Minister McHugh calls for Irish speakers to enter recruitment competitions for Civil Service and EU translator posts
Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh T.D., has welcomed the recent increase in the number of job vacancies with a requirement for competency in the Irish language currently available.
A competition for Clerical Officers with Irish for the civil service has been announced by the Public Appointment Service recently. This competition is open to fluent speakers of Irish willing to carry out their work through Irish. The Minister of State has recommended that Irish speaking applicants from all around the country should enter this competition.
The competition for Clerical Officers comes hot on the heels of the EPSO competition for 72 Irish Language Translators in the institutions of the European Union in Brussels and Luxembourg which was launched by the Minister of State recently. It further demonstrates the recent increase in employment opportunities for the Irish speaking community.
With the statutory Gaeltacht language planning process currently underway, over 30 Language Planning Officers will also need to be recruited in the years ahead. The first Language Planning Officer, Micheál Mac Aodh, was appointed in the Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire agus Loch an Iúir Language Planning Area in County Donegal just recently. This increase in employment opportunities for Irish speakers will improve the status of the language, especially among young people who will see that there are and will be opportunities for them to use their language in the work environment and develop careers for themselves using Irish.
In welcoming this positive development, Minister of State McHugh said:
“It is clear that there is a demand for public services in Irish on a par with those available in English. This is in line with the overall objective of the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill currently being drafted which provides for 20% of new recruits to the public service to be Irish speakers, for all offices based in the Gaeltacht to operate through Irish and for public bodies to be in a position to serve the demand for services in Irish from the public. My Department, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is working with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and with the Public Appointments Service with a view to promoting the competition for Clerical Officers which is directed at Irish speakers. It is also expected that other specific competitions for various grades will be run for Irish language speakers in the future, a very positive development for both Irish speakers and for those seeking public services in Irish. My Department is also working closely with the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) in promoting its competition for Irish Language Translators who will play an important part in the European project in the years ahead. I would, therefore, urge people to make themselves aware of the opportunities that are available and to apply for these positions.”
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is already running an awareness campaign aimed at disseminating information regarding these posts among the Irish speaking community. For the past number of years, the Department has been moving proactively to provide a supply of applicants for these positions in Ireland and in the institutions of the European Union. Among the initiatives taken in this regard are:
- The establishment by the Department, in conjunction with the third level sector, of a Centre for Excellence for Irish Language EU careers;
- The investment by the Department of over €1 million annually in Irish language courses under the Advanced Irish language Skills Initiative;
- The running of an awareness campaign in second level schools on the careers websites saoloibre.ie and careersportal.ie;
- The provision of funding to Conradh na Gaeilge to run a road-show in second level schools and 3rd level institutions in order to highlight career opportunities for Irish speakers;
- The distribution of a poster highlighting Irish language careers to second level schools nationwide; and,
- The distribution of information regarding vacant posts to networks of Irish language speakers maintained by the Centre of Excellence for EU Careers and other organisations operating in the sector such as Conradh na Gaeilge, the Kings Inns and publicjobs.ie.
Minister of State McHugh recognises the challenge in sourcing people to apply for these positions but, with the impact of the aforementioned initiatives, he is confident that a sufficient number of Irish speakers will apply.
Note for Editors
Further information on both competitions can be obtained on the following websites:
Clerical Officers: https://www.publicjobs.ie/ Closing Date: 16th August 2018
Irish Language Translators: https://epso.europa.eu/ Closing Date: 4th September 2018