Conradh na Gaeilge are asking the public to consider the #GaelVóta when voting on Friday, 24th of May, in Local Elections in the south and European elections in the north and the south
A wide range of candidates for the European Parliament in the north and the south, and most political parties putting candidates forward in the local elections in the south, have made promises to support the Irish language and the Gaeltacht should they be elected. Candidates and parties who are supporting the promises are listed at www.cnag.ie/gaelvota and Conradh na Gaeilge will be sharing this information with the public in the run up to the election.
President of Conradh na Gaeilge, Dr. Niall Comer says;
“We are very pleased with the strong support that we have received from candidates and political parties for the commitments sought for the Irish language and Gaeltacht communities, which we have discussed with candidates over the past few weeks. We are now asking the public to take into account the candidates who are supporting the language and the Gaeltacht on the 24th of May. Use your #GaelVóta.”
Conradh na Gaeilge are seeking three commitments from candidates in local elections. These commitments are in line with the aims laid out in the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, to implement language plans, and to ensure cohesive, strategic development and promotion of the language.
That candidates, if elected, will work towards ensuring that your Local Authority employs a full time Irish Language Officer - or two Officers in constituencies which include Gaeltacht areas - if no such role already exists within the Authority at the moment.
That elected candidates will work towards ensuring that newly developed housing estates are given Irish-language names only, which would in turn improve the image of the language in the Local Authority’s area.
That candidates will ensure that the Local Authority develops and implements an Irish-Language Plan to promote Irish within its constituency.
General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge Julian De Spáinn says;
“The commitments that Conradh na Gaeilge has sought from the candidates in the local elections in the south, and in the European elections in the north and in the south, are simple and achievable. They could play an important role in the promotion and protection of the language. For example, in the case of Irish language names for new housing developments, we have already seen the positives effects of this simple policy in Galway City. Because of the commitments made to Gaillimh le Gaeilge in 1993, 99% of housing estates in Galway City now have Irish language names, which adds to the visibility of and aids in the normalisation of the language within the community"
With regards the European elections, an emphasis will be placed on the opportunities in European Parliament to improve the status, development and the image of the Irish language. Conradh na Gaeilge have asked for the following commitments from Parliamentary candidates:
That elected Members of the European Parliament will be willing to speak Irish regularly and as common practice in Parliament, or if they are not comfortable with their own standard of Irish, that they will improve upon their level in order to appropriately represent the people, and in particular the Irish-speaking community, in the European Parliament.
That elected members will be willing to give their full support to the process which will see the current Irish-language derogation brought to an end by the end of 2021.
That elected Members of the European Parliament will be willing to support the Gaeltacht and Irish-language communities to benefit from the policies and support schemes of the European Union in order to allow these communities to expand and prosper.
All information regarding the campaign at cnag.ie/GaelVota