€1.9m approved by Ministers Martin and O’Donovan to boost the Irish language in Gaeltacht businesses

Funding of up to €1,926,120 approved for Údarás na Gaeltachta to implement the Support Programme for Gaeltacht Businesses over a 3-year period

7 March, 2024

min read

Today, 7th March, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports & Media, Catherine Martin T.D., and the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., announced funding of up to €1.9m to Údarás na Gaeltachta for a Support Programme to boost the Irish language among Gaeltacht businesses in the service, retail and hospitality sectors.

The Support Programme for Irish Language Businesses is a new support programme which will be developed and implemented in ten (10) towns across the Gaeltacht. The initiative will focus on enabling businesses to provide a high-quality service through Irish to the Gaeltacht community and to tourists, as well as increasing the visibility of Irish and fostering and promoting a strong Gaelic image in these towns.  The Programme will focus on Gaeltacht businesses in the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors. These are sectors which, other than the tourism sector, the Údarás does not have the capability to support through the funding schemes it is currently implementing.

Announcing the funding, Minister Martin said:

There is now a greater opportunity than ever, with the language planning process fully underway in the 26 Language Planning Areas and in Gaeltacht service towns, to reach the business community and to show them the great influence they can have on the fostering and acquisition of the language in the Gaeltacht.

Speaking about the programme, Minister O’Donovan said:

“I hope that both businesses and the public will benefit from the programme and that they will participate in the strengthening and promotion of Irish in the 10 selected Gaeltacht Towns. This support programme is in keeping with the objectives of the language planning process and the appropriate language planning lead-organisations will play a central role in supporting and promoting the programme within their own Language Planning Areas or Gaeltacht Service Towns.”

Notes to the Editor


  • Údarás na Gaeltachta employed the CSEI (Customer Service Excellence Ireland) company to undertake research work and make recommendations regarding the use of Irish among the business community in the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors. CSEI has experience in delivering professional services to businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors in such areas as customer services, customer experience and sales.
  • As part of the Programme, Údarás na Gaeltachta will employ four people to deliver the programme:
    • A coordinator to direct, manage and operate the Support Programme.
    • Three (3) regional executives (Ulster/ Connacht-Leinster/ Munster) to engage specifically with businesses in the regions in which they will be based.
  • It is intended that the Support Programme will be focused on businesses based in up to 10 Gaeltacht Towns over the three-year period.