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Taoiseach turns his back on the Gaeltacht

11 February, 2009


Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has today launched a stinging attack on the Taoiseach and Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív TD for failing to act on the government’s recommendations to protect the use of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht. The Taoiseach, who chairs an Oireachtas Committee charged with implementing the recommendations of the Report of the Linguistic Study on the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht, has not called a meeting of the committee for eight months despite the reports prediction that Irish will die out in just fifteen years.

 

The Donegal Senator said:

 

“Earlier this month Sinn Féin asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív the number of times the Oireachtas sub Committee tasked with examining the recommendations of the Report of the Linguistic Study on the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht has met since it was set up following the publication of the report in 2007.

 

“Shockingly the Committee has met on just two occasions, with the last meeting taken place eight months ago. It is hugely disappointing that the Taoiseach, who chairs the committee, appears to have no sense of urgency on this issue.

 

“This report was presented to the government in late 2007 and was subsequently published and it was agreed that a cabinet committee would be set up to consider and act on the recommendations and also to agree an integrated action plan to secure the future of Irish as the main language of the Gaeltacht.

 

“The recommendations from the report illustrate starkly that the future of the Irish language is in real trouble. It predicts that spoken Irish in the strongest Gaeltacht area will die out within 15 years unless linguistic trends can be reversed. Included in the recommendations is a radical overhaul of the education system in the Gaeltacht to protect the future of the language.

 

“The report itself is in-depth, cost the state €550,000 and took two years to complete. Yet despite this the government, true to form, has in almost the same period since its publication has been unable to muster up the energy to do anything with it beyond dusting it off for a couple of meetings. This is a damning indictment of this government’s commitment to the nation’s language.

 

“Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív TD must once and for all make a commitment to the people of the Gaeltacht and indeed the rich history of this state. The Minister must ensure the government immediately begin the process of implementing the recommendations of this report and begin the fight-back for the Gaeltacht and the Irish language.” ENDS

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