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Ceapacháin ar Bhord Údarás na Gaeltachta éagcothrom – Ó Clochartaigh

21 November, 2012


Tá sé curtha i leith Aire na Gaeltachta, Dinny McGinley, ag an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, go bhfuil faillí tíreolaíoch agus inscne ag baint leis na ceapacháin atá déanta aige ar bhord Údarás na Gaeltachta. Tá líon na mban ar an mbord gearrtha go beirt agus tá líon na gcomhaltaí as Gaeltacht na Gaillimhe laghdaithe ó ochtar go beirt.
Cé go bhfáiltíonn an Seanadóir roimh an bhfógra agus guionn sé gach rath ar na baill nuathofa, ardaíonn na ceapacháin cuid mhaith ceisteanna bunúsacha faoi cur chuige an Rialtais, dar leis an gClochartach.
"Tá daoine den dtuairim gur de bharr dílseacht pholaitiúil atá cuid mhaith de na ceapacháin seo déanta agus go mbeidh tromlach an-mhór ag daoine atá fabhrach d’Fhine Gael & an Lucht Oibre ar an mbord. Seo an imní a bhí chuid mhaith de phobal na Gaeltachta nuair a d’athraigh an tAire an leagan amach daonlathach ar an mbord’, a deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar. ‘Níl an bhord nua tofa ag an bpobal dar díobh iad agus is laigeacht mór san ionadaíocht é sin, dar liom."
"Tá fimínteacht ag baint le cur chuige an Rialtais freisin. Ar thaobh amháin tá siad ag iarraidh reachtaíocht a chuir chun cinn le líon na mban sa gcóras poiblí a mhéadu, rud atá ceart, ach nuair a bhí deis ag an Aire Gaeltachta cothromaíocht a thabhairt do mhná ar bhord an Údaráis, a mhalairt atá déanta agus ionadaíocht na mban gearrtha caoga fán gcéad aige. An deá-chleachtas atá ar fud na hEorpa ná go mbeadh ar a laghad ceathracha fán gcéad ban ar bhoird stáit, ach níl sa bheirt atá ceaptha ag an Aire ach 16% den iomlán. Deis eile caillte aige", dar le Ó Clochartaigh.
"Is í Gaeltacht na Gaillimhe an ceantar is mó daonra sa nGaeltacht le suas le 45,000 duine ann. Tá sé beagnach dúbailt chomh mór le Tír Chonaill ina bhfuil tuairim 24,000 duine. Ach, tá ceathrar ionadaí ar an mbord nua de bhunadh Thír Chonaill agus gan ach beirt as Gaillimh, áit a raibh ochtar roimhe sin. Níl muid ag lorg aon cheo breise do Ghaillimh seachas aon cheantar eile, ach ní coibhneas faireáilte é sin", a deir an Seanadóir.
"Ba chóir don Aire míniú duinn chomh maith cé na critéir a d’úsáid sé chun na baill nua a roghnú. An bhfuil cáilíochtaí pleanála teanga acu? An bhfuil cónaí orthu sa nGaeltacht? Cén taithí gnó agus cruthú fostaíochta agus forbartha pobail atá acu? Ba chóir dó chomh maith eolas a thabhairt faoi aon bhallraíocht a bhí, nó atá acu, in aon pháirtí polaitiúil, nó ar thacaigh siad ariamh le iarrthóirí ó aon pháirtí ar leith aimsir toghcháin?’, a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh. ‘Tá sé seo tábhachtach i gcomhthéacs na daoine eile a chuir iarratais isteach le bheith mar bhaill boird agus nár éirigh leo. Ba chóir go mbeadh sé soiléir gur de bharr taithí agus cumas a rinneadh an cinneadh, seachas aon cheo eile.
"Is maith an rud go bhfuil ionadaíocht ar an mbord nua ó na Gaeltachtaí beaga, ach ba chóir don Aire dá bhrí sin soiléiriú a dhéanamh ar ionadaíocht na ndaoine a bheidh ainmnithe ó Chomhairlí Chontae na Mí, Corcaigh agus Port Lairge amach anseo. Tá sé sa reachtaíocht go mbéidh siad ag babhtáíl gach bliain. Más ea, ceard a tharloidh d’ionadaíocht na Mí an bhliain seo chugainn. Ní cosúil ach an oiread go bhfuil éinne ceaptha ag an Aire a bhfuil cónaí orthu ar oileán Ghaeltachta agus is mór an trua sin, mar go bhfuil ról faoi leith ag na hoileáín i saol agus cultúr na Gaeltachta.
"Bhí amhras orainn nuair a bhí Bille na Gaeltachta dhá bhrú thríd an Oireachtas agus athruithe ar bhord an Údaráis le tabhairt isteach, go mbeadh laghdú ar an daonlathas, ar an ionadaíocht ó na pobail agus go mbeadh fábhar do pháirtithe an Rialtais sna ceapacháin. Tá sé tabhachtach go léireoidh an tAire anois nach amhlaidh atá, le go mbeadh muinín ag daoine san Údarás agus an obair fíorthabhachtach a dhéanann sí", a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
Críoch

