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Coiste na hireann den Bhir Eorpach do

Theangacha Neamhfhorleathana Teoranta

M
M
MORE FACTS ABOUT IRISH

Volume 2

Helen Murch

Copyright text: Helen and Mirtn Murch


Volune 2 Published 2014
Published by:
Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge
46 Srid Chill Dara,
Baile tha Cliath 2.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electrical, mechanical or otherwise,
without first seeking the written permission of the copyright
owners and of the authors and publisher.
Design Production:
Dynamo www.dynamo.ie
Based on an original design by
Atelier David Smith www.atelier.ie
Le maoini Fhoras na Gaeilge
Published with the financial assistance of Foras na Gaeilge

DO CHCH D BHFUIL THOS LEIS AN GCUCHIRI AGUS LEIS AN EASPA FSE


To all who are victims of rationalisation and lack of vision

CONTENTS
Additions to the 2008 edition are highlighted in black.

CONTENTS
FOREWORD
INTRODUCTION
IRELAND: LAND, LANGUAGE, PEOPLE
HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENT 
NO LAND IS WITHOUT ITS HISTORY 

43
43

The Diaspora
43
Tourism43
The Irish in the world 
43
Scientific achievement
48
Ratings49
Changing times, changing focus
51
THE ECONOMY

51

The banking sector


52
The National Recovery Plan 2011-2014
53
EU/ECB/IMF assistance: Programme of Support
53
Analyses of the crisis: repercussions and reports
57
Outcomes61
Social outcomes
61
Citizens reaction
62
Culture as a national asset 
63
LANGUAGE MATTERS AND RECESSION
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

66
66

Two visits
66
Two elections
67
Language and politics
70
20-Year Strategy for Irish
70
Irish pre-General Election 2011
70
General Election 2011 
71
New Coalition Fine Gael/Labour Party
72
Reform73
Coalitions and citizens
74
Language affairs and the new Fine Gael/Labour Coalition
75
Department with responsibility for the language
75
Language and the implications of fiscal problems
76

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Language and Coalition 2011 (Fine Gael/Labour Party)


Towards Recovery: Programme for a National Government 2011-2016
Changes to the 20-Year Strategy for Irish
Reaction to the changes
Presidential Election 2011

76
76
77
79
79

SOCIETY80

Population80
Marriage and birth rate
80
Children and youth
80
Referendum on childrens rights
81
RELIGION81
NO PEOPLE IS WITHOUT ITS MYTHS AND PARTICULAR CULTURE
82

History82
Tradition82
Culture84
Whats in a name?
Celtic origins
The Irish
SYMBOLS OF THE STATE 
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF IRISH

85
85

No language is without its heroes


STILL A REPUBLIC?

1. THE IRISH LANGUAGE


HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
STATUS

Affinities and name


Social and political history
Records and varieties
Modern spoken and written varieties
Modern literature

More Facts About Irish

86

2. THE PRESENT
LANGUAGE COMMUNITY
TERRITORIALITY AND PERSONALITY

89

DEMOGRAPHIC ASPECTS

89

ABILITY IN IRISH
An Ghaeltacht 1996-2006

89

ABILITY AND SURVEYS

Survey conducted by Comhar na Minteoir Gaeilge and other language


organisations (organisation for teachers of Irish)
Survey by Ireach
CENSUSES 2006 (ROI) AND 2001 (NI)

89

89
90
91

Language and occupational status: Linguistic litism in the Irish labour market 91
CENSUS 2011: NUMBERS OF SPEAKERS

92

CONTEXT92

Census 2011: Consequences of migration patterns

93

RESULTS94

General94
Irish language
94
CENSUS 2011: ABILITY IN IRISH IN THE GAELTACHT 

95

SUMMARY ON ABILITY: CENSUSES 1851-2006


SUMMARY ON ABILITY IN IRISH IN THE GENERAL POPULATION:
CENSUSES 1851-2011

97

CENSUS 2011: USE OF IRISH

97

USE OF IRISH 1991-2002


Changes in competence
Census 1996: Use of Irish
Census 2002: Use of Irish
Use of Irish among preschool children 2002
CHANGES IN THE INTERCENSAL PERIOD 2002-2006
Immigration and its effects
Effects: Entry requirements for An Garda Sochna and Army
The organisation iMeasc
Language
Surveys
Attitudes
Ability
Use
An Ghaeltacht
Preliminary population returns

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CENSUS 2006: USE OF IRISH


Ability and use of Irish in the State 2006
Ability and use of Irish in the Gaeltacht 2006
Ability and use of Irish outside the Gaeltacht 2006
Ability and use of Irish in various locations in the State 2006
Use of Irish among preschool children 2006
Ability and use of Irish among certain ethnic/cultural groups
SUMMARY ON USE: CENSUSES 2006 AND 2011

99

USE OF IRISH IN THE GAELTACHT 2011


SUMMARY OF ABILITY AND DAILY USE IN THE GAELTACHT 2011

100

ABILITY AND USE IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN THE STATE 2011

102

ATTITUDES: REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 


Attitudes: Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI)
All-Ireland Omnibus Survey 2000
Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (NI) research 2001
Evaluation of language courses for civil servants (NI)

106

THE IRISH LANGUAGE AND THE IRISH PEOPLE 


EMANCIPATION OF THE TRAVELLING PEOPLE 
CARLOW IRISH LANGUAGE RESEARCH GROUP (GRPA TAIGHDE AR AN NGAEILGE
I GCEATHARLACH): PEOPLES EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS ON THE IRISH
LANGUAGE IN CARLOW 2010
SURVEY ON IRISH IN EDUCATION CONDUCTED BY COMHAR NA MINTEOIR GAEILGE
AND OTHER LANGUAGE ORGANISATIONS (ORGANISATION FOR TEACHERS OF IRISH)
SURVEY ON EDUCATION CONDUCTED BY DIL NA NG (YOUTH PARLIAMENT)
SURVEY CONDUCTED BY MILLWARD BROWN LANSDOWNE FOR THE
IRISH INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER 
IPSOS MRBI 50TH ANNIVERSARY SURVEY REPORT NOVEMBER 2012
TAKE CHARGE OF CHANGE DECLARATION NOVEMBER 2012 

AN GHAELTACHT
Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht
Decline and remedy: Family and community
DECLINE AND REMEDY: SCIM LABHAIRT NA GAEILGE 

106
107

108
108
110
111
112
113

113

113

From Scim to Clr120


DECLINE AND REMEDY: EDUCATION

121

Preschool121
Primary school
121
Colist Samhraidh (Summer Colleges)
123
Adult education
123
Decline and remedy: The school
DECLINE AND REMEDY: THE FAMILY
DECLINE AND REMEDY: YOUTH 
DECLINE AND REMEDY: LANGUAGE PLANNING AND THE COMMUNITY 
DECLINE AND REMEDY: COMMUNITY AND OFFICIAL INITIATIVES 

Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta


(MFG, Gaeltacht Development Working Group)
Fram agus Coimisin na Gaeltachta
5

More Facts About Irish

123
124
124
125

125

Fram na Gaeltachta
Coimisin na Gaeltachta
Recommendations
Decline and remedy: State agencies in the Gaeltacht
Decline and remedy: Commissioned report on the Gaeltacht
Findings
Recommendations
Definition of Gaeltacht boundaries
Criteria for Gaeltacht status
Outcomes of proposals on criteria for Gaeltacht status
Towards criteria
PHYSICAL PLANNING IN THE GAELTACHT126

The Planning and Development Act 2000


Planning issues in the Gaeltacht
Language organisations and planning issues
An Bord Pleanla
Conditions and implementation
DECLINE AND REMEDY: PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE
2010-2030 (STRAITIS 20 BLIAIN DON GHAEILGE 2010-2030) 
126

Context 
The school
Language planning and the community 
Definition of Gaeltacht boundaries 
Towards criteria
Physical planning in the Gaeltacht 
COALITION 2011 (FINE GAEL/LABOUR): CHANGES TO THE DRAFT STRATEGY

126
126
127
127
127
127
127

New definition of the Gaeltacht128


BILLE GAELTACHTA 2012 (GAELTACHT BILL)

General Context
Priseas Pleanla Teanga (Language Planning Process)
Political context
Content of the Gaeltacht Act 2012
Language planning criteria
Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas
Gaeltacht Service Towns
Irish Language Networks
dars na Gaeltachta
Points of criticism
Points welcomed 
DECISIONS ON PLANNING AREAS AND CRITERIA

SUMMARY ON COMPETENCE AND USE

128

128
128
130
130
130
130
131
131
131
132
133
133

134

ABILITY134

In the State
134
In the Gaeltacht134
USE135

In the State
135
In the Gaeltacht135

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3. CONSTITUTIONAL,
LEGAL and ADMINISTRATIVE
PROVISION for IRISH
POLICIES OF REVERSAL

137

CONSTITUTION137

Referenda137
Constitutional Convention
137
LEGISLATION AND TRANSLATION

138

Court rulings on the translation of legislation and associated documents 


138
Government response to Court rulings
139
An Bille um an Dl Sibhialta (Forlacha Ilghnitheacha), Civil Law
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2011
139
Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill 2012
140
Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2011: Logainmneacha
(Placenames)141
Other legal matters
141
Bille Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Bill)
142
Other legislation proposed for 2012
142
Lr-Aonad Aistrichin (Central Translation Unit)
143
Publications144
Interpretation144
REVIEW OF THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT 2003

Changes to the Office of An Coimisinir


NON-LANGUAGE SPECIFIC LEGISLATION

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT


Linguistic rights of citizens
Evolution of the Act
Coimisinir na dTeangacha Oifigila
REPORTS OF AN COIMISINIR TEANGA

144

146
148

148

148

Inaugural Report 2004


Annual Report 2005
Annual Report 2006
Annual Reports 2008 2010
148
Complaints149
Compliance Monitoring and Audits
150
Monitoring of telephone service
150
Monitoring of recommendations of investigations
150
Monitoring of compliance with the regulations issued on stationery 
151
Monitoring of the draft development plans and development plans
of local authorities
151
Monitoring of annual reports and audited accounts/financial
statements of bodies
151
Investigations151

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Language Schemes
151
Reports to the Houses of the Oireachtas152
Annual Report 2011
153
Context153
Investigations153
Complaints154
Language Schemes
154
Merger 
154
PROGRESS OR NOT?

THE LEGISLATURE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION


HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS AND GOVERNMENT
GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR LANGUAGE AFFAIRS

154

156
156
157

Context157
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS, HERITAGE AND THE GAELTACHT (2011)158

Functions158
Language, schemes and funding
159
Gaeltacht160
Grant-aid to third-level institutions
161
Some examples of grant-funding 2012
162
Budget 2013 
163
LOCATION OF BROADCASTING AND OTHER CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

163

SUMMARY ON LEGISLATIVE AND STRUCTURAL PROVISION (TO 2007)


DARS NA GAELTACHTA (GAELTACHT AUTHORITY)
Background and composition
Powers, functions and recommendations
New directions
Funding
FORAS NA GAEILGE
Background and composition
Foras na Gaeilge: Political context and funding of language
organisations and initiatives
Functions of Foras na Gaeilge
Funding of Foras na Gaeilge
Funding by Foras na Gaeilge
Foras na Gaeilge and planning for the language
STRUCTURAL PROPOSALS 2009-2011
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY, RURAL AND GAELTACHT AFFAIRS TO
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS, HERITAGE AND THE GAELTACHT VIA SPORT, TOURISM 

165
165

Departmental arrangements having implications for Irish language affairs


166
Funding of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht167
DARS NA GAELTACHTA TO DARS NA GAEILGE
(TO DARS NA GAEILGE/NA GAELTACHTA TO DARS NA GAELTACHTA)

167

Context167
Tumultuous times: 2009-2011
168

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Current status (end 2012)


Appointment of Chief Executive
Grants and employment 
Community and language 
Reaction to the changes in the rle of dars na Gaeltachta
FORAS NA GAEILGE 

169
170
170
171
171
172

Context172
An Foras Teanga and the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC)
172
Funding and Foras na Gaeilge
173
Funding of Foras na Gaeilge (FNG)
173
Funding by Foras na Gaeilge
175
New Funding Model and Schemes
176
STRUCTURES AS PROPOSED IN THE FIONTAR (DCU)
REPORT ON 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 
STRUCTURES AS PROPOSED IN THE DRAFT
20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 
STRUCTURES AS PROPOSED IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY
FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 (FINAL, DECEMBER 2010) 
STRUCTURES AS DECIDED IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY
FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030: CHANGES (FINAL, 3 JUNE 2011) 

Reaction to the June 2011 changes


Further developments October 2011
STRUCTURES AND ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY
(2 NOVEMBER 2011)
OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE MEETINGS ON THE STRATEGY AND RELATED MATTERS
(MARCH 2014)

176
176
177
178

179
179
180
180

SUMMARY ON LEGISLATIVE AND STRUCTURAL PROVISION (2007 ONWARD)

180

LEGAL SYSTEM, POLICE AND DEFENCE

181

LEGAL SYSTEM: COMPETENCE AND SERVICE IN IRISH

Training and translation


Terminology
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR
THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030: RSUM
AN GARDA SOCHNA (POLICE)
GLAIGH NA HIREANN (DEFENCE FORCES)

PLANNING FOR A BILINGUAL PUBLIC SERVICE


HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030
OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS ON A BILINGUAL PUBLIC SERVICE
IN THE FIONTAR REPORT 

Strategic policy requirement 


Language advocates (tathantir teanga) or mentors
GAELEAGRAS NA SEIRBHSE POIBL
TECHNOLOGY AND PUBLIC SERVICE

181

181

181
182
183

184
184
185
185

185
185
185
187

Postcodes187

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IRISH LANGUAGE OFFICERS, SCHEMES AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE

Government Departments
Public Bodies
Third-level institutions
Local authorities
Health Services
Training for Irish Language Officers 
Evidence of language planning through official structures
Other State-established cultural agencies
CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

STATE LANGUAGE PLANNING IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM


State-initiated committees to advise on planning
Government Statement on the Irish Language, 19 December 2006
20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 

188

188
188
189
189
189
190
190

190

190

Background 
190
Comparison 
191
The Fiontar (DCU) Report 
191
The Government (Draft) Strategy 
192
Criticism of the Draft Strategy 
193
Planned legislation arising out of the Draft Strategy
194
Domestic194
Bille Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Bill)
194
EU legislation
194
FINE GAEL/LABOUR COALITION AND LANGUAGE POLICY

194

LOGAINMNEACHA (PLACENAMES)
History and background

195

AN DAINGEAN AND RELATED ISSUES

Research funding for placenames


IRISH IN THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU)
Background 1972
EU regulations
Ireland and the Irish language
Background 1986 1998
Status of Irish in Europe
Enhanced status sought for Irish in Europe
Background 1998 2003
Status of Irish in Europe on the political agenda
2003 onwards
The action group STDAS
Government decision
Next steps
Public and political reaction

10

More Facts About Irish

195

OFFICIAL STATUS OF IRISH IN THE EU: PRACTICAL OUTCOMES


In Europe
Practical outcomes for the Irish State
Language competencies
Other concerns
First of January 2007 and since
20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 

The Strategy and practical outcomes for the Irish State 


Irish in the EU and ICT research
FIONTAR REPORT
SOME CRITICISMS AND DEVELOPMENTS

Application of the derogation


Job opportunities
TRAINING COURSES FOR LANGUAGE COMPETENCIES

198

198

198
198
198
198

198
199
200

Ireland and Europe


CORPUS PLANNING
History and background
Dictionary provision
1904 1999
2000 2008
CORPUS PLANNING: DICTIONARY PROVISION
DICTIONARY PROVISION 2008 2011
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 

Dictionary provision
Foras na Gaeilge: Foclir Barla-Gaeilge (English-Irish Dictionary)
RIA DICTIONARY INITIATIVES

Dictionary of the Irish Language (1913 1976)


Foclir na Nua-Ghaeilge (FNG, Dictionary of Modern Irish)

200
200
200

200
200
201

201
201

SCHOOL OF CELTIC STUDIES

SUMMARY ON DICTIONARY PROVISION


CORPUS PLANNING script, orthography, grammar, standard and related issues: Evolution
and promulgation
Script
Orthography
Grammar
Spoken standard
Simplification
Terminology and its promulgation
Translation and interpretation
Literature in translation
An Gm
DEVELOPMENTS IN CORPUS PLANNING 
TRANSLATION 

Lr-Aonad Aistrichin (Central Translation Unit) and related matters


ISSUES OF STANDARD, GRAMMAR, MORPHO-PHONOLOGY AND SIMPLIFICATION

Official standard
TERMINOLOGY 
11

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202
202

202
203

203
204

FUNDING FOR IRISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE 


LANGUAGE AND THE ECONOMY 2007 ONWARDS

205
205

Context and background 


205
Budgets, programmes and plans 
205
Budget 2009 (14 October 2008)
206
Some examples of the practical outcomes of Budget 2009
on State-funded bodies
206
Citizens rights
206
Instances of public debate 
207
Supplementary Budget 2009 (April 2009)
208
Budget 2010 (December 2009)
209
Infrastructure Investment Priorities Programme 2010-2016 (July 2010) 210
The National Recovery Plan 2011 2014 (November 2010)
210
Budget 2011 (December 2010 onwards)
211
Preparations for Budget 2012
214
Budget 2012 and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (D/AHG)214
Report on the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure (CRE):
D/AHG Submission and CRE Allocations 2012-2014 
214
Departmental figures early 2012
216
Revised Estimates for Public Services 2012 (23 February 2012)
218
Budget 2013 and D/AHG 
223
Budget 2014
223
Budgets, recessionary times and Foras na Gaeilge
224
ADVISORY GROUP REPORTS

224

The Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes


and subsequent McCarthy Report An Bord Snip Nua (July 2009)
224
An Bord Snip Nua and the Irish language
225
Department with responsibility for Language Affairs
225
Foras na Gaeilge
226
Education227
Broadcasting227
State commercial bodies
227
The Active Citizenship Office
227
The Local Government Efficiency Review Group 
227
Implications for language 
228
The Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities (July 2010) 
228
Implications for language 
230
Government decisions
231
Non-commercial State agencies
232
EFFECTS OF CHANGES IN THE ECONOMY ON THE GRANT-AIDED
VOLUNTARY SECTOR FOR IRISH
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT: THE WIDER VOLUNTARY SECTOR
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE, SNIP REPORT AND THE WIDER VOLUNTARY
SECTOR: RATIONALE
FINE GAEL/LABOUR PARTY COALITION AND THE WIDER VOLUNTARY SECTOR
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE GRANT-AIDED VOLUNTARY SECTOR 
THE IRISH LANGUAGE SECTOR: DEFINITIONS

12

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233
233
234
235
236
236

THE IRISH LANGUAGE VOLUNTARY SECTOR

Background and context: The Department


NORTH SOUTH BODIES UNDER THE AEGIS OF THE (THEN)
DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITY, EQUALITY AND GAELTACHT AFFAIRS:
UISCEBHEALA IREANN (WATERWAYS IRELAND)
20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 

Practical arrangements: Resources

237

237
237
238

238

A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT FOR IRISH LANGUAGE CORE-FUNDED


ORGANISATIONS: RSUM 

238

CONTEXT AND CHANGE


RSUM: FORAS NA GAEILGE (FNG)
RSUM: THE CORE-FUNDED VOLUNTARY SECTOR OF 19 ORGANISATIONS

238
238
242

Lobbying and third consultation


New Funding Model Mark II: The Way Forward
CONTEXTUAL DEVELOPMENTS JUNE 2011-JUNE 2012

243
243
245

The legal position


245
The political position
246
Consultations conducted by FNG
246
Outcomes248
The Sector
248
North South Ministerial Council
248
NI Assembly resolution and debate
249
Dil ireann
252
Oireachtas Joint Committee
253
Council of Europe (2011-2012)
253
Media254
DEVELOPMENTS JUNE 2012 TO END 2013 
254
CONCLUSIONS256

FUNDING: THE CORE-FUNDED IRISH LANGUAGE VOLUNTARY SECTOR


AND FORAS NA GAEILGE

258

CONTEXT 
258
COSTS258
FUNDING OF THE CORE-FUNDED SECTOR 2009 ONWARDS 
259
RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE GRANTS COMMITTEE (MARCH 2010)
259
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE GRANTS COMMITTEE (JUNE 2010)
261
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE GRANTS COMMITTEE (MAY 2011)
262
20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 
264

