Why Would Any Civil Servant Learn Irish Now?

Another backward step taken by the Government in providing service in Irish for the Gaeltacht and Irish speaking community

The Government announced today, Wednesday, 30th October 2013, that they will be abolishing the Irish language bonus mark system for recruitment and promotions in the civil service. Instead of recognising that the onus marking system is not working and developing it or replacing it with a satisfactory new system, it seems that the Government will be abolishing it altogether. The new replacement system announced to set aside 6% of recruitment panels in the civil service for new employees with Irish is extremely low. Of course, that panel will have to be distributed amongst the 16 Government departments and this will mean that there will be no significant increase in people competent in Irish in any Department any time soon.

Donnchadh Ó hAodha, President of Conradh na Gaeilge said:

“This decision to abolish the bonus marking system without replacing it with a satisfactory system is another blow to the Gaeltacht and Irish language speaking community. The new proposed system to set aside 6% of recruitment panels in the civil service for new employees with Irish is not adequate. Instead of being ambitious, brave and doing the right thing, the Government is going to further weaken the service provided by the state in Irish for the Gaeltacht and Irish language speaking community. How can it be said that this decision abides by the Government’s own 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-30?”

Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said:

“There is no doubt but that every Government since the 1970s has made a mess of encouraging the Irish language in the civil service and providing a service of a high standard in Irish to the Gaeltacht and Irish language speaking community. It is a great pity that this Government was not willing to rebalance the situation and set a percentage of 30% for recruitment panels in the civil service for new employees with Irish, and also link an internal promotion system to an ability to use Irish.”

Conradh na Gaeilge is calling on the Government to increase the percentage from 6% to 30% for a 5-10 year period (depending on the amount of recruitment that takes place) to ensure that there will be real and adequate increase in the numbers  of civil servants that can provide a service through Irish. Also a new system must be put in the place of the bonus marks to enable and encourage civil servants to provide services in Irish.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Julian de Spáinn,
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge
+353 (0)86 8142757 / +353 (0)1 4757401
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NEWS RELEASE
Date: 30 October 2013
For urgent release

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge