Poor attitude to Irish

Several letters appeared recently in the Irish Examiner about the Irish language. Some referred to the rights of citizens to use Irish when dealing with government offices.

In general, the administrative attitude towards the Irish language is one of indifference. The Department of the Public Service should encourage civil servants to be fluent in Irish. Instead, they recently abolished the 6% bonus marks for competence in Irish in internal competitions for promotion. Before 1990, 10% extra marks were awarded.

The civil service recruits the best brains in the country. Successful applicants require at least a good secondary education. In theory, most civil servants have some knowledge of Irish.

In practice, however, some government agencies have only a minimum number of staff competent to deal with the public through Irish.

Michael Mernagh


Co Cork

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