Practical arrangements: Resources


THE IRISH LANGUAGE VOLUNTARY SECTOR: SOME EFFORTS AT SELF-FINANCING 

SUMMARY ON THE STATES EVOLVING PROVISIONS FOR IRISH 


INTEGRATED LANGUAGE PLANNING OR MANAGEMENT 
IDEOLOGY 

13

More Facts About Irish

264
264

265
265
265

3. APPENDIX
A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT FOR IRISH LANGUAGE CORE-FUNDED
ORGANISATIONS: DETAILS 

268

CONTEXT268
THE NORTH/SOUTH BODIES UNDER THE AEGIS OF THE (THEN) DEPARTMENT FOR
COMMUNITY, EQUALITY AND GAELTACHT AFFAIRS
268
DETAILS: FORAS NA GAEILGE (FNG)268

Beginning of a process: FNG Board Minutes 2007 & 2009 strategic aims and funding priorities
268
Reports from FNG and consequent NSMC decisions:
Review of the core-funded Sector
269
Reports from FNG and consequent NSMC decisions: Reconfiguration
270
FNG Board Minutes 2010: rationalisation and new funding model
271
Reports from FNG and consequent NSMC decisions:
New Funding Model [Mark I] based on Schemes
271
Steps in a process: FNG 2008-2010272
Steps in a process: NSMC November 2010
274
Public consultations and information on schemes 2010 to 2011 
274
Continuing steps in a process: NSMC 2011-2012 
276
Public consultation 2011-2012
277
Context277
Arrangements278
Information on schemes
280
Funding and staffing
280
Draft Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA)
281
Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA)
281
Preparation of business case for FNG New Funding Model
through schemes
282
FNG and strategic priorities 2005 2011
282
Schemes and comparisons
284
New Funding Model (Mark II)
285
FNG: possible rationale for schemes
287
Possibilities other than the FNG schemes/themes 
288
DETAILS: RESPONSE OF THE CORE-FUNDED VOLUNTARY SECTOR 

288

Review by FNG; Report by the Sector 


289
Discussion documents from the Sector to FNG290
I dTreo na Fse [In translation from the online version in Irish]
290
Athstruchtr na nEagraochta Bunmhaoinithe
(Restructuring of the Core-funded Sector)
291
An Fram Comhphleanla (Joint Planning Forum)
291
Demands of the Sector 
292
Schemes and funding: views of the Sector 
292
Joint change management structure 
293
Lobbying leading to third consultation 
294
New Funding Model Mark II: The Way Forward
294

14

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4. ACQUISITION PLANNING:
EDUCATION
IRISH EDUCATION IN CONTEXT

298

GENERAL CONTEXT 2007-2012


298
LEGISLATION298

Vocational Education sector


Future Development of the Further Education and Training (FET) sector 
The Education (Amendment) Bill 2012 

298
300
301

STATISTICS302
STATE EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION
303
IRISH LANGUAGE CONTEXT 2007-2011
304

Research publications on Irish 

305

ACQUISITION PLANNING THROUGH EDUCATION

305

PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030: RSUM 

305

Context 
305
Preschool education 
305
Primary education 
305
Post-primary education 
306
National assessment 
306
Primary306
Post-primary306
Teacher education
306
Mainstream Primary 
306
- a new Gaeltacht scholarship scheme.Irish-medium
Primary and Post-primary
306
Support system 
306
General306
Irish-medium 
307
Links to use of Irish out of school
307
Third-level education
307
General307
Irish-medium 
307
Academic307
Abroad307
Adult education
307
FIONTAR REPORT: ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS 

Department of Education and Science (DES) [now Education and Skills]


An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaochta (COGG)
20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030
SOME ADDITIONAL PROPOSALS 

Context 
Aims 
Proposals 

15

More Facts About Irish

307

307
307
308

308
308
308

POLICY CHANGES IN DIFFERENT AREAS 2007-2012 


THE CROKE PARK AGREEMENT
EDUCATION REFORMS 2010

308
308
309

General309
Irish language
309
EDUCATION REFORMS 2011

General 
Irish language
References to Irish 
Changes to the 20-Year Strategy for Irish
New definition of the Gaeltacht
dars na Gaeltachta
CURRICULUM AND STUDENTS
COMPULSORY IRISH
ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW POLICIES

310

310
310
312
312
312
312
313
313
313

New national policy on literacy and numeracy


313
Junior Cycle
313
Syllabuses314
System and legislative policies
314
CURRICULA314

Junior Certificate (JC) 2007 onwards


Junior Certificate to National Certificate of Junior Cycle Education 2011 
Irish in the National Certificate of Junior Cycle Education 
Leaving Certificate Irish 2007 and 2010
Meitheal Ghaeilge ATAL (LC Higher Level Irish Working Group/Party)
Review of the Senior Cycle
Reviews and schools abroad
The Leaving Certificate, the points system and entry to third level 
Other proposals on curricula and forms of assessment
Irish and curricular reviews 
Syllabus for Irish at third level
IRISH AT PRIMARY LEVEL
LITERACY THROUGHOUT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM

Some issues of context


Evidence of slippage in literacy skills 
National assessments
International assessment from the OECD: Programme
for International Student Assessment (PISA) of reading,
maths and science, December 2010 
International assessment from the OECD: Programme
for International Student Assessment (PISA) of digital literacy,
Students on Line, June 2011
International survey on civic and citizenship education and on languages
Responses to the PISA results
International EU study
PIRLS and TIMSS: International reports on pupil achievement
International assessment from the OECD:
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) of
reading, maths and science, December 2013
Implications for Irish 
16

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314
315
316
316
317
318
318
319
319
319
320
320
320

320
320
320
321
321
322
322
322
323
324
324

NEW NATIONAL POLICY ON LITERACY AND NUMERACY


IRISH AND THE NATIONAL STRATEGY ON LITERACY AND NUMERACY 2011-2020

324
326

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)


326
Teacher education
326
Curriculum327
Primary curriculum
327
Post-primary: Junior Cycle
328
Post-primary: Senior Cycle
329
Assessment329
Other proposals
330
Summer literacy camps
330
Literacy in English in gaelscoileanna330
IRISH AT POST-PRIMARY LEVEL
Statistics on students studying Irish
The current situation at Post-primary level

330

OPTIONAL IRISH FOR LEAVING CERTIFICATE (LC)


330
SURVEY ON IRISH IN EDUCATION CONDUCTED BY COMHAR NA MINTEOIR GAEILGE AND
OTHER LANGUAGE ORGANISATIONS (ORGANISATION FOR TEACHERS OF IRISH)
331
SURVEY ON EDUCATION CONDUCTED BY DIL NA NG (YOUTH PARLIAMENT)
332
SURVEY CONDUCTED BY MILLWARD BROWN LANSDOWNE FOR THE IRISH INDEPENDENT
NEWSPAPER 
334
FINE GAEL POLICY IN COALITION 2011
334

Counter-arguments
IRISH AND THIRD LEVEL: CURRENT SITUATION
335
EXEMPTIONS336

Context336
Exempted students studying other languages in addition to English
338
Exemptions granted 2007-2011
340
A way forward?
342
Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne
342
Special courses at Senior Cycle
343
Current official policy (early 2012)
344
IRISH AND THE STATE EXAMINATIONS
PRIMARY LEVEL

345
345

Assessment345
POST-PRIMARY LEVEL

346

Conduct of state examinations


346
Examinations: candidate numbers 346
Leaving Certificate (LC) applicant numbers and courses
Appeals and regradings
Appeals, regradings and languages offered for the
Leaving Certificate examination
347
Irish and examinations
Categories of programmes and students
Irish language assessment and certification
Languages offered for Leaving Certificate examination
STATISTICS ON NUMBERS TAKING IRISH IN STATE EXAMINATIONS

Leaving Certificate (LC)


Junior Certificate (JC)
17

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348

348
350

IRISH AND CERTIFICATE EXAMINATIONS RESULTS

Leaving Certificate
Junior Certificate
JC optional school-based oral examination 
LEVELS, GRADES AND GENDER 

Leaving Certificate
Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA, since 1995)
Junior Certificate
IRISH-MEDIUM EDUCATION
STATE INITIATIVES

352

353
354
355
356

356
358
359
360
360

Literacy and teaching English in gaelscoileanna360


Research on literacy 2012
361
School accommodation policies 
361
Evolution of current policy
361
Increased pupil teacher ratio and closure of small schools 
362
Other measures of concern
363
Recent research
363
VOLUNTARY SUPPORT AGENCIES

364

POLICY AND STATISTICS AT 2012 

364

NAONRA PRESCHOOL PROVISION

General context
Gaeltacht Naonra
Policy issues for Gaeltacht preschool provision
Development in the Gaeltacht sector
Naonra outside the Gaeltacht
Policy issues for preschool provision outside the Gaeltacht
Development in the sector outside the Gaeltacht
OVERALL DEVELOPMENT IN THE NAONRA SECTOR 
GAELSCOILEANNA PRIMARY AND POST-PRIMARY PROVISION

General context
Internal policy issues

364

364
365
365
366
366
366
367
367
368

368
368

DEVELOPMENT368

Statistics368
Research372
POLICY AND SOME CURRENT CONCERNS/ACTIVITIES

Three areas of activity


The gaelscoil and the local parish
Statistics 2003 2004
Irish-medium education outside the Gaeltacht 2005 2006
Gaeltacht Naonra 2006 2007
Naonra outside Gaeltacht areas 2006 2007
Policy
Gaelscoileanna 2006 2007

18

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372

372
373

NORTH/SOUTH COLLABORATION

North/South Committee on teacher education in the Irish-medium sector


North/South Standing Committee on Irish-medium education
Joint Policy 
NI Review of Irish-medium Education, October 2008
GAELSCOILEANNA AND FORMS OF PATRONAGE

Effects of Gaelscoileanna: Domestic and European


IRISH-MEDIUM EDUCATION IN THE GAELTACHT 

373

373
373
373
374
374

375
375

General context
375
Statistics376
IRISH-MEDIUM AND BILINGUAL EDUCATION: OVERVIEW
Primary education: Statistics and trends, continuum from Irish as curricular area to
Irish as medium of instruction
Post-primary education: Statistics and trends, continuum from Irish as curricular
area to Irish as medium of instruction
Development in the Gaelscoil sector
Current concerns
Linguistic policy statement
BILINGUAL EDUCATION: OVERVIEW 1976-2011

