Action Plan for the Irish Language launched by Minister of State McHugh

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh, T.D., today launched Action Plan 2018-2022 for the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030.

The Action Plan aims to build on the work being carried out on a cross-Departmental basis for the benefit of the Irish language and the Gaeltacht. The Plan was approved by the Government on Tuesday, 26 June, last, and was this morning presented to the Advisory Committee of the 20-Year Strategy before it was officially launched by the Minister of State in Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair.

The Plan outlines over 180 specific measures that will be implemented in conjunction with approximately 60 stakeholders on a cross-Departmental basis in support of the Irish language and the Gaeltacht from now until 2022.

Action Plan 2018-2022 is being presented as a result of a public consultation process and detailed discussions between the Department, which is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy, and a wide range of stakeholders.

It outlines a wide range of specific, measurable, achievable measures that will be realised over the five year cycle of the plan, starting immediately.

The measures are focused on the nine areas for action set out in the strategy, namely: Education; The Gaeltacht; Family Transmission of the Language – Early Intervention; Administration, Services and Community; Media and Technology; Lexicography; Legislation and Status; Economic Life; and Cross-Cutting Initiatives.

In addition, the plan sets out in detail the parties responsible for the implementation of each measure and clearly outlines the time-scale for implementation in each case.

The Minister of State said: “I am delighted to launch this Action Plan on behalf of the Government. As the Strategy is the policy of the State for the Irish language, this Action Plan has cross-Departmental ownership. Accordingly, responsibility for its implementation falls on a number of Government Departments, bodies and Irish language and Gaeltacht organisations. As well as looking back at what has been achieved to date in terms of the implementation of the Strategy, the biggest focus is on the road ahead and, accordingly, these measures are the focal point of the Plan.

Above all, the Plan builds upon the partnership already in existence in Irish language matters. The more this partnership and co-ownership are recognised and fostered, the more successful all our efforts will be.

The Minister of State gave recognition to his Governmental colleagues in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for their cooperation and support.

He also said: “I would also like to thank Údarás na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeilge and the Irish language organisations that operate under their aegis and under the aegis of my Department for the work that is being carried out currently and envisaged in order to further the implementation of this Plan which benefits the two things that are of interest to us all – the Irish language and the Gaeltacht.”

Welcoming the Plan, the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton said: “I recognise the vital role of the education systems in promoting and advancing the Irish language. There are 28 actions in this plan for the Irish language that are directly related to my Department, actions that concern the curriculum being taught in our schools, education for teachers and of course provision and patronage of schools. This Government launched the first ever Policy for Gaeltacht schools back in 2016, as part of an overall plan to make the Irish education and training system the best in Europe by 2026.  The objective of that Policy was to support and foster vibrant school communities in Gaeltacht areas. The 5-Year Action Plan for the Irish language will build on the progress made thus far in this area, and it includes all the important elements for the advancement of the language and I look forward to working closely with my Governmental colleagues to promote all the actions in the Plan.

Welcoming the Plan, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, said: “The passion for learning is most evident in our children. More and more are choosing to learn all subjects through Irish.  Pre-school has a big role to play which is why my Department is creating two new posts to promote this work.  By doing so we will help secure the future of a beautiful language for generations to come”

An electronic copy of the Plan as well as other relevant information are available on the Department’s website: https://www.chg.gov.ie/gaeltacht/20-year-strategy-for-the-irish-language-2010-2030/action-plan-2018-2022/

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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