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Údarás without funding, an Údarás without Power – Ó Clochartaigh

3 June, 2011

Speaking regarding today’s announcement by Minister of State Dinny McGinley, Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said:

'This Government is again merely following the policy of the previous Government of allowing Údarás na Gaeltachta a slow, painful death if they do not provide the funding necessary to allow them to get on with their work, according to Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Although he welcomes the announcement today by Minister of State Dinny McGinley that the organisation is to be kept and that they be allowed to recruit a new Chief Executive, he is very critical that the Minister gave no indication that the necessary funding, outlined in a recent Indecon report, will be made available to the development authority to fulfill their obligations. 'There is no sense given them powers without a budget to implement them', he maintains.

The Senator is also worried that the ordinary people of the Gaeltacht will have no input in future into who represents them on the board of the organisation. 'The Board members are now to be nominated by the Local Authorities and the Government. Fine Gael and Labour promised us before the general election that they would not be continuing the type of cronyism that was the practice previously, but this decision shows that there is no difference between themselves and their predecessors in taking the power away from the ordinary people in favour of the bigger political parties and that is a very unwelcome development.

“The election could have been run in conjunction with one of the other elections or referenda and then it wouldn't have to cost that much. This is a feeble excuse from the Minister and the Gaeltacht community should make their dissatisfaction known to him”, says the Senator.

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