Gaeltacht Service Towns
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. 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 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.
On foot of a consultation process conducted over the summer of 2014, the following towns have been selected as possible Gaeltacht Service Towns – conditional on language plans being agreed with the communities of the various towns in accordance with the prescribed language planning criteria under Acht na Gaeltachta 2012.
|Donegal||Letterkenny,An Clochán Liath (Dungloe) and Donegal Town.|
|Mayo||Béal an Mhuirthead (Belmullet),Castlebar and Ballinrobe.|
|Galway||Galway City and Clifden|
|Kerry||Daingean Uí Chúis, Tralee and Cahersiveen|
|Cork||Cork City and Macroom|
|Meath||Athboy and Navan|
It has been decided with Údarás na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge that the process will begin in the following towns: An Clochán Liath, Béal an Mhuirthead, Cathair Chorcaí, Dún Garbhán and Trá Lí.