Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs regarding the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language that was launched today, Wednesday, 28 July 2010, and is now asking the Government to ensure that all recommendations of the report are approved and included in full.
Conradh na Gaeilge especially welcomes the significant number of recommendations made by the Conradh - and by the Gaeltacht and Irish-speaking community in general - that were included in the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee, in particular the recommendations regarding the sustainability of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht; the Údarás retaining responsibility for job-creation and enterprise in the Gaeltacht; the central role of the voluntary Irish-language organisations in the implementation of the Strategy; the provision of a proper fully integrated and graded course for the Irish language in schools; and putting the responsibility for evaluating the Strategy under the Office of the Language Commissioner with the Taoiseach reporting to the Houses of the Oireachtas on the progress of the Strategy.
Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, President of Conradh na Gaeilge says: "Conradh na Gaeilge commends the Joint Oireachtas Committee for recognising the crisis in the Gaeltacht as the most urgent weakness to address in order to protect the Irish language, and for stressing the importance of sustaining the Gaeltacht by proposing to set out specific goals in the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language for increasing the number of native Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht.
"Conradh na Gaeilge also welcomes the Joint Committee's recommendation that responsibility for infrastructure and economic development in the Gaeltacht should remain the main focus of Údarás na Gaeltachta/Gaeilge as it is under the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, to ensure that the local economy continues to sustain the Gaeltacht areas."
Julian de Spáinn, Conradh na Gaeilge General Secretary says: "It is imperative that the Government approves all the recommendations in the Joint Oireachtas Committee's report in their entirety, that they are included in the final draft of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, and that cross-party agreement is fostered for the Strategy to ensure its value is appreciated and supported across the board in coming years."
Conradh na Gaeilge believes that it is absolutely essential that Irish is taught effectively throughout our education system, and welcomes the proposal of the Joint Committee in the report on the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language that a proper fully integrated and graded course for the language be put into effect, to ensure continuity for students from pre-school to third level, in addition to trainee teachers and adult language learners. It is also very important that the Joint Committee has recognised the need to differentiate between the different linguistic development requirements of native Irish speakers and other capable students, and those whose first language is English, and Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes the proposal to include a more in-depth study of heritage and literature as part of as an additional Leaving Cert subject, Saíocht & Litríocht na Gaeilge.
The public have a vital part to play in the implementation of the Government's 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language and Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes the recognition in the Joint Committee's report that the voluntary Irish-language organisations have a pivotal role in the future of the language. The Conradh looks forward to working with the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht affairs and with the restructured Údarás in implementing the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language.
A copy of the third report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs regarding the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language is available here (the English version of the report starts on page 43).
Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa
President, Conradh na Gaeilge
066 7124169 / 087 2901154
Julian de Spáinn
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge
01 4757401 / 086 8142757