19/12/2014 Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs announces list of towns which may be recognised as Gaeltacht Service Towns
The Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh T.D., today (19th December 2014) announced a list of towns which may be recognised as Gaeltacht Service Towns under the Gaeltacht Act 2012. Announcing the list at the Gaillimh le Gaeilge Christmas lunch, the Minister of State said: “The announcement of this list is a step forward in the language planning process as it relates to Gaeltacht Service Towns. I hope that all of the stakeholders will come together in these towns to prepare and implement a language plan.”
The list is being published following the public consultation process conducted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in which recommendations were sought in relation to the most appropriate towns to be selected as Gaeltacht Service Towns. The towns in question are as follows:
|Donegal||LetterkennyAn Clochán Liath
|Mayo||Béal an MhuirtheadCastlebar
|Kerry||Daingean Uí ChúisTralee
Údarás na Gaeltachta or Foras na Gaeilge, as appropriate, will be working with the relevant organisations to prepare and implement language plans in these towns, depending on whether the town is situated in a Gaeltacht area or outside of the Gaeltacht. The Minister of State said: “It has been agreed with Foras na Gaeilge and with Údarás na Gaeltachta that the focus will first be on Galway City, Letterkenny and Daingean Uí Chúis.”
Note to Editors
Under the Gaeltacht Act 2012, Gaeltacht Service Towns are defined as those towns situated in or adjacent to Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas and which have a significant role in providing public services, recreational, social and commercial facilities for those areas. 26 Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas have been recognised for the purposes of the Act.
With regard to the Gaeltacht Service Towns, the purpose of the Gaeltacht Act is to identify how to foster and reinforce the positive impact these towns can have on the Irish language as the community and family language of the Gaeltacht. The Gaeltacht has a significant cultural and economic impact on the towns which serve it. Similarly, those towns have a significant impact on the Gaeltacht itself.
The Act sets out the process by which Gaeltacht Service Towns can attain recognition as such. The town must:
- be situated in or adjacent to a Gaeltacht Language Planning Area;
- have a population of at least 1,000, according to the most recent census;
- play a significant role in relation to providing public services and recreational, social and commercial facilities to the Gaeltacht community; and
- have a significant and positive impact therefore on the status of the Irish language as the community and family language of the Gaeltacht area with which it is associated.
In addition, an organisation situated in the town must be chosen to prepare and implement a language plan in accordance with the language planning criteria prescribed in the Act.
Údarás na Gaeltachta or Foras na Gaeilge, as appropriate, will be responsible for selecting organisations to prepare and implement language plans in the Gaeltacht Service Towns, depending on whether the town is situated within a Gaeltacht Language Planning Area or outside of it.