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Caithfidh McGinley míniú ar phle sé gearradh maoiniú ESG leis an gComhailre Aireachta Thuaidh Theas - Ó Clochartaigh

12 November, 2013


Tá sé iarrtha ar Aire na Gaeltachta ag urlabhraí Shinn Féin ar an nGaeilge, an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, soiléiriú a thabhairt ar phléigh an Chomhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas an cinneadh deireadh a chuir le maoiniú d'Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta (ESG) agus an maoiniú don réimse sin oibre a chlúdach ó chistí Foras na Gaeilge.

Ag labhairt dó inniú ó Theach Laighean, deir an Seanadóir Ó Clochartaigh go bhfuil easpa soiléireachta ann maidir le cinneadh McGinley agus na h-impleachtaí airgeadais a bhaineann leis:

"Tá an chosúlacht ann go bhfuil an tAire McGinley ag tarraingt maoiniú ó ESG mar gheall ar chiorruithe ina Roinn féin agus go bhfuil sé ag iarraidh an bhearna a líonadh ó mhaoiniú Fhoras na Gaeilge do na h-eagraíochtaí bunmhaoinithe.

"Tuigtear dom nach raibh plé ar bith ag an gComhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas, mar ba chóir, maidir leis an smaoineamh chun réimse oibre Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta a chlúdach faoin múnla nua maoinithe atá dhá fhorbairt ag Foras na Gaeilge.

"Lena chois sin, tuigtear dom nach raibh oifigigh de chuid na Roinne Cultúr, Ealaín & Fóillíochta ó thuaidh páirteach - ag aon phointe - lena gcomhleacaithe ón deisceart in aon chomhráití a bhain le deireadh a bheith dhá chuir le maoiniú ESG mar chuid den athbhreithniú ar chroí mhaoiniú Foras na Gaeilge. Tá sé soiléir, má tá seo le tarlú gur chóir don Roinn Cultúr, Ealain & Fóillíochta a bheith ar an eolas faoi.

"Tá easpa soiléireachta ón Roinn Ealain, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta faoi an bhfuil siad ag iarraidh obair ESG a bhrú isteach faoi scáth an Fhorais anois. Is é tuiscint Shinn Féin nár cuireadh réimse oibre ESG san áireamh, ná níor déanadh tagairt dó, le linn comhráití ag an gComhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas maidir leis an athbhreithniú ar mhúnla nua bunmhaoinithe Foras na Gaeilge.

"Ma tá sé seo amhlaidh, bheadh iarrachtaí ar bith ón Roinn Ealaín, Oidhreachta & Gaeltachta chun deireadh a chuir le maoiniú ESG óna gcuid buiséid féin agus iarracht a dhéanamh an bhearna a líonadh tré bhunmhaoiniú Foras na Gaeilge a úsáíd, gan comhaontú na Roinne ó thuaidh. Bheadh comhráití foirmeálta agus aontú tríd an gComhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas riachtanach lena leithéad de phlean.

"Tá muid ag iarraidh ar an Aire McGinley an cás a shoiléiriú láithreach. Is droch chinneadh atá déanta aige maidir le hEagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta a scoir dár linn, go h-áirithe ós rud é go rabhthas beagnach tagtha ar chomhthuiscint idir ESG agus Gaelscoileanna maidir le comhoibriú ina gcuid oibre. Buille trom don oideachas sa nGaeltacht a bheidh ann deire a chuir le maoiniú ESG agus tá sé riachtanach, má tá impleachtaí ann don athbhreithniú ar bhunmhaoiniú Foras na Gaeilge, go gcaithfidh an dá Rialtas a bheith aontaithe faoi sin."

ENDS

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McGinley must clarify whether NSMC consulted on axeing of funding to ESG - Ó Clochartaigh

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, has called on the Minister for the Gaeltacht to clarify whether the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) discussed the cessation of funding for Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta (ESG) and agreed to cover their remit through Foras na Gaeilge.

Speaking from Leinster House this week, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said that there was now a lack of clarity around Minister McGinley's decision and the financial implications of it.

He said;

"It would appear that Minister McGinley is pulling funding from ESG because of cutbacks in his own department and then trying to cover the brief they had out of Foras na Gaeilge's fund for Irish language organisations.

"I understand that the inclusion of the remit of Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta under the new funding model being developed by Foras na Gaeilge was not discussed at the North South Ministerial Council as it should have been.

"Furthermore, I understand that officials from the Department of Arts, Culture and Leisure (DCAL) in the north, were not - at any stage - included by their southern counterparts in any discussions relating to the ending of funding for ESG and the proposed inclusion of the brief as part of Foras na Gaeilge's Core-Funding Review. Clearly, if this is to happen, it is essential that DCAL be aware of it.

"There is a lack of clarity from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as to whether they are now attempting to shoe-horn the work of ESG into the Foras' proposals. It is Sinn Féin's understanding that ESG's remit was never included in, nor referenced, as part of any discussions around the NSMC Agreement on Foras na Gaeilge's new Core-Funding Review in July 2013.

"If this is the case, any attempt by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to discontinue funding ESG from their own budget and then to seek to cover the shortfall under the new Core-Funding arrangements from Foras na Gaeilge, would be without the agreement of DCAL. Such a move would first require formal discussion and agreement through the NSMC.

"We are calling on Minister McGinley to clarify the situation immediately. The decision to end funding for Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta was misguided in our view, given that progress had been made towards an arrangement between ESG and Gaelscoileanna. Ending funding Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta will be detrimental to education in the Gaeltacht and it is essential that if there are implications for the Foras na Gaeilge Core-funding review, that both Governments must be in agreement with this."

ENDS

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