Adams calls for Gaeltacht Bill to be withdrawn
Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has accused the government of “showing a complete disregard to the concerns of Gaeltacht communities and Irish language organisations, by rushing a highly deficient Gaeltacht Bill through the Oireachtas”.
The Sinn Féin leader raised this matter during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this morning and called on the Taoiseach to produce a one line bill to postpone the Údaras elections for six months and allow for a more detailed discussion on the substantive bill after the recess. The Taoiseach refused.
Teachta Adams said:
“The Bill which the government intends to pass by tomorrow evening has been widely criticised by Irish language groups and opposition parties who have called for its withdrawal in order that a proper process of consultation can be held and considered and constructive amendments made to it. The Government approach to the introduction and passing of the Bill has been heavy handed and obstructive. The Bill fails to protect the language or provide a positive and constructive strategy for its future growth. If passed in its current form it will contribute to the continuing decline of the Gaeltacht areas.
In particular it will strip Gaeltacht communities of their right to democratic representation on Údaras Na Gaeltachta and create another quango that is unrepresentative of the people in the Gaeltacht areas”.
Note to Editor: In 2008 University of Galway and Maynooth University produced a report on the use of the Irish language in Gaeltacht area; Titled ‘An Staidéar Cuimsitheach Teangeolaíoch ar Úsáid na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht’ (Comprehensive Linguistic study on the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht: Principle Findings and Recommendations). The report warned that there was only 15 to 20 years left for the Irish language to survive in heartland Gaeltacht areas if the ongoing pattern didn’t change. Regrettably the government’s Gaeltacht Bill will only make the current situation worse. The Irish language deserves and requires a better Bill than that produced by Minster McGinley.