25/11/19

Additional opportunities available for young people in the Gaeltacht in order to learn the traditional arts

  • Three year funding provided by Minister Kyne for Ealaín na Gaeltachta for the first time
  • Minister Kyne has welcomed a work plan for Ealaín na Gaeltachta at a meeting with the organisation in Gaoth Dobhair

One of the primary measures planned by Ealaín na Gaeltachta  in order to promote the language-based arts over the next three years to the end of the  2021/22 school year is to provide additional acquisition opportunities to young people in the Gaeltacht.

The organisation provided the Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Seán Kyne T.D. with an outline of its proposals during his visit to the Donegal Gaeltacht.

The Minister of State recently approved an allocation totalling €1.275m for Ealaín na Gaeltachta for an agreed work programme to benefit the language-based arts in the Gaeltacht. This is a significant increase on the organisation’s funding and is the first time a 3 year funding arrangement has been made available to the organisation.

The following measures have been agreed regarding the 3 year funding allocated to the organisation:

  • to provide language-based arts classes in the Galway Gaeltacht;
  • to provide classes through the running of Scoil Cheoil na Crannóige in the Donegal Gaeltacht
  • to provide classes in up to 5 primary schools in the Donegal Gaeltacht
  • to provide classes/services in the other 6 Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas (LPTs)
  • to provide additional education and development opportunities in the various LPTs throughout the Gaeltacht; and
  • to employ two co-ordinators (one full-time and one part-time in Conamara and one additional full-time co-ordinator in An Crannóg) in order to administer the entire programme,
  • to employ an arts co-ordinator at Ionad Cultúrtha Bhaile Bhuirne in the Múscraí Gaeltacht.

Referring to the work programme and to the meeting he had with Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Minister of State Kyne said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to provide Ealaín na Gaeltachta with this 3 year funding allocation – a fund which is greater than the allocations made in previous years. Due to meaningful work, which is proposed by the organisation, further assistance will be provided for a wide range of supports in the Gaeltacht – centred on the young people of the Gaeltacht for the most part – which will, of course, further aid  the success of the language planning process and also the Policy on Gaeltacht Education.

Recently at Oireachtas na Samhna, I launched a public consultation process as the first step towards the development of a Strategy for the Language-based Arts to be prepared by my Department, in association with other interested parties. The aim of this work is to enable us to plan strategically for further support for the language-based arts in the Gaeltacht. I look forward to seeing the results of this work.”

Referring to this funding, Cathal Goan, a member of Ealaín na Gaeltachta‘s Steering Committee, said;

Ealaín na Gaeltachta welcomes this additional funding.  Now that we have the proper team and appropriate structure, these additional resources will allow us to provide improved learning and educational opportunities to the young people of the Gaeltacht, while working with the traditional arts.  We hope that this funding increase will leave a lasting impression on the traditional arts throughout the Gaeltacht for many years to come.”

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, musician and singer with Altan, who was among the audience at the presentation to the Minister said: “As a full-time musician and tutor, I welcome this support to preserve our traditional arts. Seeing as my father began teaching music voluntarily in the north-west Donegal Gaeltacht and seeing as I am now teaching in the schools in the area and also in An Chrannóg I understand the opportunities that this funding provides to the young people, funding which also ensures that the traditional arts are passed from one generation to the next.”

This funding supports the implementation of Action 2.12 of the Government’s Action Plan for the Irish Language 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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