Budget 2014: FG & Labour follow the cuts to Gaeltacht pioneered by FF – Ó Clochartaigh
Speaking today on Budget 2014 Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh described the government as having dealt another hammer blow to Gaeltacht and Irish speaking communities with the budget and as merely following a pattern started by Fianna Fáil before them.
“At a time when we should be putting more money into job creation in the Gaeltacht the employment funding to Údarás na Gaeltachta has once more been cut by the Government.
“In the last few years the funding available to the Údarás to create jobs has been cut from €26m to €5.8m this year. According to a recent Indecon report the organisation would need €12m to retain the level of jobs in the Gaeltacht at present, not to mention creating new ones.
“There will also be cuts to the Irish language and Gaeltacht structures, schemes and organisations as well as €2.1m from the North South Co-operation Implementation bodies.
“It is to be welcomed that a half a million euro has been put aside to support the Twenty Year Strategy for the Irish Language, but the question is where is this money is being taken from as the Department itself will lose 5% of its overall funding, so the axe will obviously fall elsewhere.
“The Minister for the Gaeltacht must now confirm that he will not touch the subsidy to the air service to the Aran Islands and that some of the money to be spent on the 2016 Commemorations will be spent on the Pearse’s Cottage Interpretative centre in Ros Muc.
“It was disgraceful however that the Government did not provide an Irish version of the Budget documents at the same time as the English ones and also that the Labour party refused to provide a spokesperson with Irish to debate on the Raidió na Gaeltachta analysis programme on the budget. This is another example of the lack of respect this Government has for the Irish language and those who speak it.”