Only 2% of the young people surveyed as part of Conradh na Gaeilge's educational workshops a fortnight ago believe public bodies and departments advertise the services they provide in Irish enough. 81% also said that after participating in the Conradh's workshops, they would sometimes, often, very often or always request services through Irish in future.
Conradh na Gaeilge launched their Glac Leis campaign this month by telling cinnirí, or prefects, from Irish colleges in Leitir Mór, Leitir Mealláin, Ros a'Mhíl and Sligo about the services they are entitled to receive through Irish from public bodies under the Official Languages Act of 2003, while also highlighting the support that is available to them in looking for these services.
As part of the campaign's motivational workshops to encourage and empower Irish speakers to always ask for services through Irish when dealing with state departments and public bodies, the Conradh asked the cinnirí to fill in two questionnaires - one at the beginning of the workshop and one at the end - regarding their language rights under the Official Languages Act. Despite all the participants having a good command of the Irish language, 82% of them had never before looked for any service through Irish from a state department or a public body, primarily because they didn't think that that was possible. By the end of the workshop however, 81% felt they would sometimes, often, very often or always look for services through Irish in future, and 73% also said they would avail of the Conradh's support service if such services weren't made available to them.
Conradh na Gaeilge hopes this preliminary research highlights the importance of programmes such as the Conradh's Glac Leis campaign to Foras na Gaeilge and the Minister Éamon Ó Cuív in informing people of their language rights and in encouraging them to ask for, and avail of, services through Irish. The Conradh would like to see funding made available to extend the campaign to include Irish-medium schools and Irish summer colleges across the country by this time next year.
The full Glac Leis Report July 2008 can be read here.
Julian de Spáinn
Ard-Rúnaí, Conradh na Gaeilge
01 4757401 / 086 8142757
Brenda Ní Ghairbhí
Feidhmeannach, Conradh na Gaeilge
01 4757401 / 086 3649776