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Sinn Féin will do everything in its power to resist attacks on the Gaeltacht and the Irish language – Doherty

23 September, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking in response to Conradh na Gaeilge’s report to the Joint Committee on Arts, Sports, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has said that Sinn Féin will do every thing in its power to resist the forthright attacks on the Irish language and the Gaeltacht as contained in the McCarthy report.

Speaking in the Committee the Donegal Senator said:

“I support Conradh na Gaeilge in their campaign not to have these recommendations implemented. Many of the recommendations show a distinct lack of understanding and indeed disregard for the Irish language community.

"To recommend the abolition of the department for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs shows the utter contempt that the Dublin 4 economists – the authors of this report - have for the Gaeltacht and for rural Ireland.

"Údarás na Gaeltachta, Gaeilge Institutions, Coláistí samhraidh, Gaeltacht schools, naoínraí, Gaeltacht education at all levels and all language based organisations are pivotal to the preservation and development of our Gaeltachts.

"To do away with any of these would be a deadly blow to a region which is already under serious threat.

"To propose ending the Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge is ludicrous. The Coláistí Samhraidh, a successful industry in the Gaeltachts for over a hundred years will be forced out of business if this recommendation is implemented.

"Last year 27,000 students including adults availed of the Gaeilge learning scheme in our Gaeltachts, this gives the local economy an enormous boost which is vital to the Gaeltacht.

"As well as the 27,000 students there are the teachers, the colleges, the local businesses and more importantly the Mná Tí and the families who keep these students, all who benefit from this industry.

"We in rural Ireland and in the Gaeltacht are being dealt a double blow. Not only must we face cuts in health, education, transport to name a few, we in the Gaeltacht face the challenge of trying to preserve the only Irish speaking communities in Ireland. It is possible to say that the cuts suggested if implemented, could very likely be wipe out Gaeltacht communities in this generation.

"These uninformed cuts have the potential to devastate the Irish language and the Gaeltacht communities across the state. I and my party will do every thing in our power to resist them." ENDS

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