378

RESEARCH SUPPORT SYSTEM

379

GENERAL RESEARCH

379

Irish-medium sector
379
Irish language teaching and learning in schools
379
Primary379
Post-primary380
International 
380
General Overview 
381
IRISH AND MATHEMATICS IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL: RESEARCH RESULTS
AN CHOMHAIRLE UM OIDEACHAS GAELTACHTA IS GAELSCOLAOCHTA (COGG)

Campaign Supporting COGG (August, 2009)


Lobby against recommendations of An Bord SNIP Nua
to discontinue COGG
Materials from COGG
Current situation
Campaign Supporting COGG (December 2011) and decision
November 2012
Research on beginning or emergent literacy in Irish-medium schools
Research on the learning support system available for Irish-medium education
Research on Irish-medium education in the Gaeltacht

381
381

382
382
383
383
384

SUMMARY ON RESEARCH RESULTS

385

SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE IN EDUCATION

385

OFFICIAL SUPPORT FOR IRISH IN SCHOOLS: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SKILLS


(DES)385

Primary and Post-primary


OFFICIAL SUPPORT FOR IRISH IN SCHOOLS: FORAS NA GAEILGE

Official support for Irish in schools: Department of Community, Rural and


Gaeltacht Affairs (D/CRGA)
19

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385
385

OFFICIAL SUPPORT FOR IRISH IN SCHOOLS: ICT


(INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY) AND IRISH

SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR IRISH-MEDIUM EDUCATION


Structures: voluntary
Structures: statutory
Structures: Gaeltacht
Voluntary structure for teachers of Irish
A designated Education Centre
STRUCTURES AND A DESIGNATED EDUCATION CENTRE
RESOURCES AND MATERIALS
LEARNING SUPPORT AND SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES
SPECIAL ALLOWANCES IN THE IRISH-MEDIUM SECTOR

TEACHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING


CURRENT SITUATION
EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION (ECCE): CECDE AND NCCA

385

386

386
386
387
388
388

388
388
389

Context389
The Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education (CECDE)
389
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)
390
NEW NATIONAL POLICY ON LITERACY AND NUMERACY: TEACHER EDUCATION
AND THE NATIONAL STRATEGY ON LITERACY AND NUMERACY 2011-2020

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)


The National Strategy and Teacher Education
TEACHER EDUCATION

390

390
391
391

Context391
Primary
Irish: Requirements and practice
Postgraduate qualifications
Scrd Cilochta sa Ghaeilge (SCG: Qualifying examination in Irish)
Evolution of the qualification
Northern Ireland and the SCG
Gender and primary education
Teacher education through the medium of Irish: Primary sector
Teacher education and training: Post-primary
Competence in Irish and teachers at second level
Inservice
An Chomhairle Mhinteoireachta (The Teaching Council)
392
Strategy for the Review and Accreditation of [Existing]
Programmes of Initial Teacher Education
392
Reviews of primary teacher education programmes
392
Re-titling of postgraduate programmes 
394
Policy on the Continuum of Teacher Education (June 2011)
394
Initial Teacher Education: Criteria and Guidelines for
Programme Providers (June 2011)
394
Further Education: General and Programme Requirements for the
Accreditation of Teacher Education Qualifications
396
Induction and Probation
396
The Irish language requirement (ILR), registration and probation
396
Probation and Post-Primary Teachers
398
20

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POINTS REQUIRED FOR ENTRY TO TEACHER EDUCATION

Primary 2009-2012
Early Childhood Education (and Care)
Post-Primary 2009-2012
Hibernia College
Gaeltacht courses
REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW PANEL ON THE STRUCTURE
OF INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION PROVISION IN IRELAND (JULY 2012)

Recommendations of the Review Panel


The Review of Teacher Education structures and Irish
TEACHER EDUCATION ENTRY CRITERIA

IRISH AS ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE AT THIRD LEVEL


INSTITUTIONS AND COURSES

Syllabus for Irish at third level


TERTIARY EDUCATION

398

398
399
400
402
402
402

404
405
407

407
407

408
409

Some issues of context


409
The Hunt Report/The Strategy for Higher Education
410
The Van Vught report on higher education
412
Irish Universities Association (IUA) proposals on possible re-organisation
at third level
413
HEA draft proposals 2013
413
DEBATE ON ENTRY MODES TO HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY

416

Expansion416
The points system
417
Grade inflation
417
Policy options for third-level entry
417
Joint HEA/NCCA proposals to the Minister
419
University presidents, the points system and report to the Minister
419
IRISH AND THIRD-LEVEL ENTRY
420
RANKINGS420

Investment in research
CURRENT ARGUMENTS FOR IRISH IN THE THIRD-LEVEL SECTOR
Background
MATRICULATION REQUIREMENTS AND THE IRISH LANGUAGE
IRISH AS ENTRY REQUIREMENT TO THIRD-LEVEL COURSES
IRISH AS MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN HIGHER EDUCATION

421
422
422
422
422

Coliste na hireann (sic)

428

HIGHER EDUCATION AUTHORITY (HEA)

428

AN IRISH-MEDIUM UNIVERSITY AND SUPPORT SYSTEM


History and background
Issues
University College Galway Amendment Act 2006: The language qualification
Acadamh na hOllscolaochta Gaeilge, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG)
Fiontar, Dublin City University (DCU)
Third-Level provision in the Gaeltacht
Funding and lack of strategic planning

21

More Facts About Irish

SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR IRISH AT THIRD LEVEL: SCHOLARSHIPS,


BURSARIES, ACCOMMODATION AND STUDENT ORGANISATIONS
CURRENT PROVISION
THIRD-LEVEL SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME (DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SKILLS)
OIFIGIGH AGUS CUMAINN GHAEILGE (IRISH LANGUAGE OFFICERS AND ORGANISATIONS)

428
428
429
429

Gaeltacht resident students


Students in Irish-medium education outside the Gaeltacht
Campus support
Student activity
ADULT AND CONTINUING EDUCATION

430

GENERAL430

ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

430

GENERAL430
COLIST SAMHRAIDH (SUMMER COLLEGES)
430
TRAINEE TEACHERS
431
GAELTACHT432

IRISH AND THE DIASPORA

432

GLOBAL432
UK432
USA432
CANADA433
EUROPE433
OTHER433
FUNDING433
ASSESSMENT435

Permanent Gaeltacht project


Europe
IMMIGRANT DIASPORA IN IRELAND

ACQUISITION PLANNING THROUGH FAMILY TRANSMISSION


AND IRISH IN COMMUNITY LIFE
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030

435

436
436

Context436
Aims436
Proposals436
SUMMARY ON IRISH IN EDUCATION 2007-2012
Irish in school
Teacher education
Education and the Irish-medium sector
Irish at Third Level
An Irish-medium university
Conclusion
SUMMARY ON IRISH IN EDUCATION 2007 ONWARD
TABLES

22

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437

5. STATUS PLANNING
TELEVISION, RADIO, FILM, MULTI-MEDIA PRODUCTION

440

CONTEXT440
LEGISLATION: DOMESTIC
441

Broadcasting Act 2009


441
Irish and the Broadcasting Act 2009
442
BAI442
TG4442
Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 67 of 2011
442
Legislation: International
NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND THE IRISH LANGUAGE
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030:
TELEVISION, RADIO, FILM

442
443

General443
RT Raidi na Gaeltachta
443
Youth radio
443
TG4443
The independent production sector
443
DARS CRAOLACHIN NA HIREANN (BROADCASTING AUTHORITY OF IRELAND - BAI) 443

The BAI and Irish


The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) and Irish
Committee and Co-ordinator for Irish
Support schemes for radio broadcasters
Training, awards and publications
FUNDING CONTEXT
TELEVISION: PUBLIC SERVICE NATIONAL BROADCASTER

444

445
446

Background446
An Bealach ar Aghaidh (The Way Forward), A Proposed Strategy for
RTs Irish Language Output
447
TELEVISION: TG4449

Television: TG4 history, background and current status


TG4 and commissioning from independent production companies
TELEVISION: THE INDEPENDENT SECTOR
COMMUNITY TELEVISION

450
450

Youth and television


RADIO: PUBLIC SERVICE NATIONAL BROADCASTER
450
RT450

Raidi na Gaeltachta (RnaG)

COMMUNITY AND INDEPENDENT RADIO SECTOR: RAIDI NA LIFE AND OTHERS

Raidi na Life
Community and independent radio sector
Global listening
YOUTH BROADCASTING: RADIO

Raidi R-R
Demands and decisions
Research
Result
Publications on broadcasting

23

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450
452

452
452
452
452

452

453

FILM453

Awards: Television
AWARDS: RADIO
MULTI-MEDIA PRODUCTION AND THE INTERNET 
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030:
MULTI-MEDIA PRODUCTION 

Multi-media production, publishing and the development of language skills


Information and Communication Technology
Irish in the EU and ICT research
SUMMARY ON THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA

454
454
456

456
456
456
457

PUBLISHING457
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030:
PUBLISHING457

Rsum 
Newspapers and news sources
Newspapers: Foinse and L Nua
FUNDING BY FORAS NA GAEILGE

457
457
458

Awards by Irish-language print media


ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRESS
459
MAGAZINES/JOURNALS/REVUES460
LOCAL GAELTACHT NEWSLETTERS AND REVIEWS
461

LITERARY AND PUBLISHING ACTIVITY

461

POLICY461

Discussion and debate


461
Research462
Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge (2007)
462
Foras na Gaeilge (2011 - 2012)
463
IS 
BORD NA LEABHAR GAEILGE(BLG) TO CLR NA LEABHAR GAEILGE 

Context 
Funding for publishers
Scim na gCoimisin (Commissions Scheme)
Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge (BLG)
Publishing activity
Grant-aid
Publishing policy
Publishing for youth
LITERARY TRANSLATION IL/IRELAND LITERATURE EXCHANGE
(IDIRMHALARTN LITROCHT IREANN)

