€3.72m fund announced for the arts in the Gaeltacht

Údarás na Gaeltachta welcomes €3.72m fund announced by Minister Martin and Minister of State O'Donovan for the promotion of the arts in the Gaeltacht

1 March, 2023

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  • Grant worth €3.72m approved to implement a 3-year Ealaín na Gaeltachta programme


  • A 200% increase on previous allocation


  • There will be provision for 5,000 students/children


  • Support for the creation of 2 full-time and 2 part-time posts


  • An income opportunity will be created for up to 14 artists (including musicians, playwrights and singers).


While visiting Gaeltacht na Rinne today, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. in collaboration with the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., announced that she has approved a fund of €3.72m over a period of 3 years – 2022/23, 2023/24 & 2024/25 (€1.24m per year) for the Gaeltacht organisation: Ealaín na Gaeltachta.


This fund will be used to implement a work programme throughout the Gaeltacht whose main aim will be to provide additional opportunities for language acquisition and enrichment to the youth of the Gaeltacht through the language-based arts.


A youth-enabling programme entitled Cuisle is the central plank of the approved fund – its goal is to promote language-based arts, especially drama in the Gaeltacht.


It is the third three-year grant approved by the Department to Ealaín na Gaeltachta as additional support for the ongoing implementation of the language planning process.


The increased fund will be used mainly to:

  • provide for c. 5,000 pupils/children in 15 Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas through the Cuisle programme
  • support the creation of 2 full-time and 2 part-time post to carry out the organisation’s expanded agenda
  • create an income opportunity for up to 14 artists – including musicians, playwrights and singers.


The fund was announced while Minister Martin was in An Rinn to visit Coláiste na Rinne – where she had spent a year at school. In addition to visiting her alma mater, Minister Martin visited the television production company Nemeton which is based in the area.


Minister Martin, said:  


“I am delighted to approve this fund for Ealaín na Gaeltachta in collaboration with Minister of State O’Donovan. Ealaín na Gaeltachta has been doing good work for many years with the help of both my Department and the Authority, to support the promotion of the arts in the Gaeltacht. That work is more important now than ever and the particular value of the language-based arts for the Gaeltacht and for the Irish language is recognised more than ever.


“The language-based arts are an integral part of the distinctive culture of the Gaeltacht – including sean-nós singing, music, drama and dance. Through the approval of this increased fund, Ealaín na Gaeltachta will be enabled to further increase the valuable work programme they have in hand for the most valuable and distinctive part of Gaeltacht culture – the Irish language.”


Minister of State O’Donovan, said:


“This fund is a great opportunity for the organisation to expand the work they have been doing for twenty-six years for the benefit of both young people and the Gaeltacht community. It will create additional benefits for those who benefit from the range of activities administered by Ealaín na Gaeltachta – as well as of course valuable employment opportunities for practitioners of the arts – including dance, music and drama teachers.

“This is a practical measure that fits in with the range of other measures that are underway and funded by the Department to further enrich the Irish experience of the Gaeltacht youth in particular – between Scéim na gCúntóirí Teanga, Clár na gCluichí Gaelacha agus an Clár Aclaíochta.


“The result of this is support for the successful implementation of the language planning process and the Gaeltacht Education Policy. Above all, the Irish language, the young people of the Gaeltacht and the indigenous arts will be placed front and centre as a result.”


The director of Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Paddy Glackin, said:


Ealaín na Gaeltachta welcomes the announcement by Minister Catherine Martin and Minister of State O’ Donovan that a further three-year funding programme has been approved to support the further growth and development of the Cuisle programme. This will greatly increase our ability as an organisation to provide additional opportunities for the young people of the Gaeltacht in the fields of music, dance, singing, oral arts and now in drama. The result will be evident in the practice of these arts in the Gaeltacht for a long time to come.”


The Chief Executive of the Authority, Tomás Ó Síocháin, said:


“Údarás na Gaeltachta welcomes this announcement today. The agreement will ensure that our subsidiary, Ealaín na Gaeltachta, will be able to provide the empowerment programme in indigenous arts to young people in the language planning areas throughout the Gaeltacht. It is very important that the young people of the Gaeltacht have the right opportunity to develop creative and personal skills to prepare them for the life ahead. Through this programme arts, culture and the Irish language will be promoted and encouraged among them.”

This funding is being made available as specific support for the implementation of actions 2.10, 5.46 and 5.49 of the Government’s Action Plan 2018-2022 for the Irish language.