Following feedback from the Irish-language and the Gaeltacht community since the announcement of Budget 2017 yesterday it is clear that the Government has let the Irish-language and the Gaeltacht community down badly in the budget for next year.
The Government is refusing to fund even the first stage of an investment plan agreed by 80 Irish-language and Gaeltacht groups that would create 1,175+ jobs and many opportunities for the public to use Irish. The proposal had been made that the funding of this plan could be done by reversing some of the cuts made since 2008 to Irish-language and Gaeltacht authorities.
The Foras na Gaeilge budget and the capital investment fund of Údarás na Gaeltachta, the body charged with creating employment in Gaeltacht areas, have in total been reduced by over 50% since 2008. There was €0 of new extra funding announced by the Government for these vitally important budgets in 2017.
This will mean that Foras na Gaeilge will have to continue with its cut backs of community projects, and the Údarás will not be able to create any new additional jobs in the Gaeltacht in 2017; the 2017 budget document states that an employment base of 7,000 jobs in the Gaeltacht will be maintained.
A group of Irish-language speakers have come together in Belfast to organise the inaugural Gaeltacht Quarter 10KM race in the West of the City. The race will kick-off at 9am, Sunday 9th October with all proceeds from the registration fee going directly to the chosen charity TACA, which provides support for the development of Irish Medium Education. Every runner will then have the choice to raise money for their chosen cause, relating to the growth and development of the Irish language and Irish medium education.
I write to congratulate Rosita Boland on her excellent article on the necessity or other wise of the Irish language. She decries the waste involved in the State funding and supporting something so unnecessary, and I agree with her.
Surely though, we should not stop at our national language in an effort to eradicate this shameful waste.
I propose the following, not exhaustive, list of unnecessary institutions supported by the State that should be scrapped: the National Museum of Ireland, the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Concert Hall and Culture Ireland. I look forward to living in Rosita Boland’s particular vision of utopia.
Fiona O’Malley, of the Union Students of Ireland, writes:
The USI is calling for a change in the way the Irish language is taught at primary, secondary and third level. The union’s annual congress, held from the 21st – 24th March in Ennis, passed the motion that the VP for the Irish Language will direct a study, in collaboration with the relevant Irish language organisations and teachers’ unions, teacher-training colleges, between students, teachers, and others, to publish a collaborative report that would set out a progressive, comprehensive, and multilateral strategy regarding the teaching of Irish at primary and post primary level.
“The way Irish is taught in schools isn’t working,” Kevin Donoghue, USI President, said, “There needs to be more of an emphasis on the spoken language. Fluency is best reached through submersion, which is why we’re recommending all students go to the gaeltacht.”
“USI is concerned about the teaching of the Irish language at secondary level in Ireland and noted that many students believe that the Irish language is not “taught as a language” and that too much focus is put on literature instead of the oral practice.”
An interfaith service at Glasnevin Cemetery where the Taoiseach laid a wreath at the Necrology Wall, where the names of all those who died as a result of the 1916 conflict, in chronological and alphabetical order, are inscribed.
I’m not fluent speaker either but from my limited translation skills it’s an email from the daughter of Samuel who needs my help accessing the 12.5 million dollars her dead dad left in a bank in the Ivory Coast…