Translation from English


OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR PUBLISHING IN IRISH
SCHOOL OF CELTIC STUDIES AND AN GM

464
464

464
465
466

467
467

467
468
468

Literary and media prizes/awards and revues


LITERARY AND MEDIA PRIZES/AWARDS 

24

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468

MARKETING 

Sales and income


Bookshops and libraries
Advertising and publicity
Media reporting and comment

469

470
470

MEDIA COMMENT

470

SUMMARY ON PUBLISHING

470

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES: THEATRE

471

CONTEXT471
THE NATIONAL THEATRE
471
AMHARCLANN NISINTA NA GAEILGE AN TAIBHDHEARC
472
OTHER COMPANIES
472

Foras na Gaeilge funding for 2011


Siamsa Tre National Folk Theatre of Ireland

472
473

AMATEUR DRAMA IN IRISH

474

SUMMARY ON THE THEATRE

474

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES: MUSIC AND DANCE

474

PRODUCTION: TRADITIONAL MUSIC


475
OPERA475
POPULAR MUSIC
475

Traditional music summer schools


Tradition as art and object of study
TRADITIONAL DANCE

CULTURAL CENTRES AND EVENTS


EXHIBITIONS/MUSEUMS/HERITAGE CENTRES
SUMMER SCHOOLS AND OTHER CULTURAL EVENTS

THE ARTS

476

476
476
476

477

PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 : THE ARTS  477

Rsum: Integrated Arts Strategy

477

CONTEXT477

Culture as a national asset 


Funding of An Chomhairle Ealaon (Arts Council) 

477
479

FUNDING OF ARTS IN IRISH BY AN CHOMHAIRLE EALAON


479
EALAN NA GAELTACHTA
479
LEGISLATION480

Planning for the arts: Arts strategy 2005 2008 and Irish arts
Literature in Irish
The traditional Arts
PLANNING FOR THE ARTS: ARTS COUNCIL STRATEGIC OVERVIEW 2011-2013

480

The Arts Council and Arts in Irish: Changing policy and approach
Aos Dna (People of Accomplishment)
ARTS OFFICERS

481

Culture Ireland
THE CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS 

25

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481

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES: HERITAGE AND CULTURE IRELAND

483

SUMMARY ON CULTURAL LIFE

484

IRISH IN AREAS OF COMMUNITY LIFE THE FAMILY AND TRANSMISSION OF IRISH 484
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030 

Context 
Aims 
Proposals 
IRISH IN AREAS OF COMMUNITY LIFE: RELIGION
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (RC)

Services and pilgrimages


The gaelscoil and the local parish
The Episcopate (RC)
Cumann na Sagart
The Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector
Religious publishing
THE PROTESTANT CHURCHES

484

484
484
485
485
485

485
486
486
486
486

Services486
Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise (Irish Guild of the Church)
486
Publications487
OTHER FAITHS
FAITH SCHOOLS

The Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector


IRISH IN AREAS OF COMMUNITY LIFE: SPORT
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030:
NATIONAL SPORT AND CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS 
CUMANN LTHCHLEAS GAEL (GAELIC ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION GAA)

Language, culture and the GAA


THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND (FAI)
OTHER FORMS OF SPORT

487
488

488
488
488
488

489
489
489

IRISH IN AREAS OF COMMUNITY LIFE: POLITICAL PARTIES

490

IRISH IN AREAS OF COMMUNITY LIFE: SOCIAL LIFE

490

PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030: RSUM 

Local groups and language plans


Resource Centres
ACHT NA GAELTACHTA (GAELTACHT ACT) 2012

490

490
490
491

National/Cultural organisations and centres


Local groups
NATIONAL/CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS AND CENTRES

491

LOCAL GROUPS

491

SUMMARY ON COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL LIFE

491

TABLES
26

More Facts About Irish

6. ECONOMIC LIFE
ECONOMY AND LANGUAGE
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT 
LEGISLATION AND POLICY
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030: RSUM

Economy, employment and language 


Branding and packaging
Schemes and awards in the private business sector
PUBLIC ENTERPRISES (STATE-SPONSORED BODIES)
PROFESSIONAL BODIES

493
493
493
493

493
494
494
494
495

National Organisations
TITLING OF COMMUNITY ENTERPRISES (Some current examples)
COMMERCIAL USES OF IRISH: NAMING COMPANIES, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES

495
495

Packaging495
Companies & Services
495
THE BUSINESS SECTOR PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
PUBLIC SECTOR
PRIVATE AND COMMUNITY SECTOR
FUNDING SCHEMES AND AWARDS 
INTEGRATED SCHEMES

SUMMARY ON LANGUAGE AND ECONOMIC LIFE

496
496
496
498
498

498

7. THE VOLUNTARY
LANGUAGE MOVEMENT
VOLUNTARISM AND THE IRISH LANGUAGE 

500

CONTEXT500

History and background


The voluntary sector
Conradh na Gaeilge The Gaelic League and its offshoots
Community-oriented activities
Target-group activities
Cultural activities
DIVERSITY OF THE SECTOR
Education
Specific target groups
Business-oriented
Culture and entertainment
Gaeltacht
Celtic languages
Glr na nGael All-Ireland competition

27

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ASPECTS OF THE SECTOR


Constituent organisations (24) of Comhdhil Naisinta na Gaeilge
Education
Gaeltacht co-operatives
Community
Youth
Business-oriented
Traditional arts and drama
Women and family
Religion
Organisations listed in the schedule of the Act establishing Foras na Gaeilge
Funding for the voluntary sector
Professionalism and the future
The concepts of urban and virtual Gaeltacht
ASPECTS OF THE SECTOR 2006-2012

500

BACKGROUND500
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030: RSUM
501

Context 
Proposed rle of the voluntary sector in the context of the Strategy
Other voluntary and community organisations with a language ethos
OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE FIONTAR REPORT 

Language advocates (tathantir teanga) or mentors


RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE REPORT OF THE JOINT OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE
ON THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY (JULY 2010)
RESULTS OF REPORTS
THE SECTOR IN ACTION

501
501
501
501

501
501
502
502

Organisations502
Comhluadar (for families rearing their children through Irish)
502
Coliste na bhFiann (variety of services for young people)
502
Glr na nGael (community competition)
502
Oireachtas na Gaeilge 
503
Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge (central steering council for the
Irish language community)
503
Conradh na Gaeilge (Gaelic League)
503
Forbairt Feirste (language and economic development)
504
Eagraocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta (ESG, support organisation for
Gaeltacht schools) 
504
Tuismitheoir na Gaeltachta (support organisation for Gaeltacht parents) 504
Groups504
Pobal Chluain Tarbh
504
Cairde Teoranta
504
Fram Phobal na Gaeilge (forum for Irish language community groups)  504
An Ghaeltacht
504
FUNDING FOR THE IRISH VOLUNTARY SECTOR

505

SUMMARY ON THE STATE AND THE IRISH VOLUNTARY SECTOR

505

TABLES

28

More Facts About Irish

8. THE IRISH LANGUAGE in


NORTHERN IRELAND (NI)
THE PRESENT LANGUAGE COMMUNITY
DEMOGRAPHIC ASPECTS

Knowledge of Irish and Ulster-Scots 2007


Census 2011 NI
Census 2011 NI: Results Phase One
Census 2011 NI and the Irish language
Census 2011 NI: Results Phase Two

507
507

507
509
510
511
511

SPEAKERS OF IRISH: CENSUS 2011 IN NORTHERN IRELAND


511
DRAFT STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
IRISH LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): FAMILY TRANSMISSION 513
CENSUS 2011 NI: ETHNIC GROUP, CITIZENSHIP, NATIONAL IDENTITY, MAIN LANGUAGE  513

Ethnic group
513
Citizenship514
National identity
514
Main Language
514
ULSTER-SCOTS514
Context514
DRAFT STRATEGY FOR ULSTER-SCOTS LANGUAGE, HERITAGE AND CULTURE
SPEAKERS OF ULSTER-SCOTS: CENSUS 2011 IN NORTHERN IRELAND

POLITICS IN NI 2007-2012
THE NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY

515
518

519
519

Political Parties 2007-2012 


519
2007-2008520
2009-2010 Devolution of powers in justice and policing
521
Assembly Election 2011 and Irish
522
Assembly Executive post-Election 2011
523
Cohesion, Sharing and Integration (CSI)
523
Government and Opposition?
524
LOCAL AUTHORITIES

524

Local Elections 2011

525

WESTMINSTER ELECTIONS 
EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 
PARTIES AND POLICIES

525
526
526

A shared future and normalisation of relationships?


Union or re-unification?

526
528

PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT 2011 - 2015


529
ANNIVERSARIES AND COMMEMORATIONS
530
SOCIETY530

29

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ECONOMY531
NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
BUDGET 2011-2015
CUTS IN THE BUDGET OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE, ARTS AND LEISURE
DRAFT STRATEGIC EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
TOWARDS A SHARED FUTURE IN THE AREAS OF BUSINESS AND CULTURE
PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT 2011-2015

ATTITUDES: NORTHERN IRELAND (NI)


BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

531
531
532
532
533
533

533
533

Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report Number One (2012)


534
Gestures534
Identity 
534
Community Relations
536
Politics536
Religion, society and economy
536
The Arts and Festivals
537
Sport537
Language and Culture
537
Conclusions of the Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report Number One
(2012) on Cohesion and Sharing 
538
FINDINGS FROM THE NI OMNIBUS SURVEY 2012

Attitudes towards usage of Irish


Attitudes towards Irish as school subject (for those who wish it) 
Attitudes towards the importance of Irish to NI culture. 
ATTITUDES TO ULSTER-SCOTS 2010
IRISH AND ULSTER-SCOTS

538

538
541
542
546
549

LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISION FOR IRISH (TO 2007)


History and background
Reports 1990s
Some positive signs
The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement 1998
New structures
An Foras Teanga
The Northern Ireland Assembly 2007
Language Diversity Branch (DCAL)
LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISION FOR IRISH 2007-2012

552

CONTEXT552
CHARTER FOR REGIONAL OR MINORITY LANGUAGES 
553

Third monitoring report 2010


COMEX, the Charter and legislation for Irish
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE
PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE 
POLICIES FOR IRISH

553
554
555
555

Language policy and the Commission of the NI Assembly 


555
Draft Language Policy
556
Northern Ireland Assembly Commission Good Relations Strategy 2012 2016 557
Lofa 2015557
Strategies 
557
30

More Facts About Irish

STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH


LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012)

General background
General outline
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BELFAST (GOOD FRIDAY) AGREEMENT
Structures for Irish-medium education
Broadcasting
Charter for Regional and Minority Languages (RMLS): First report
The St. Andrews Agreement 2006
Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and a Bill of Rights
NORTHERN IRELAND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AND A BILL OF RIGHTS 2009-2012

NI Human Rights Commission


A Bill of Rights for NI 2009-2012
ROI Human Rights Commission
THE COURTS AND POLICE

