However there is still a need for further funding of the Irish language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan in the near future
Referring to the increased investment, Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, President of Conradh na Gaeilge said:
“This decision is important as it shows us that the Government has started a process to halt and reverse the huge cuts inflicted on Foras na Gaeilge funding over recent years. This investment is essential for the Irish language and will help to strengthen the language in our community”.
General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, Julian de Spáinn, said:
“It is vital that the increased funding is invested in elements of the community investment plan, agreed by over 80 Irish language and Gaeltacht groups all across the country, and to reverse some of the many cuts made in recent years. The work of these groups demonstrates the benefits achievable by increased investment in Irish, investment which will strengthen the heart of the community. It is as a result of the campaign run by these same groups over the last year, that this funding has been allocated. Now these groups should see the benefits of this increased funding in their own communities.”
Conradh na Gaeilge will continue to make the case to the Minister of State, an Taoiseach, and the government as a whole, to guarantee that the investment in Foras na Gaeilge, as well as the funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta, is increased in the coming years to ensure that the investment plan agreed by over 80 Irish language and Gaeltacht groups is implemented in full. This investment plan will create over 1,000 jobs and provide a huge amount of opportunities to use the language in the community.
Conradh na Gaeilge will be speaking with Foras na Gaeilge immediately to ensure the best use of this additional funding and to ensure that the funding is spent on the agreed investment plan and reversing cuts.
NOTE FOR THE EDITOR:
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