At an Údarás na Gaeltachta Board meeting in Na Forbacha, Co. Galway today (10th December), members of the Board expressed great dissatisfaction and concern about the organisation’s finances for the year 2011 and for the future. In comparison to the €15m capital budget made available by the Exchequer in 2010, only €6m will be provided in 2011. A further €6.2m is to be funded from the organisation’s own resources, which includes a target income of €2m from the sale of assets at a time when the property market has effectively collapsed. An tÚdarás believes that its enterprise role is gradually being eroded at a time when its staff is continuing to prove the organisation’s ability to deliver satisfactory job-creation results for the Exchequer and the Gaeltacht despite the present difficult economic climate.
At the Údarás Board meeting today, 55 projects involving a total of €2.9m in state funding were approved, which will lead to the creation of 193 new jobs when fully implemented. Despite the central role that Údarás na Gaeltachta is expected to have in the implementation of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language both in the Gaeltacht and nationally, an tÚdarás believes that the organisation’s enterprise functions are being undermined when its reduced funding leaves it with no option but to decrease its employment creation target from 600 jobs in 2010 to 300 jobs in 2011 at a time when employment creation is critical. The Board of an tÚdarás has appealed to all Gaeltacht and Irish language organisations to support its board members in highlighting the issue of the future of the organisation with public representatives, including during the upcoming general election campaign due early 2011.