Conradh na Gaeilge Expresses Disappointment and Frustration as Pre-Election Promises Abandoned

DUP led Departments of Education and Communities a threat to development and protection of Irish language in the north
Emergency meetings with Sinn féin and DUP sought by Conradh na Gaeilge

#GaelVóta in the Assembly Elections 2016The new Ministers for the next Executive in the north were announced today 25 May 2016. As part of the Irish language commitments agreed by over 80 Irish-language and Gaeltacht community groups, it was clearly stated that a) a Minister for Communities that is supportive of the Irish language and able to promote the wishes of Irish speakers; and b) a Minister for Education who supports Irish in the education system and who ensures the continued development of the Irish-medium education sector, would be appointed.

Despite the agreement and promises to these commitments by 43 newly elected MLAs from across 4 parties (Sinn Féin, SDLP, PBP, Alliance), DUP ministers, who did not agree with the Irish-language commitments, have been appointed to the Departments of Education and Communities.

Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, Uachtarán of Conradh na Gaeilge says:

“Conradh na Gaeilge is both disappointed and frustrated that ministers who supported the Irish-language commitments have not been appointed in charge of the Departments of Education and Communities. There is no doubt that the 80+ groups, who were calling for supportive ministers in these important departments, have been let down. As well as this, there is no specific reference to the Irish language in the recommendations we have seen for the 2016-20 programme for government nor any additional information regarding the third Irish language commitment based on additional funding. This is a regressive step and is a cause for concern. It raises fundamental questions around the overall status of the Irish language in the north and the willingness of politicians to meet the needs of the Irish-language community."

Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, Advocacy Manager, Conradh na Gaeilge says:

“43 MLAs signed up to the three election commitments agreed by over 80 Irish-language groups. We were confident that the parties would live up to their commitments, but today’s announcements show the parties and their representatives have failed to fulfil their promises around these commitments.

“Conradh na Gaeilge is requesting emergency meetings with Sinn Féin and the DUP to seek clarification on the future of the Irish-language relating these Departments to clarify the position of these parties regarding the development of the Irish-language through the Executive.

Further information on the Irish-language and Gaeltacht commitments and the representative measures being sought by Conradh na Gaeilge can be found at, via email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with the Twitter hashtag #GaelVóta. The responses of candidates and parties who pledged their support to the main Irish language commitments are available at

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge