Ráth Chairn (Rat Cairn) is a tiny Gaeltacht in County Meath established in 1935.
It comprises around 40 houses with descendants from an initial group of Irish speakers from Connemara who made the village their home.
Zoya Nic Eibhearáird writes:
But the Gaeltacht status of Ráth Chairn, as well as the native language and culture is now under threat.
Bord Pleanála has given planning permission for the development of a housing estate and a hotel, despite the locals, Meath County Council, Comharchumann Ráth Chairn and the Bord Pleanála inspector being against the development.
If a housing estate of such a size is built in this small village, there is a risk that it will be people who do not speak Irish on a daily basis and not Irish speaking families who buy the houses and move in, especially as no measures to ensure the preservation of the Irish Language have been sufficiently detailed.
If a large number of people who don’t speak Irish on a daily basis move to Ráth Chairn, irreparable damage could be done to the Irish Language in this region. A case is being prepared for the High Court and we are raising awareness.