No takers for Irish version of council plan that cost €30k

A LOCAL authority has failed to sell a single copy of county development plans translated into Irish – at a cost of more than €30,000.

Clare County Council translated the County Development Plan, the North Clare Local Area Plan and East Clare Local Area Plan. Councils are obliged to translate all reports under the Official Languages Act.

The council confirmed that while 190 English language editions were purchased by the public, no Irish copies were purchased.

Green Party councillor Brian Meaney said it was “insane” the council has to spend this money to comply with the act.

“I have located the unsold development plans translated into Irish and they are all at the bottom of a filing cabinet gathering dust in the planning department.

“With the severe financial challenges facing the council, we can no longer afford the luxury of translating official documents into Irish that no one reads.

“The council should challenge the Department of the Environment on the need to translate these documents. The €30,000 would be better spent on promoting the Irish language.

“Spending this money on translating these plans, that no one reads, makes a mockery of the language. If the council is given a choice in the future of spending €10,000 on translating an annual report into Irish or providing €10,000 in grants in improving homes for the elderly or people with disabilities, I know which choice I would make.”

Acting director for planning at the council, Nora Kaye, said documents that set out public policy proposals should be available to the public in Irish and English.

A spokeswoman for Conradh na Gaeilge, the main voluntary community organisation that promotes the Irish language said: “It is very important that the documents are available in Irish as well as English. It is everyone’s right that documents like these are available in Irish.”

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