‘Gaeltacht would disappear’ if 80% cutbacks were imposed

THE Gaeltacht will disappear within five years if proposed Government cutbacks of 80% are implemented, it was warned yesterday.

Organisations from Gaeltacht areas, including Cork and Kerry, have joined forces to oppose the cuts, which would reduce spending through the Department of Gaeltacht Affairs from €149 million, in 2008, to €30m, in 2016.

Gaeltacht community-based co-operatives and local development companies are opposing the cuts. They would be the largest reduction in any government department, according to Gaeltacht co-ops joint committee chairman Gearóid O Brosnacháin.

“The implementation of the key recommendation in both the draft 20-year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Irish Language are central to the future of the Irish language and the future of Gaeltacht communities,” he said. “The Department of Finance estimates are in total conflict with these recommendations. There is little point in talking about a 20-year Irish language strategy if all the state and community institutions in the Gaeltacht are to be closed down,” he said.

The 29 Gaeltacht organisations want funding for the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs to be maintained in the coming years. These community enterprises employ 140 people on a full-time basis and 230 part-time, as well as over 100 people on employment schemes which they administer.

They have an annual turnover of €10m and are active in operating businesses, such as Irish language summer courses, management of airstrips and ferry services, community broadband schemes and cultural tourism projects.

Mr O Brosnacháin, manager of a co-op in the west Kerry Gaeltacht, said they also provide essential social services and facilities to communities, including services to the old and the young.

They also play an important role in promoting the Irish language through language planning schemes, the organisation of cultural events and the implementation of other language development schemes.


Lifestyle

‘Children of the Troubles’ recounts the largely untold story of the lost boys and girls of Northern Ireland, and those who died south of the border, in Britain and as far afield as West Germany, writes Dan Buckley.Loss of lives that had barely begun

With Christmas Day six weeks away tomorrow, preparations are under way in earnest, writes Gráinne McGuinness.Making Cents: Bargains available on Black Friday but buyer beware!

From farming practices in Europe to forest clearances in the Amazon, Liz Bonnin’s new show seeks solutions to some of the damage done by the world’s appetite for meat, writes Gemma Dunn.New show seeks solutions to some of the damage done by the world’s appetite for meat

Louis Mulcahy reads in Cork this weekend for the Winter Warmer fest, writes Colette Sheridan.Wheel turns from pottery to poetry

More From The Irish Examiner