_id=22
Conradh na Gaeilge and Guth na Gaeltachta organised a consultation and information day for politicians for the third year running on Wednesday, 01 June 2011, to update TDs and Senators on Irish-language and Gaeltacht affairs. Last year's information day was a great success, as was the one the previous year, on 06 October 2010 and 01 December 2009 respectively; 90 TDs and Senators spoke with representatives from various different Irish-language and Gaeltacht groups about language issues and planning in the Gaeltacht throughout the information day again this year.