558

558
559
563

563

563
564
566
567

CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012)

567

The Courts: Administration of Justice (Language) Act 1737


The Courts: Appointment of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) 
The Police (PSNI) and Irish

567
567
568

LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND PUBLIC SERVICES


CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS: REDUCTION AND RE-ORGANISATION

Context 2011 
Context 2012 

567

568
569

569
569

SERVICES THROUGH IRISH


570
FORAS NA GAEILGE SCHEME570
PUBLIC SIGNAGE 
572

Consultation on bilingual town and village signs 2011


Local Councils and street signs
Public services
Policies for Irish
Public signage

573
573
574

PLACENAMES575

Funding and expenditure on the Irish language


FUNDING FOR IRISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
TOWARDS LANGUAGE LEGISLATION TO 2007
The Irish Language Act NI Acht na Gaeilge do Thuaisceart ireann
Content of the draft act of POBAL
Status of the draft act of POBAL
Official consultation paper on proposed language legislation
Draft clauses towards legislation
The restored Assembly and the Act for Irish

31

More Facts About Irish

575

TOWARDS LANGUAGE LEGISLATION 2007-2012

577

BACKGROUND577
OFFICIAL APPROACHES
578

Some advances in 2011


Strategies North and South
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012) - AREAS FOR ACTION:
LEGISLATION AND STATUS OF THE LANGUAGE
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030

Context 
COMMUNITY APPROACHES

578
578
579
579

579
579

NI Irish language voluntary sector views on the 20-Year Strategy in the Republic 579
POBAL580
Irish Language Act NI 2012 and Strategic Framework for the Irish Language
in NI
582
Public attitudes to an Act for Irish in NI 2012
583
Conclusions585
CORPUS PLANNING
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): DICTIONARIES

586
586

SUMMARY ON LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISION FOR IRISH

586

ACQUISITION OF IRISH THROUGH EDUCATION

586

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

Northern Ireland Assembly 3/08 (NIA 3/08)


DUP policy
BUDGET 2011-2015: FUNDING FOR EDUCATION
IRISH AS CURRICULAR AREA
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
IRISH LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): IRISH IN THE
ENGLISH MEDIUM SECTOR
IRISH AND PUBLIC EXAMINATIONS

586

586
586
586
587

587
588

General background
588
Irish588
IRISH-MEDIUM EDUCATION

591

HISTORY591
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): AREAS FOR ACTION- EDUCATION 591
STATISTICS592

Development592
RESEARCH595

NI Review of Irish-medium Education, October 2008


Comhairle na Gaelscolaochta and Department of Education research
POBAL and research on special needs education (SEN)
STRUCTURES AND SUPPORT

Comhairle na Gaelscolaochta
Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaochta

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More Facts About Irish

595
595
596
596

596
596

SUMMARY ON IRISH-MEDIUM EDUCATION 


CURRENT CONCERNS

596
596

Administration and legislation: Educational and Skills Authority


596
Policy, accommodation and personnel needs
597
Resources597
Funding597
IRISH-MEDIUM EDUCATION ON THE ISLAND OF IRELAND

597

Current concerns
Administration and legislation
Strategic review on education: Bain report
Political concerns
Irish-medium education on the island of Ireland
GENERAL SUPPORT SYSTEM 

598

COLLABORATION598

North/South collaboration
598
North/South Committee on teacher education in the Irish-medium sector
599
North/South Standing Committee on Irish-medium education
599
Joint Policy on Immersion Education 
599
Resources599
Scholarship scheme
600
LEARNING SUPPORT AND SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION 
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES 

TERTIARY EDUCATION 
THIRD-LEVEL EDUCATION

General Context
Success through Skills: Transforming Futures (2011)
Higher Education Strategy for Northern Ireland Graduating to Success (2012) 
Languages on the curriculum
Education, employment and religion

600
601

602
602

602
602
602
602
603

TEACHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: PRIMARY


604
NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE QUALIFYING EXAMINATION IN IRISH FOR TEACHERS
TRAINED OUTSIDE THE REPUBLIC (SCG)604
TEACHER EDUCATION THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF IRISH
604
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): THIRD-LEVEL EDUCATION
604
INSERVICE605
UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
605
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012)
605
FURTHER EDUCATION
605
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL
EDUCATION605
ADULT AND CONTINUING EDUCATION 
605
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): ADULT LANGUAGE LEARNING 605
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
606
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY 606
33

More Facts About Irish

STATUS FOR IRISH IN OTHER DOMAINS: BROADCASTING


LEGISLATION AND IMPLEMENTATION: CURRENT CONTEXT
D/CAL JULY 2012: STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT
OF THE IRISH LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION: BROADCASTING 
PROPOSALS IN THE ROI 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030:
BROADCASTING 

Broadcasting Act 2009 of the Republic of Ireland


THE BROADCASTING FUND
TG4 IN NI

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities


COMMERCIAL SECTOR

606
606
607
607

607
607
608

609
609

Legislation and implementation


Communications Act 2003
The Broadcasting Fund
The Royal Charter of the BBC
TG4 in NI
Commercial sector
STATUS FOR IRISH IN OTHER DOMAINS: RADIO, TELEVISION,
FILM AND MULTI-MEDIA

609

RADIO609
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012)
609

BBC Radio and RnaG609


Community Radio
610
TELEVISION610
AUDIOVISUAL AND INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION NI 
611
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): ONLINE AND NEW MEDIA
611

Radio
BBC Radio and RnaG
Community radio
Television
Audiovisual and interactive production NI
STATUS FOR IRISH IN OTHER DOMAINS: PUBLISHING

611

STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH


LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY
611
NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES AND PUBLISHERS
612
AWARDS613
ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRESS
613
BOOKSHOPS AND LIBRARIES
613

L/L Nua
An tUltach
Awards
Bookshops and libraries
Advertising

34

More Facts About Irish

STATUS FOR IRISH IN OTHER DOMAINS: CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

614

MUSIC614
EXHIBITIONS/MUSEUMS/HERITAGE CENTRES/FESTIVALS
614
THE ARTS
615

Legislation
The Arts Council NI and Arts in Irish: Composition and staff
Context615
Planning for the Arts 
615
POBAL and the Arts Council (ACNI)
616
Consultation616
Funding for the Arts in Irish 
616
IRISH IN OTHER DOMAINS OF COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL LIFE
Religion
Sport
Political parties
National/Cultural organisations and centres
Local groups

618

RELIGION618

The Churches
618
Context618
Religion and language in the 2001 and 2011 censuses
619
Religion and employment
619
Services620
Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise (Irish Guild of the Church)
620
East Belfast Mission
620
Education 
620
Publications620
SPORT620
POLITICAL PARTIES
621
NATIONAL/CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS AND CENTRES
621
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): PHYSICAL RESOURCE CENTRES 621
LOCAL GROUPS
622
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): LOCAL LANGUAGE PLANS/
INITIATIVES622

35

More Facts About Irish

ECONOMIC LIFE

624

COMMUNITY INITIATIVES AND FUNDING


624
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT AREAS 624
EMPLOYMENT AND ADVERTISING
625
STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH
LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): SERVICES AND SIGNAGE
625
AWARDS625

THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR

626

STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH


LANGUAGE PUBLIC CONSULTATION (D/CAL JULY 2012): THE IMPORTANT ROLE
OF THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR
626
CONTEXT626
ORGANISATIONS AND ACTIVITY
626

Advocacy626
Community626
Education626
Drama and Broadcasting
627
Development and employment
627
All-island organisations
627
THE CONCEPTS OF URBAN AND VIRTUAL GAELTACHT
SUMMARY ON THE STATE AND THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR IN NI
TABLES

36

More Facts About Irish

627

CONCLID
CONCLID AGUS MOLTA (MFAI 2008)
COMHTHACS AGUS CEISTEANNA
AN GHAEILGETEANGA MIONLAIGH N TEANGA MHIONLAIGH?
AN POBAL TEANGA INNIU

629
629
629

Cumas sa Ghaeilge
629
sid629
POLASAITHE AN STIT I LEITH NA GAEILGE

630

Forbairt630
An phleanil teanga
631
Pleanil agus bainistocht teanga ar bhonn comhthite
631
Id-eolaocht632
PLEANIL DON SEALBH TEANGAAN GHAEILGE SAN OIDEACHAS

632

An Ghaeilgemar bhar curaclaim


632
Oideachasminteoir632
An Ghaelscolaocht
632
Oideachas Gaeltachta
633
An Ghaeilge ag an tr leibhal agus Ollscoil ln-Ghaeilge
633
AN PHLEANIL STDAIS
EARNIL NA HEACNAMAOCHTA
AN EARNIL DHEONACH

634
634
634

Achoimre An Ghaeilge ar dhroim toinne!


CONCLUSIONS (MFAI 2014)
CONTEXT AND ISSUES

636

GENERAL636
IDEOLOGY AND POLICY
636

ASPECTS OF LEGISLATIVE, POLICY AND STRUCTURAL PROVISION 2007 ONWARD


637
SPEAKERS: ABILITY IN AND USE OF IRISH

639

ABILITY639

In the State
639
In the Gaeltacht639
In Northern Ireland
639
USE639

In the State and in the Gaeltacht639


Crux 
639
IRISH IN EDUCATION 2007 ONWARD

37

More Facts About Irish

640

IRISH IN DOMAINS OF STATUS PLANNING

642

BROADCASTING642
IRISH IN THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA
643
IRISH IN PUBLISHING
643
IRISH IN THE THEATRE
644
THE ARTS
644

IRISH IN CULTURAL LIFE

645

IRISH IN COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL LIFE

645

LOCAL GROUPS AND CENTRES


645
CHURCHES645
SPORT646

IRISH IN ECONOMIC LIFE

646

THE STATE AND THE IRISH VOLUNTARY SECTOR

646

Achoimre An Ghaeilge fs ar snmh!

38

More Facts About Irish

FOREWORD
Helen Murch

39

More Facts About Irish Contents

The first edition of More Facts about Irish together with the accompanying CD attempted to cover the period up to 2007.
As it transpired, this proved a useful end point as many changes and developments have since occurred, in both general and
language matters. The additional material in this update, given below under the same general headings as in the previous text,
brings much of the information to early 2014. As in the original text, some slight repetition may occur in order to facilitate
readers with interest in specific areas. A more detailed Contents list has also been included. This list refers to the original book
plus disc published in 2008 as well as to this later updated version. This later updated text provides new facts for the later
period under new headings in addition to further new material under existing headings. All additions in the updated version
are therefore marked in black in the more detailed and comprehensive Contents list.

