#SEAS16 Takes a Stand for Irish: TDs & Seanadóirí sent in right direction to support investment in Irish language & Gaeltacht

Calls to reverse cuts and re-invest in Irish in Budget 2017 at Conradh na Gaeilge’s progress & information sessions with politicians

Minister for the Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural, & Gaeltachta Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, with Julian de Spáinn, Louise Ní Fhearghail, and Síomha Ní Ruairc of Conradh na Gaeilge at #SEAS16Conradh na Gaeilge is calling on TDs and Seanadóirí to reverse the detrimental cuts to the Irish-language sector in recent years in Budget 2017, as part of the campaign day #SEAS16 underway today (5 October 2016).

#SEAS16 stands for seisiún eolais agus spreagtha, an information and progress session regarding Irish-language and Gaeltacht affairs being held by Conradh na Gaeilge in Buswells Hotel, Dublin, from 8.00am – 3.30pm today. #SEAS16 is putting the Irish-language and Gaeltacht community’s pre-election commitments and investment plan to politicians before the 2017 Budget in the south next week. A #SEAS16 session for MLAs will also be held in Stormont Hotel, Belfast, from 8.30am – 4.00pm next Tuesday (11 October 2016).

Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, President of Conradh na Gaeilge says:

“The budget for Irish-language and Gaeltacht authorities was reduced from €45 million in 2008 to €22 million in 2015, and Conradh na Gaeilge believes it is hightime for the Government to reverse those hugely damaging cuts and to invest in the Irish language and in the Gaeltacht in Budget 2017.”

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

“Over 1,175 jobs could be created if the Governments north and south made sufficient resources available to fully implement this investment plan, starting with €4.5 million in 2017 (this is €5 million less than the funding that the Irish language authorities received in 2008). This plan has been agreed by more than 80 Irish-language and Gaeltacht groups, and already enjoys the support of the majority of elected TDs.”

Local representatives from the various constituencies are in Buswells Hotel today to meet members of the Oireachtas at Conradh na Gaeilge’s information day, and to put the Irish-language and Gaeltacht investment plan on the agenda for the 2017 Budget in the south. 

Representatives of Conradh na Gaeilge and local constituents will discuss progress regarding the development of the language to date at the #SEAS16 information session today, as well as how the Irish-language and Gaeltacht investment plan will benefit each politician’s constituency.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Irish-Language & Gaeltacht Investment Plan as agreed by 80+ groups & authorities: http://bit.ly/pleaninfheistiochta

The budgets of both Foras na Gaeilge and Údarás na Gaeltachta were reduced substantially in recent years, while at the same time there was a broadening of their responsibilities and additional duties to protect and promote the Irish language and the Gaeltacht were placed upon them. New government policies and legislation such as The 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and The Gaeltacht Act 2012 in the south, and The Strategy to Improve and Protect the Development of the Irish Language 2015-2035 in the north, had significant resource implications for both Foras na Gaeilge and Údarás na Gaeltachta, though these Irish-language and Gaeltacht authorities were not provided with any additional resources necessary for the implementation of these programmes, rather their respective budgets have been severely cut in recent years.

10 Reasons to Support the Irish-Language & Gaeltacht Investment Plan:

  1. Majority of Irish people strongly support Irish language.1
  2. Census figures show two million people on the island of Ireland have some level of Irish.2
  3. Survey shows majority of public agree more funding should be provided.3
  4. Conradh na Gaeilge and 70+ groups seeking €5 million less funding than was provided in 2008.
  5. Conradh na Gaeilge and 70+ groups only seeking between 1.2% - 1.5% of Irish Government’s prospective additional available funds for 2016.
  6. Budgets of both Foras na Gaeilge & Údarás na Gaeltachta reduced whilst responsibilities increased.
  7. First joint call for funding from both the authorities and community groups.
  8. More than 1,160 jobs could be created as a result of the requested funding.
  9. This will positively impact on the island’s economy and economic development north and south.4
  10. Governments must make Irish a priority as we move towards 125 years of Irish-language revival.

1 ESRI & NUI Maynooth, 2009; ESRI, 2015.
2 Census 2011.
3 Attitudes towards the Irish Language and Irish language policy, Millward Brown, 2015.
4 Attitudes towards the Irish Language and Irish language policy, Millward Brown, 2015; Economic benefits associated with the Irish language which accrue to Galway City and to the Galway Gaeltacht, Gaillimh le Gaeilge, 2009.

Some relevant results of the island of Ireland survey, Attitudes towards the Irish Language and Irish language policy, conducted by Paul Moran of Millward Brown on behalf of Conradh na Gaeilge in 2015::

1. “The State should provide more support for the Irish language.”
a. South of Ireland = 61% agreed, 18% disagreed
b. North of Ireland = 48% agreed, 28% disagreed

2. “Services provided by the State should be made available through Irish for those who wish to use them.”
a. South of Ireland = 70% agreed, 13% disagreed
b. North of Ireland = 54% agreed, 26% disagreed

3. ““The Irish language is a unique resource which can make a positive contribution to the economic development of this island.”
a. South of Ireland = 53% agreed, 22% disagreed
b. North of Ireland = 46% agreed, 27% disagreed

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge