Recommendations of An Bord Snip Nua in respect of the Gaeltacht

21 August, 2009

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The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta is both concerned and disappointed by the recommendations made by An Bord Snip Nua to the Minister of Finance in respect of the Gaeltacht and Irish language. An tÚdarás recognises the need for cutbacks in public expenditure as a basis for the recovery of the national economy and the need to restructure certain aspects of the state administration structure to ensure greater efficiency. However, it is the considered opinion of An tÚdarás, that the recommendations in respect of the Gaeltacht and Irish language will:

  • abolish Irish language and Gaeltacht support structures;
  • completely undermine the substantial state investment made by successive Governments in Gaeltacht and Irish language projects and schemes;
  • terminate valuable employment and sources of income for the Irish Language and Gaeltacht community;
  • and marginalise the Irish language as an important aspect of Irish society and abolish structures with the specific aim of preserving and protecting the Gaeltacht.

An tÚdarás believes that a dedicated state department is required with responsibility for Gaeltacht and Irish language affairs and that a dedicated development agency should exist with a development and employment function to address the specific needs of the Gaeltacht.

While An tÚdarás accepts that this is not a Government report, it is clear that the Department of Finance requires that various state departments take the recommendations into consideration in the coming months when preparing for the 2010 budget.

An tÚdarás is confident that those Government Ministers and TD’s with Gaeltacht areas in their constituencies and those who support the Irish language and the Gaeltacht will ensure that these specific cutbacks are not implemented as proposed.