Cumulative reduction of 12% in Foras na Gaeilge budget in last three years if further 4% is cut in 2016, Conradh na Gaeilge calls for urgent meetings with relevant Ministers
Conradh na Gaeilge is calling on Ministers with responsibility for finance and expenditure north and south to urgently meet with them in the wake of a possible 4.35% cut to Foras na Gaeilge’s budget next year being mooted, and the Conradh wants Minister for Finance and Personnel in the north, Arlene Foster MLA, Minister for Finance in the south, Michael Noonan TD, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in the south Brendan Howlin TD, not to make any further cuts to Foras na Gaeilge’s budget.
Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, President of Conradh na Gaeilge says:
"It is hard for Conradh na Gaeilge to believe that both Governments north and south are talking of implementing a further cut of 4% on Foras na Gaeilge’s budget in 2016. That amounts to a 12% reduction over three years which, if it goes ahead, equates to almost two million euro being cut from funding to the Irish language – money that is critical in providing support and opportunities for every member of the public to use their Irish more frequently.”
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge says:
“This is worse again when you consider that the Government in the south is planning to spend €1.5 billion more next year; it would be absolutely scandalous if the Irish language were to bear the brunt of such a huge loss in funding at a time when additional funds are available. Conradh na Gaeilge is urgently seeking meetings with the relevant Ministers to investigate the matter, and we are calling on both Governments not to implement this cut.”
Foras na Gaeilge is the cross-border body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language on an all-island basis throughout Ireland under the Good Friday Agreement, and Conradh na Gaeilge believes that the funding made available to Foras na Gaeilge in 2016 should at least equal to the amount provided to the cross-border body in 2015. There was never any substantial increase in Foras na Gaeilge’s budget since its establishment in 1999, even at a time when other state agencies were in receipt of large budgetary increases during the prosperous Celtic Tiger period, and a cumulative reduction of 12% over three years would be in store for Foras na Gaeilge if the two Governments north and south implement the latest budget cut being mooted for the organisation, i.e. if 4.35% is cut from Foras na Gaeilge’s budget next year.
Conradh na Gaeilge is calling on the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Arlene Foster MLA, the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, not to implement this cut to Foras na Gaeilge’s budget. Conradh na Gaeilge is urgently seeking immediate meetings with the relevant Ministers north and south on the question of this threat to Irish-language work.