The Irish language and Gaeltacht calls for investment from Budget 2023 will be discussed with politicians today and tomorrow as part of Conradh na Gaeilge’s annual lobbying event #SEAS22. In addition, their support will be sought for a policy for the Irish in the education system from pre-school to third level and a National Policy for Housing Planning in the Gaeltacht.
Conradh na Gaeilge is organising #SEAS22 with Teachtaí Dála and Seanadóirí over the next two days (6/9 and 7/9) and their support will be sought to ensure that the Irish language and the Gaeltacht get a fair allocation in Budget 2023. Issues to be discussed will also include education and housing in the Gaeltacht.
Paula Melvin, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“Although we recognise the additional funding given to the Irish language and the Gaeltacht since 2019, specific actions need to be taken to encourage and provide fairness for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht, especially in the context of the funding made available to other sectors in recent years. Our call for an additional €24.7 million to invest in the Irish language and the Gaeltacht will be discussed with politicians over the next two days as part of #SEAS22. A significant part of this investment would be spent on projects that would create employment in the Gaeltacht and provide facilities and opportunities for the use of Irish to the public throughout the country."
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“The opportunity will also be taken to seek the support of politicians for two other extremely important issues for the future of the Irish language and the Gaeltacht. In the first place, we will talk with them about the need for a Policy for Irish in the Education System from Preschool to 3rd Level to be put together by the Government without further delay. Fianna Fáil & the Green Party promised this policy in the general election and there is a reference to it in the current Government Program but the Government is not acting on this major policy - the opposite is true and there are signs that the language is being weakened in the system. We only have to look at the decision taken to move the Leaving Cert Irish Paper 1 to the end of fifth year. According to information received by Conradh na Gaeilge, under the Freedom of Information Act, the State Examinations Commission expressed great concern about the grave consequences this would have for the students’ education, boys in particular. Also due to an analysis carried out by Tuairisc, we are now aware that 22% of Leaving Cert students did not take any Irish exam this year. The Government has no plan or policy to deal with the language in an integrated manner throughout the education system. It’s time to rectify that now.”
“Secondly, it is becoming more and more difficult for the Gaeltacht community to get planning permission in their own area. This needs to be resolved urgently, especially for young people in the Gaeltacht who wish to settle at home. We will be seeking the support of the politicians for the National Housing Policy for the Gaeltacht, supported by 10 Comharchumann Gaeltachta and 9 Language Planning Committees, that the Conradh has developed and which has suggestions as to how the housing planning problems can be solved.”
FURTHER INFORMATION / CONTACT:
Information to the editor:
The information sheet that will be used on the day with the politicians is available at this link:
Live updates and pictures from the meetings will be shared online throughout the 2 days at www.twitter.com/cnag