Since these are additions, it may prove useful at times for the reader to refer back to the original first text for more
complete context in relation to some items. As in the first edition, personal names are seldom used since office holders may
change. All material is in the public domain. Acknowledgement is due to the organisations and individuals, to the various
forms of media both in Irish and in English, to speakers at conferences and seminars, to parliamentary proceedings and to
departmental websites, all of which provided ongoing sources of information from North and South. Expressions of opinion
from the compiler (based on available facts) have also crept into the text at times. This will come as no surprise to those who
are personally acquainted with said compiler.

In language affairs, probably the most significant event of the years from 2007 to 2012 lay in a proposed more coherent,
even strategic, approach to language promotion, North and South. Two major reports were published in the Republic within
a short interval of each other in 2009, the Draft 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 (29 November 2009) issued
by the then Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (D/CR&GA) and the report of experts (dated February
2009; in the public domain December 2009), prepared for that department on the issue of the proposed Strategy by Fiontar,
Dublin City University (DCU). Both documents are available in Irish and in English on the Departments website. These were
followed by a report on the Strategy from the then Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Sport, Community, Equality and
Gaeltacht Affairs in July 2010. The (then) official version of the 20-Year Strategy for Irish was launched on 21 December 2010
in Government Buildings by the then Taoiseach and three senior cabinet ministers, on the heels of one of the most turbulent
political and fiscal upheaval the Irish state had ever endured as a sovereign entity. Before the General Election of February
2011, all parties gave support to the general thrust of the Strategy. The incoming changed Coalition Government of March
2011 initially made some changes to the Strategy during 2011. Implementation of the official structural support aspects of
the Strategy, as well as some elements of the educational aspects, began in 2010-2012. Publicising the Strategy to the public
was undertaken by Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge in late 2011. Overall, however, by end 2012 it was generally felt in Irish
language circles that, in integrated operational terms, the 20- Year Strategy appeared to be in limbo. Extracts from the Strategy
are given in green in the relevant sections throughout the text including Chapter 8 on Northern Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure introduced for public consultation in July 2012 the
long-awaited Draft Strategy for Protecting and Enhancing the Development of the Irish Language. Relevant extracts are given in
brown in Chapter 8, The Irish Language in Northern Ireland.

In 2012, a radical new interpretation of the term Gaeltacht which was based on linguistic rather than on solely
territorial grounds as formerly was established by Act.

During the period under review, the North/South body, Foras na Gaeilge, introduced plans for fairly unexpected new
funding arrangements for the 19 voluntary Irish language organisations it had been core-funding. The implications of these
planned changes to the status quo were viewed as ominous by the beneficiaries. More significantly, they signalled changes in the
State-Irish language voluntary sector relationship of a kind not previously seen in the history of the State.

Under the rubric of cost cutting and increased efficiency for citizens, several policy decisions were taken by both
Coalition Governments during the period 2007-2011 which appeared to have the effect of undermining the existing support
structures for Irish. Threatened closure or other form of change were mooted, if not immediately put into effect, for several
elements of that edifice: the department with responsibility for the language, the official body to support Irish-medium
education, COGG; the enterprise side of Udars na Gaeltachta. The Irish-language training body for the public service,
Gaeleagras na Seirbhse Poibl, was eventually put in orderly wind down although no comprehensive alternative system was put
in place. Some legislative changes were also introduced that would affect the Official Languages Act. More significantly, it was
proposed to amalgamate the independent office of An Coimisinir Teanga with the office of the Ombudsman.
40

More Facts About Irish


Under the same rubric of achieving savings in public expenditure, several special groups were established by
Government. Their recommendations, if implemented in certain areas, could have possible negative repercussions for language
planning. They included the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes 2009 (popularly known
in bilingual fashion as An Bord Snip Nua); the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities, July 2010; the Local Government
Efficiency Review Group (popularly known as An Bord Snip Eile). Non-commercial State agencies or quangos had already been
targeted since 2008 as sources of savings. They included some language-related bodies.

The content of all these reports and developments appears below, together with other updated information, under the
appropriate headings.

The changes in the overall economic and political environment, in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland,
are briefly summarised, given their potential to significantly affect language issues. In this context, some mention is also made
of Ulster-Scots in Northern Ireland, for which a draft Strategy for the Ulster-Scots language, heritage and culture was also issued
for public consultation in July 2012.

Throughout the years 2012 and 2013, little occurred to increase the confidence of the Irish-speaking community in
the States intentions towards the language. The resignation of An Coimisinir Teanga in December 2013 provided no small
degree of proof that their doubts had basis. These doubts culminated in a public march in Dublin by some 10,000 people in
January 2014. A similar event followed in Belfast.

In conclusion, it is difficult to disagree with the assessment of the managing director of Ipsos MRBI on the overall
results of the comprehensive survey conducted by the company during 2012 to commemorate its 50th anniversary (The Irish
Times, 26 November 2012):
Unfortunately, there is a long list of important issues being overshadowed by the economy add [to the global
environmental crisis] religion, government reform, Northern Ireland, the Irish language, trust in institutions, crime
and Europe.
A prolonged lack of focus on social and cultural issues will cost us dearly. [Bold added]

41

More Facts About Irish

INTRODUCTION
IRELAND: LAND,
LANGUAGE,
PEOPLE
This Introduction attempts to give a brief account of the many contextual and complex economic and political
changes that occurred in the relatively short period under review (2007 onward), all of which have the potential to
influence matters linguistic. In counterbalance to these rapid changes, at the beginning and again at the end of this
introductory section, some items of general interest are added which, hopefully, may serve to illustrate those more
lasting traits which continue to make Ireland the country it is and the Irish the people they are.

More Facts About Irish

HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENT


NO LAND IS WITHOUT ITS HISTORY

The Diaspora
Tourism
The Diaspora is always a source of fascinating material. Some additional examples are given in this update of More Facts About
Irish. In fact, during the period under review (2008 onwards), the Diaspora acquired new significance as will be recounted
below in the section on the economy and also in relation to a new emphasis on cultural tourism. Tourism was one of the few
sectors that received increased funding when cutbacks were more prevalent, receiving specific mention in the address of the
Minister for Finance when he presented the Budget for 2010 in December 2009, and again with further investment by the
succeeding Coalition during 2011. While the number of tourists fell by 16% in 2010, advance bookings showed some slight
improvement for 2011, encouraged no doubt by the visits by the Queen of England and the President of the United States
in May 2011. An increase of 15% on 2010 occurred for April-June 2011, this may be distorted by the lower figures for 2010
caused by the volcanic ash problems. Even before then, in December 2010, a survey among readers of one publishers travel
guides had put Ireland in 1st place (over Paris) as a tourist destination for 2011. In early 2012, another popular guide, the
Lonely Planet, was still of the view that Ireland largely because of people and places was still a place to visit.
The Bluestack Mountains of Donegal were recently added to the International Appalachian Trail (based on ancient land
masses). In September 2011, the Burren area of County Clare together with the Cliffs of Moher were made part of the global
network of 78 national geoparks in 26 countries, a Unesco-supported initiative. A mountain in Greenland has been named
after the Kerryman, Tom Crean, polar explorer, companion of Scott and Shackleton. Areas of historic and archaeological
interest continue to be unearthed in the hinterland of the passage tomb of Newgrange and the royal Hill of Tara. They include
Bremore where County Meath meets the east coast. Support groups for these ancient sites continue to lobby against eroding
development.
Nevertheless, in all this emphasis on the possible material benefits of tourism, the Gathering or Tstal, an official initiative
planned for 2013 with the aim of attracting some of the Diaspora to spend some time vacationing in Ireland, has not met with
universal enthusiasm. While there is no lack of hearty welcome, the cultural ambassador, film star Gabriel Byrne, pointed out
the lack of understanding inherent in such a possibly mercenary approach of the spiritual attachment many of the Diaspora
feel in relation to Ireland.

The Irish in the world


In advance of the March 2011 census in Britain a campaign was launched by the Federation of Irish Societies (FIS) to include
the category Irish in the census question on ethnicity and subsequent to their success with regard to this addition to the
census form to encourage those of Irish birth or descent to register their ethnic background as Irish. The Federation began
in 1973. Since 1983, annual meetings are held with the Irish Government and on a quarterly basis with the Irish Ambassador
in London. Contact is also maintained with British Government officials and the Federation provides secretarial support to
the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain. The organisation attends meetings of the British Irish Parliamentary
Assembly.
In the 2001 census in Britain, 628,800 reported as Irish-born. This, however, was no more than 1.2% of the population.
The number fell to 407,357 persons or 0.7% of the population who gave Ireland as country of birth in the 2011 census in
England and Wales. These figures may have increased since due to the economic difficulties in the Republic. The number
holding passports of the Republic of Ireland was reported at 409,065. The numbers reporting Irish only identity (in the new
census question) was 348,638 or 0.6% of the population. Irish was, however, also given with other combinations in response to
the question on identity. These included Irish and British (11,313 persons); Irish and Northern Irish (1,355); Irish, Northern
Irish, British (623); Irish with other combinations (English, Welsh, Scottish, with or without British) excluding Northern Irish
(25,692); Irish with other combinations including Northern Irish (462). This would bring the total, including those stating
Irish only, to 388,083 or 7% of the population in England and Wales, in March 2011, although some overlap may have
occurred in the box-ticking exercise of the multiple choice question on identity in the census.
43

