12/06/2012 – Minister of State McGinley welcomes the Government’s decision regarding the Gaeltacht Bill
Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley T.D., has welcomed the decision taken by Government today (12/6/12) to approve the text of the Gaeltacht Bill 2012, in addition to agreeing to its presentation to the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Bill has two primary objectives, namely, to provide for a new definition for the Gaeltacht and to make amendments to the structure and functions of Údarás na Gaeltachta.
“I am delighted that the Government has taken this decision today and I hope that this Bill will be enacted before the summer recess,” said Minister of State McGinley. “This is important legislation which will provide a statutory basis to the language planning process in the Gaeltacht and will provide a statutory role for Údarás na Gaeltachta to implement the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language in the Gaeltacht.
Under the legislation, it is proposed that the Gaeltacht will in future be based on linguistic criteria instead of on geographic areas which has been the position to date. Language planning at community level will be central to the new definition of the Gaeltacht. Areas located outside the traditional Gaeltacht will be given the opportunity to achieve statutory recognition as Irish Language Networks or as Gaeltacht Service Towns, subject to fulfilling particular criteria.
In addition to amendments to Údarás na Gaeltachta’s functions, the Bill will give statutory effect to the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language by Údarás na Gaeltachta in the Gaeltacht. It will also provide for a significant reduction in the number of members on the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta and it will dispense with the requirement for elections to the board.