28 May 2020
Minister for Gaeltacht’s announcement ensures crucial support for the challenges of summer 2020 and provides foundation for 2021 reopening.
Conradh na Gaeilge has welcomed the announcement of a support scheme for Gaeltacht summer colleges and ‘bean an tí’s’ by Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Senator Seán Kyne. This summer’s courses were recently cancelled due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic. The support scheme consists of a one off funding package of up to €4.7m, which will be provided to 700 local host families (€1.6m) and the 42 Gaeltacht summer colleges (3.6m).
Dr Niall Comer, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge, commented:
"The Gaeltacht summer colleges have and will always be an essential part of the very fabric of the Gaeltacht communities and if the Gaeltacht areas are to survive those colleges must be identified as a central component of their future. All of us in the Irish speaking community and further afield have a duty to stand strong for local Gaeltacht communities, who have for decades provided a haven for the language and it’s learners. We welcome this decision to support the Gaeltacht colleges and communities in these exceptional times and thank Senator Kyne for his work in ensuring the delivery of this support scheme.”
Mairéad Ní Fhátharta, Chair of An Mheitheal Ghaeltachta, Conradh na Gaeilge, added:
“Many within the Gaeltacht communities will undoubtedly be relieved by the announcement of this support package for the coming summer season. Although it will only cover a small percentage of the loss of income faced by Gaeltacht communities this summer, which usually see up to €50m from the summer college industry, this will go a small way to lessen the burden on those who will be hit worst by the cancellation of the courses. This support, and much more, will be needed to help colleges and families prepare for 2021 courses and we hope this is a good starting point as all involved begin to look forward to a renewed beginning next year.”
Conradh na Gaeilge wishes to commend all of those who were a central part of the realisation of this announcement, including the Minister, Senator Kyne, CONCOS, members of the Opposition, and members of Conradh na Gaeilge.
Conradh na Gaeilge will be assessing in full the finer details of the support package with CONCOS, with bean an tí’s and with Gaeltacht colleges in the coming weeks and commit to working with all stakeholders to ensure the re-opening of the Gaeltacht colleges in time for the 2021 summer season.