Increase in Irish language services complaints

THE number of complaints made to the Irish Language Commissioner increased by almost half in 2006, according to his latest annual report.

However, Seán Ó Cuirreáin, An Coimisinéir Teanga, does not believe that the rise is due to a decrease or shortcomings in services provided through Irish but to an increase in public awareness of linguistic rights and of the Coimisinéir’s work.

Mr Ó Cuirreáin’s office dealt with 611 new complaints in total from members of the public during 2006, an increase of 47% from the previous year.

Almost a third of these came from Gaeltacht areas (30%) while a further third came from Galway.

The report also reflects an increase of almost 50% in requests from State bodies for advice on language obligations from the Commissioner’s office.

“There is no doubt that if a place and space is to be created for the Irish language, then (State bodies) need to be more proactive in the provision of customer services in Irish,” said Mr Ó Cuirreáin.

For more information, visit www.coimisineir.ie. Complaints can be made or information sought by contacting An Coimisineir Teanga at Lo-call Number: 1890-504-006 or An Coimisinéir Teanga, An Spidéal, Co na Gaillimhe; phone: 091-504006; fax: 091-504036 or email feolas@coimisineir.ie

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