Údarás na Gaeltachta: 2019 End of Year Review
Statement issued by Anna Ní Ghallachair, Chairperson and Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Chief Executive, Údarás na Gaeltachta
“We are delighted with the progress made in regard to the implementation of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Strategy during 2019"Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief Executive, Micheál Ó hÉanaigh
593 new full-time jobs were created in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in 2019, resulting in the highest level of employment in the Gaeltacht since 2008. 2019 also saw the highest employment levels in the Galway and Waterford Gaeltachts since the establishment of Údarás na Gaeltachta in 1980. A net increase of 219 jobs on the previous year has resulted in 7,844 full-time and 523 part-time jobs in companies supported by Údarás by year end. There has now been a consistent increase in employment levels in the Gaeltacht for seven consecutive years.
The Údarás is ahead of its target to approve 1,500 new jobs during the timeframe of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Strategic Plan 2018 -2020, with 1,005 new jobs created two-thirds of the way through the Plan’s lifetime.
Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies have a significant impact on both the Gaeltacht and national economies. According to ABSEI research conducted in 2019, Údarás client companies:
The figures reflect the value that the State is getting for its investment in employment creation in the Gaeltacht.
Significant progress has been made in the language planning process in the Gaeltacht, with 11 Language Planning Officers employed and now implementing language plans in their respective regions. By the end of 2019, language plans were approved for 16 Language Planning Areas and an investment of €2.2 million sanctioned for the implementation of these plans.
“Significant developments have been made in the past year regarding language planning and the positive impact of these efforts can now be seen throughout the Gaeltacht"Údarás na Gaeltachta's Chairperson, Anna Ní Ghallachair
Páirc na Mara
Údarás na Gaeltachta made significant gains in relation to the planning process for the marine innovation park, Páirc na Mara, in 2019. An Environmental Impact Assessment scoping document was published and it is now hoped that a planning application will be submitted within the first quarter of 2020.
Strategic Community Development Review
Údarás undertook a strategic review in relation to community development in 2019 with the aim of strengthening its network of co-operative organisations, one of the most important networks in the Gaeltacht, and a leading network nationally in terms of rural development.
Community development organisations are central to the development of the Gaeltacht and to the implementation of the Údarás na Gaeltachta strategy, and to build on that, Údarás established a Community Development Unit in 2019 with a focus on supporting and assisting its co-operatives.
gteic – Gaeltacht Digital Network
The number of gteic digital hubs was doubled by year end. There are eight digital hubs now in operation across five Gaeltacht counties, with 193 people working from them.
Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief Executive, Micheál Ó hÉanaigh:
“We are delighted with the progress made in regard to the implementation of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Strategy during 2019. We especially welcome the significant increase in employment levels in Gaeltacht companies and the progress being made in the Language Planning Process throughout the Gaeltacht.
We appreciate greatly the companies located in the Gaeltacht, along with the communities in the various Gaeltacht regions and the State agencies whom we work in partnership with. Personally, as Chief Executive Officer, I am extremely grateful to the staff and board of Údarás na Gaeltachta for their continued diligence and support in attaining the organisation’s objectives.”
Údarás Chairperson, Anna Ní Ghallachair:
“We now have the largest number of employees in Údarás na Gaeltacht client companies in 11 years, and have laid the foundation to build on that with the gteic digital hub network, providing the next generation with the infrastructure required to develop their own ideas as businesses. There are now eight gteics established, a 100% increase on 2018 and more are expected in early 2020.”
“Significant developments have been made in the past year regarding language planning and the positive impact of these efforts can now be seen throughout the Gaeltacht. The Gaeltacht communities have put a significant amount of work into preparing plans for their respective regions and the results of that work can now be seen with the employment of dedicated, energetic Language Planning Officers to carry out these plans.