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Minister launches new Líofa target of 5,000 by 2015

21 June, 2012 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced a new target of 5,000 fluent Irish speakers as part of the Líofa 2015 initiative.

Minister Ní Chuilín made the announcement during a joint visit to Gaelscoil Éadain Mhóir in Derry this morning, with deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Education Minister John O’Dowd.

The visit celebrated 14 years of continuous growth at Gaelscoil Eadain Mhóir, with the first class of students from 1998 now completing their final year in post-primary education.

Minister Ní Chuilín said: “I am delighted to be announcing an ambitious new target of getting 5,000 new fluent Irish speakers by 2015. There could be no more appropriate setting than Gaelscoil Éadain Mhóir in Derry.

\“The school has grown from strength to strength and is now a shining example of how the Irish language builds thriving communities based on inclusion, equality and respect.

“For fourteen years, the parents, governors, supporters and, most of all, children associated with the Gaelscoil have taken their 'aisling' – their dream – and made it a reality.

“The commitment and calibre of this school is a glowing testament to the power of the Irish language sector.

“When I launched Líofa last September, I set an initial target of 1,000 fluent Irish speakers by 2015. When we reached that target before Christmas, our new target became 2,015 by 2015.

“Earlier this week, the Líofa campaign surpassed that target also and we are now aiming for 5,000 fluent Irish speakers by 2015.

“Líofa aims to encourage every citizen – regardless of their background or level of expertise – to embrace the inclusivity and enrichment of the Irish language. I have no doubt that we will reach the new target and I wish all the participants well.”

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