More funding certainty should be provided to Language Planning groups working to sustain Gaeltacht communities in Donegal and across the country, according to a new report launched by the Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.

The report is based on a visit by a delegation from the Committee to the Gaoth Dobhair Gaeltacht in Donegal back in February.

The report contains 28 recommendations which are relevant to Donegal and the other Gaeltacht areas across the country.

Recommendations 1 and 2 call on the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to give her full support to local Language Planning committees in Gaeltacht areas and call for the funding for Language Plans to be set out on a seven-year basis so that committees can employ staff for the duration of the plans.

Committee Chair, Catherine Connolly said: “The local people working on the ground in Gaeltacht areas are the key to tacking the crisis facing the Irish language.

“Language planning committees need certainty about funding so that they can plan for the long-term and employ the staff they need.”

The Committee is also calling on the Government to ensure that all supports and services available to English-medium schools are also available through Irish to Irish-medium schools both inside and outside the Gaeltacht.

Recommendation 12 calls for an increase in the budget for the Cúntóirí Teanga scheme and the widening of the scheme to cover the entire school year and Irish-medium schools outside the Gaeltacht.

Deputy Connolly said: “The Cúntóirí Teanga play an essential role in ensuring the transmission of the Irish language to the next generation in the Gaeltacht.

“Furthermore, Gaeltacht schools must be supported in their use of Irish and treated no less favourably than English-medium schools.

“Therefore, in recommendations 20 and 22, the Committee calls for all services, such as NEPS and speech therapy, and all resources, such as text books and classroom materials, that are currently available to English-medium schools to be provided in Irish to Irish-medium schools.”

Recommendations 26 and 27 call on the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation to support Áislann Gaoth Dobhair in continuing its work and provide funding for the establishment of similar enterprise hubs in other Gaeltacht areas in Donegal.

Recommendations 4 and 28 call for continued support for the arts in the Gaoth Dobhair Gaeltacht and the promotion of tourism in Gaeltacht areas, particularly tourism based on the Irish language and the unique cultural identity of Gaeltacht areas.

Read the full report here:

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