Éamonn Ó Neachtain, Regional Manager of Údarás na Gaeltachta, this evening launched the results of the survey “A Socio-economic and Cultural Needs Analysis” carried out in the Múscraí Gaeltacht. The launch was held in the Gúgán Barra Hotel, Gúgán Barra.
The research, funded by Údarás na Gaeltachta and carried out in conjunction with Cork Institute of Technology, concentrated on various aspects of life in Múscraí, including the employment situation in the region, the skills and qualifications base available, the state and use of the Irish language and social facilities needs.
Speaking at the launch, Éamonn Ó Neachtain commended the local community for their co-operation with the research project as illustrated by the high response rate. He spoke of the importance of having survey results such as these available to other organisations as well as Údarás na Gaeltachta to assist with the implementation of plans which focus on the requirements of the area, for example, child care facilities.
Referring to the employment situation, he said “While the current level of employment in the area is satisfactory, there is a need to concentrate on retraining, and the development of new skills aimed at attracting and creating high quality modern employment in new sectors. In excess of 300 locals currently living outside the area have expressed an interest in returning if suitable employment was available and in excess of 100 people have registered with Údarás and have provided information relating to their education and work experience”.
He also spoke of the challenges facing the Irish language, “Although the language base is quite strong in the area as a community language and while a high percentage of people have expressed how much they value their Gaeltacht status, it is clear that language planning initiatives must be developed and implemented to promote Irish as the area’s primary language and to strengthen the existing foundation in light of the number of people /non nationals who have come to reside and work in the area. The use of the language must be managed in all aspects of community life and I think that this planning and language management role could be taken on by the new Cooperative.