Údarás Board appointments unrepresentative – Ó Clochartaigh

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has accused the Minister of State for Gaeltacht affairs for failing to ensure the gender and geographic spread of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta was representative. The number of women on the board has been reduced to two, and the number of representatives from Galway has been reduced from eight to two.
While the Senator welcomed the announcement of the Boards membership, and wished the new members well in their work, Senator Ó Clochartaigh has stated that the makeup of the board raises basic questions about the Government’s approach.
“There are many people of the view that the appointments are on the basis of political patronage, and that the overwhelming majority of members of the Board are aligned to Fine Gael and the Labour Party. This was one of the concerns of the Gaeltacht community when the Government changed the democratic make-up of the Board,” according to the Galway West Senator. “The new board has not been elected by the people, and that is a massive flaw in the make-up of the board in my view.
“The Government is also being quite hypocritical as well. On the one hand, it is bringing forward, rightly in my view, legislation to increase the representation of women in political life, however, when the Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs has the opportunity to ensure that women are given proper representation, he has done the opposite and reduced the representation of women by 50%. It is good practice throughout Europe, that at least 40% of state boards are female, however, the two appointed by the Minister to the board, only make up 16%. This is another missed opportunity.
“The Galway Gaeltacht is the most populous area in the Gaeltacht, with some 45,000 people living there. This is nearly twice as populous as the Donegal Gaeltacht with 24,000 people. However, there are four representatives from Donegal, and only two from Galway, which previously had eight representatives. We are not seeking any special treatment for Galway, however, these are not fair ratios.
“The Minister should also explain what criteria he used to select the new members. Do they have language planning qualifications? Are they living in the Gaeltacht? Do they have experience in enterprise, job creation and community development? He should also provide any information as regards any involvement the members of the board have or have had with political parties, or whether they have ever actively supported any candidates for election. It is important in the context of those who applied for membership of the board but did not succeed. It should be clear that these appointments were made on the basis of experience and ability rather than on any other basis.
“It is positive that there is representation on the board from the small Gaeltacht areas, but the Minister should clarify the issue of representation from Meath, Cork and Waterford County Councils. According to the legislation, representation from these County Councils is to rotate on an annual basis. If this is the case, what will become of representation from Meath next year? It also appears as though the Minister has not appointed anyone to the Board who is living on an island Gaeltacht, and that is a shame, because the islands have a particular role in the life and culture of the Gaeltacht.
“We were concerned when the Gaeltacht Bill was passing through the Oireachtas, and the changes to the make-up of the board were being brought in, that there would be a reduction in democracy, in representativeness, and that the Government party appointees would predominate. It is essential that the Minister ensure that this is not the case, so that the people have faith in the Údarás, and in its vitally important work”

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