Statement from the Údarás na Gaeltachta Board Meeting

14 July, 2020

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Áras Éanna

Welcome to the new Ministers for the Gaeltacht

The Chairman and Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta passed a resolution congratulating the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin, TD and the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Irish Language and Sport, Dara Calleary TD and hope to co – operate with the newly appointed Ministers for the benefit of the Gaeltacht and the Irish language.

Preparation of a new 5 year Strategic Plan for Údarás na Gaeltachta begins

A special strategy meeting of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta was held today to accelerate the preparation of a new Strategic Plan for the organization for the next five years.

Today’s meeting, held online due to COVID-19 restrictions, discussed in detail the themes, trends and vision for the future of the Gaeltacht. Údarás na Gaeltachta plays a key role in many aspects of the life of the Gaeltacht community, including the economy, community development and the promotion of the Irish language. The new strategy being developed will reflect the important connection with the community, the leadership shown and the innovation of the organisation’s work in the sectors in which it operates.

The Board was briefed on the progress made with the current strategy which will end at the end of this year.

Supporting 7,844 full-time ground jobs at the end of 2019.
Stable sales of Gaeltacht companies at over € 800m annually as well as payroll payments over € 180m and estimated tax refunds over € 75m annually.
Tech, the Gaeltacht ‘s digital network with up to 27 tech centers open throughout the Gaeltacht, was established before the end of the strategy;
A strong foundation was developed and laid for the Irish Gaeltacht Brand to promote the excellence of Gaeltacht areas;
18 language plans have been prepared and are in operation, 19 Language Planning Officers and Assistant Officers are employed, work is underway in each of the 26 LPTs;
Running a grant to 33 community-based development organisations throughout the Gaeltacht, with a total budget of over € 2.7m.
Potential projects established, proposed and approved under the RRDF scheme with approved support of € 5.8m.
Comprehensive planning application prepared and submitted for the major Marine Park project in Cill Chiaráin.
A strong connection can be built with the Gaeltacht Diaspora through events, activities, newsletters and trade missions.
Over 1,000 participants on Gaeltacht Social Employment Schemes with an investment of over € 17m.
Implementing a Tourism Management Development Scheme with 15 tourism development officers employed throughout the Gaeltacht.
Strategic Tourism Projects identified and developed in conjunction with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Implementation of 8 European research projects in collaboration with national and international partners with a budget of € 2.4m.
Significant € 2m training program implemented annually empowering the Gaeltacht community and providing essential skills.
The Board was informed that the preparation of this new Strategic Plan was undoubtedly a challenging time, not only for the Gaeltacht but for the country, for Europe and for the world at large. The next five years will present many challenges from a Brexit perspective, as well as the COVID-19 crisis which has revolutionized economic, cultural and social life.

It is hoped to consult initially with the Board and staff of Údarás na Gaeltachta as well as relevant stakeholders and in particular ensure that the views of Gaeltacht young people on their vision for their area are taken into account in the strategy.

It has been pointed out to the Board that, despite the current significant challenges, there are many opportunities for the Gaeltacht in the next five years and Údarás na Gaeltachta aims to seize those opportunities provided that the appropriate resources are available to to maximise the benefit to the Gaeltacht community in the period 2021-2025.