Irish: The 20 Years Ahead

The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, will be speaking at Conradh na Gaeilge's annual seminar at Oireachtas na Gaeilge in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal at 11.00am Saturday, 31 October 2009, where discussion will centre on the future of the Irish language and on the Government's 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language which is to be published before the end of this year.

An Ghaeilge: An 20 Bliain Romhainn, or The Irish Language: The 20 Years Ahead, is the title of the Conradh na Gaeilge Oireachtas Seminar this year and Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, President of the Conradh and Éamonn Mac Niallais, Guth na Gaeltachta will join Minister Ó Cuív as guestspeakers at the event. The Language Commissioner Seán Ó Cuirreáin will chair the Conradh's Seminar.

Conradh na Gaeilge President Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa says: "The debate at the Conradh's Seminar regarding the use and promotion of the Irish language in Ireland is of critical importance in light of the Bord Snip Nua and the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes published recently. We are depending on the community, on individual citizens, to bring us through the difficulties created by national and international greed and for that, we need to create a joint humanitarian vision and dialogue.

"The 20 Year Strategy is not mentioned once in the Special Group's Report and Conradh na Gaeilge therefore assumes that the authors of the report were not aware of it, or that they thought it unimportant. The proposals made by the Special Group in relation to Irish must be assessed in conjunction with the proposals which will be in the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, so that the best methods for strengthening and promoting this community, cognitive and cultural resource can be established, and that is what will be under discussion at the Conradh na Gaeilge Oireachtas Seminar this Saturday."

Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said: "The Irish-language community will have a vital role to play in The 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, and Conradh na Gaeilge hopes that the community will be central not only to the discussion with Minister Ó Cuív about the future of the language at the Conradh's Oireachtas Seminar, but in the implementation and promotion of the strategy across the board in the years to come."

The floor will be open to questions and suggestions about the protection and promotion of the Irish language, both within and beyond the Gaeltacht, after the guestspeakers' debate at the Seminar. The new Irish-language festival Rith 2010 and the community campaign opposing the Bord Snip Nua recommendations, Guth na Gaeltachta, will be launched after Conradh na Gaeilge's Seminar in the Mount Errigal Hotel on the 31 October 2009, at 1.00pm and 1.30pm respectively.

FURTHER INFORMATION:
Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa
President, Conradh na Gaeilge
066 7124169 / 087 2901154

Julian de Spáinn
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge
01 4757401 / 086 8142757

EDITOR'S NOTE:
Conradh na Gaeilge the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community working to promote the language. There are 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

Guth na Gaeltachta is a non-political, cross-party campaign concerned with the Irish language and the Gaeltacht. This community campaign was founded in the Gaeltacht to inform the public on the effect the proposed cuts for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht would have and to oppose such cuts. This campaign will focus wholly and completely on Irish language and Gaeltacht issues only. www.guthnag.ie

Rith 2010 is a new national festival for Ireland which will take place from 10 - 17 March 2010 as one of the main events of Seachtain na Gaeilge. A 1600km course has been set out to do a non-stop relay run from Belfast to Galway over 7 days with tens of thousands of people taking part throughout 400 towns. Rith 2010 is a brand new way for communities throughout Ireland to visibly celebrate the Irish language and culture while also raising money for the development of the Irish language. www.rith.ie

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge