Develpment of Housing in Gaeltacht Areas

Údarás na Gaeltachta seek expressions of interest to develop affordable housing for Irish speakers on three Gaeltacht sites: An Rinn, Co. Waterford, An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway and Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal.

15 December, 2023

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The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta today approved a housing initiative, supported by a capital allocation of €250,000 towards development and research costs to develop a model of affordable housing for Irish speakers on Údarás lands in Gaeltacht areas. The three chosen sites in An Rinn, Co. Waterford, An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway and Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal are within existing settlements and close to public services.


The Board acknowledged and welcomed the work to date and the further work that was needed to move from approval in principle to the development of a scaleable model for Gaeltacht areas and plans for the three sites currently identified. The level of demand among Irish speakers and existing supply will also be assessed as part of the planned work, to include ongoing and further engagement with relevant national and local stakeholders. The Board have indicated that Housing will be a standing agenda item until the work is brought to a further stage of development during the coming year.


To that end, Údarás na Gaeltachta are seeking expressions of interest from local authorities, housing organisations and other relevant organisation to partner in the development of this a model for the three identified sites and for Gaeltacht areas across the seven counties of Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Meath.


Údarás na Gaeltachta is involved with ongoing discussions with local authorities and other relevant stakeholders including Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to progress the initiative. Any development will draw on existing funding mechanisms in place under the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ programme. Any criteria developed for buyers through this work will build on the existing affordable housing eligibility criteria that are currently in place but will also include a strong language criteria.


The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta today agreed that housing developed on Údarás sites will be for Irish speakers.


The three sites identified have been chosen following a review of the Údarás na Gaeltachta property portfolio and are in existing communities with access to public services and in line with An Ghaeltacht Ghlas, the organisation’s sustainability strategy.


Údarás na Gaeltachta Chairperson, Mary Uí Chadhain, said that the Údarás housing initiative is at the core of the work of the organisation to support and develop sustainable communities where Irish is the daily spoken language. The housing crisis nationally presents a significant challenge to the next generation of Irish speakers who seek to live in Gaeltacht areas and such, is a threat to the continued use of the language as a living language in years to come.


Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta said ‘Existing employment opportunities in Gaeltacht areas cannot be filled due to the lack of housing. It is also a barrier to those from the Gaeltacht, those with family connections in the Gaeltacht and to Irish speakers who want to live where Irish is the community language.  This Affordable Housing Initiative marks the first step in finding solutions to that challenge and to build on the successful and ongoing work of Údarás na Gaeltachta to support employment and community development in Gaeltacht areas.


A dedicated email address has been established,, for anyone who would like to receive further information on this issue or regarding the three sites that have been identified at this stage of the project:


  1. An Rinn, Co. Waterford
  2. An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway
  3. Tithe Charraig a’tSeiscin, Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal


Media Enquiries:

An Rannóg Cumarsáide,