Grant of €325,000 sanctioned by Minister of State McHugh for Ealaín na Gaeltachta to promote a programme of activities in the traditional arts for young people throughout the Gaeltacht
Joe McHugh, T.D., Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, has announced that he has sanctioned a grant of up to €325,000 for Ealaín na Gaeltachta to promote a programme of activities in the traditional arts for young people throughout the Gaeltacht over the coming school year. In line with a commitment given in the recently published 5-Year Action Plan for the Irish Language, this allocation represents a 45% increase in the funding allocated for this programme in 2017/18.
Under the new programme, the provision of music, dancing, singing and oral arts classes will be expanded and developed throughout all Gaeltacht areas. Features of the programme include:
- A comprehensive study of the training opportunities in the traditional arts currently available to young people in all Gaeltacht areas;
- The provision of music, dancing, singing and oral arts classes in the Galway Gaeltacht. Schools in which classes were run previously will be catered for, as well as other schools wishing to take part in the programme.
- The provision of classes in Scoil Cheoil na Crannóige in Donegal and Ionad Cultúir an Dochtúir Ó Loingsigh in Cork, with consideration to be given to the expansion of the current provision in these two Gaeltacht areas.
- The other Gaeltacht areas will also be considered with a view to expanding the programme to those areas.
The Minister of State said, “I am delighted to announce this increased funding to assist with the provision of classes in the traditional arts for young people throughout the Gaeltacht. The arts present a wonderful opportunity for young people in terms of Irish language acquisition and enrichment. Ealaín na Gaeltachta has been involved in the arts in all Gaeltacht areas for many years and, accordingly, they have an understanding of the needs of the communities in those areas.”
Ealaín na Gaeltachta has begun research and preparation of the Programme and although it will be possible to continue with the provision currently available in the Donegal and Cork Gaeltacht areas from September 2018, it will not be possible for the organisation to commence classes in the Galway Gaeltacht until January 2019 due to arrangements regarding recruitment of teachers and other administrative matters that are required in order to ensure that a comprehensive high quality service is provided to pupils and parents alike. In the interim, the Minister’s Department is actively examining ways of ensuring continuity of service from now until the end of the year. Another announcement will be made in this regard shortly. The Minister of State appreciates the concerns of parents regarding continuity of service in Conamara and thanks them for their understanding and patience in this regard.
The grant is being sanctioned under Action 2.10 of the Action Plan 2018-2022 for the Irish language.