‘Where is your plan Dinny?’ – Ó Clochartaigh
The Minister for the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley has been accused of making up nonsensical Gaeltacht policy as he goes along and he seriously needs to publish a ‘Language Plan’ for his own Department, according to Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
“As part of the Twenty Year Strategy for the Irish Language, the Minister is asking community organisations to develop language plans for their Gaeltacht areas. I’d like to know what the Department of the Gaeltacht’s own plan is, because the only one evident to me is the consigning of the Irish language to the dustbin of history’, says the Sinn Féin Senator.
“Irish language and Gaeltacht communities have been astounded once more by the Minister’s latest recommendations to change the recruitment policy in the public service. He is going to do away with the current requirements, which have been widely criticised in their own right, and he is replacing them with an even worse regime which has no basis in policy and which flies in the face of the Government’s own 20 Year Strategy for the Language”, says Ó Clochartaigh.
“The Minister should publish the criteria and research on which he has based this latest recommendation so that we can see what expertise is available to support it. He should also immediately publish the submissions made by people in relation to the review of the Official Languages Act so that we can see if they concur with this latest policy move by the Minister. We have been waiting for them for two years and the Minister is running scared from them’.
“I don’t think the Minister, or the Department, has thought through the implications of his decision as, according to experts in the area, including the Language Commissioner, they are a huge step backwards which will do major damage to the language and will actually reduce the capacity of the Public and Civil service to deliver services through the medium of the Irish language to Irish speakers and Gaeltacht communities.”