More Facts About Irish

Respondents reporting identity in the Census of England and Wales as Northern Irish only numbered 113,577 persons.
The category appeared in other combinations also. From the distribution of this same category in the NI Census results across
the local government districts, it appears to be distributed across districts associated traditionally with both the Catholic and
Protestant communities. The combined Irish only and Northern Irish only categories reach 462, 215 in numbers domiciled
in England and Wales from the island of Ireland
Research reported in January 2010 showed that Irish people, from both North and South, constitute a high percentage
of company directors in Britain, many being young people and 40% being female. In all, there are over 44,000 of them, as
researched by a London-based agency of the year founded by a Sligo man. A programme from an expense management
software company, systems@work, set up by an Offaly man, is now in use by MPs in Westminster.
The president (2011) of the Royal Institute of British Architects is a Dublin graduate, the second woman and first
Irish person to be elected. The Ontario Association of Architects was chaired by an Irishwoman until recently (late 2011).
The female vice-chairwoman of one of the largest engineering firms in New York is from Galway city. The president of
the Architects Council of Europe (2011) is also an Irishwoman. In May 2011, the UKRC (promoting the recognition of
women) gave recognition to an Irish female engineer working in the UK as a Woman of Outstanding Achievement. She had
been centrally involved with many projects, including the modern Terminal 5 at Heathrow and historic Portcullis House in
London. Unsurprisingly, the new president (2011) of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) is an Irishwoman.
Irish architects having to go abroad to seek work in the wake of the economic problems of the period 2007 onwards are now
making a name for themselves in different quarters of the globe. In recent years, Irish design teams have been responsible for a
list of prestigious buildings internationally: universities in Milan, in Lima, in Toulouse, in Buda-Pest, at the London School of
Economics (the new Students Centre) and at Birzeit University (new Palestinian Museum), West Bank; the pedestrian bridge
to the London Olympic Stadium; a new pier for Boston harbour; buildings in many Chinese cities as they expand. Of course,
an Irish team had already won the contract for the huge Grand Egyptian Museum in 2003. They follow in the footsteps of the
renowned Kevin Roche, designer of buildings such as the Oakland Museum in California, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
in New York and the National Conference Centre in Dublin. Buildings by Irish architects figure each year in the RIBA (Royal
Institute of British Architects) Awards.
The Diaspora then, both past and present still appear to influence the globe. For St. Patricks Day 2012 (17 March),
Niagara Falls will be lit up green on both sides, Canadian and US, as one of many worldwide landmarks to be so hued,
including the Tower of Pisa (for which permission was given by the church authorities). The town of Akranes, in West Iceland,
still celebrates every year the fact that it was settled in 880 by brothers who hailed from Ireland while Butte, Montana, in
the US, has an Irish community since the mining times of the late 1880s. Barcelona celebrated St. Patrick in 2012 with
the fourth international regatta of currachs (curach), the Irish traditional boat, several of which were made for the occasion.
This regatta is organised by two Irishmen in Barcelona, an artist and a businessman who established the Iomramh (Rowing)
Cultural Association for creative projects and networks between the maritime heritage of both countries. A very successful
Irish cultural week was held in 2011 in Old Havana Cuba has not forgotten the Irish background of Che Guevara and the
OReilly who helped defend the city in 1763. Similarly, the San Patricios, St. Patricks Battalion, are celebrated in Mexico for
their assistance during the Mexican-American War, 1846-1848, directly after the Great Famine in Ireland. The Community
Singers, a Caribbean folk group from Montserrat, are in fact the Emerald Community Singers with many Irish names going
back to the post-Cromwellian period in Ireland.
Not surprisingly, a survey conducted in nine countries in mid-2011 by the website www.lastminute.com is reported to
have found the Irish to be not alone the best travelled but the most daring; 93% had a list of places to go and things to do
compared to 19% of Swedes and 25% of Britons. But then the wonderful blue colour in the illustrated Book of Kells (circa
800 A.D.) came from powdered lapis lazuli imported from Afghanistan.
Among many other presidents of the United States, the current incumbent, President Barack Obama, has Irish ancestry
on his mothers side. His great great great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney, emigrated from Moneygall (Muine Gall), County
Offaly, from post-Famine Ireland circa 1850 to join other family members already settled in the States. This connection led to a
very successful, if brief, visit to Ireland by President Obama in May 2011. An historic connection recalled by President Obama
was that between the black slave, Frederick Douglass, who visited famine-stricken Ireland in 1845-1846 in his campaign for
the abolition of slavery and came to know the Irish leader, Daniel OConnell, the Liberator. Another such connection is
found in the recent book by Ian Kenneally, published by The Collins Press, which shows the significant role played by John
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Boyle OReilly (born County Meath, 1844) in civil rights and equality for coloured Americans, particularly during his time
as editor of the Boston newspaper, The Pilot. President Theodore Roosevelt, while president, published a very knowledgeable
article on the ancient sagas of Ireland. In France, Charles de Gaulles great grandmother was Mac Cartan, one of the Wild
Geese families, originally from County Down. He spent some quiet time in County Kerry at the end of his period of office.
It has been noted that almost all the participants in the photograph of those gathered in the White House situation room
to watch the raid on the compound of Osama bin Laden have Irish connections.
Quite recently, in Staten Island, New York, the remains of many Irish immigrants from post-Famine (1840s) Ireland,
both adults and children, who had been buried in a mass grave, were placed in coffins in a receiving tomb awaiting graveyard
burial. They had died in the nearby quarantine hospital and a car park had been built over the mass grave in the 1950s. A letter
on display during mid 2010 as part of a exhibition on Old Istanbul in the Dublin office of the European Commission offers
thanks to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for his donation 1,000 for Famine relief in 1847.
From the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th over 25,000 women were sent to the penal colony Tasmania
in Australia. Many were sentenced for very minor or even trumped-up offences. A large proportion of these convicts, both
men and women, were from Ireland. The underlying intention was to help develop the country for Great Britain. The womens
stories are recounted in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. They have also been commemorated in Ireland. An exhibition
on the Irish in Australia was opened in Canberra for St. Patricks Day, 2011, perhaps the first such exhibition on an ethnic
group in that continent. The list of top 100 Irish-Australians published in the Irish Echo (Sydney), August 2009, was a picture
of the multi-faceted ways in which those of Irish extraction have enriched the Australian community over its history. They
represented every branch of life, writers, artists, politicians, sports people, lawyers and the occasional notorious outlaw.
Historians estimate the number of Irish soldiers who fought and died for France between 1691 (after the Treaty of
Limerick) and 1745 (Battle of Fontenoy) to be in the region of 450,000. If those serving in regiments other than the Irish
Brigades are included it reaches some 480,000. They are remembered at Fontenoy in Flanders every May. The Irish Brigade
was less successful at the Battle of Culloden on behalf of Bonnie Prince Charles Stuart but as members of the French army were
given prisoner of war status (The Irish Times 2 January 2013), not accorded the Highlanders.
In Paris, at the Muse de lArme, an exhibition spanning three centuries of Irish fighting for France ran from midFebruary to end April 2012. It included the many Irishwomen in the French Resistance during World War 2. The National
Museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin mounted a fascinating exhibition in July 2011 entitled Soldiers and Chiefs Irish
Soldiers at Home and Abroad since 1550. It includes the monumental painting, The Return of the 69th Irish Regiment, by Louis
Lang. This is an incredibly detailed account on canvas of the arrival in July 1861 of the defeated Northerners back up the
Hudson River to Manhattan, New York, in the wake of the Battle of Bull Run won by the Confederates in the American Civil
War. It was painted only 15 months after the event. The regiment included many who had left Ireland after the 1848 Rebellion
and many more who had to emigrate in the aftermath of the Famines of the 1840s. Thomas Francis Meagher is centre of the
painting, the man regarded as bringing the idea of the tricolour, flag of independent Ireland, back from France after the 1848
revolution in that country.
Closer to today, an American soldier of Irish extraction, of the same 69th Fighting Irish regiment, who learned his Irish
from the internet, became the subject of a documentary on the Irish language television channel TG4 in January 2012. It
shows his life as he journeys from his home in New York to use his Irish in Ireland in the Donegal Gaeltacht and then on to his
posting in Afghanistan.
Irish migrs also appear to have played their part in the French Revolution. Some were revolutionaries; another was among
those liberated from the Bastille where yet another was that prisons chaplain. It is known that another, an Irish priest, an
Edgeworth of the literary family of Edgeworthstown (Meathas Troim), County Longford, was with King Louis XVI in his last
moments as he mounted the scaffold. He lived to tell the tale. Much later, the Anglo-Irish journalist James Bourchier, who died
in 1920, played a considerable role on behalf of Bulgaria and was honoured for it by being accorded a state funeral. Of the same
stock, the Irish inventor of Boolean logic, George Boole, whose work is regarded as the basis for modern computer science,
features in two recent events. Elements of his algebraic formulae were woven into a handmade lace scarf, commemorating the
connection of Queen Victoria with the university, which was presented to Queen Elizabeth of England on her visit to Cork in
May 2011. Many of Booles papers are now being digitised for public accessibility in a University College Cork project. Booles
very radical daughter, Ethel (later Voynich), whose 1897 novel of revolutionary fervour, The Gadfly, was put to political use by
all the communist governments. Meanwhile Ethels contemporary from a different social background, who was educated by
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the Christian Brothers in Dublin and later joined the British merchant navy, gave his name to the famous (James) Mulholland
Drive in Los Angeles, as the man who brought water to the city through an enormous project involving an aqueduct 235 miles
long which began in 1904.
Later, in the 1920s and 1930s, and in another sphere, the screen industry, Irish-American actors, both male and female,
began to play a dominant role. It has been surmised that present day Irish film actors may be the reason why an international
survey of women considered the Irish accent to be globally the most sexy, regional variations not being distinguished. Irish
short films, made on shoestring budgets, continue to be nominated and short listed for the prestigious Oscar awards. The
Russian film director, Alexander Rowe, responsible for a series of popular films on Russian folk tales during the 1960s, was
the son of a Wexfordman. Nowadays, with an increasing emphasis on technology in film-making and in the entertainment
industry, Irish high-tech firms are making their mark in Hollywood with the aid of the Irish Technology Leadership Group.
In the Republic, a report from the Audiovisual Federation in Ibec (Irish Business and Employers Confederation) reveals that
film and television production increased to 388 million in 2010, due largely to section 481, the film and television tax relief
scheme. In other areas of the media, an Irishwoman was recently made president of the American non-profit organisation,
EWIP (Exceptional Women in Publishing), after just 10 years in California.
In the early years of the 20th century, Pearse OMahony, who as a Member of Parliament had been involved in Irish
politics with Parnell, founded, with his wife, St. Patricks Orphanage in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria, and remained engaged with
the life of that country. As in the case of James Bourchier, OMahony also has a street named after him in Sofia. The life of
the Irishwoman, Eliza Lynch, born in 1833, who partnered Lopez of Paraguay, is being featured in a major television series in
Paraguay as part of events celebrating that countrys independence from Spain, won some 200 years ago. Interestingly, the series
is based on a 2009 biography by two Irishmen and one of the backers is a Paraguayan bank owned by an Irishman. In another
war of independence, the Arab Revolt (1916-1918) against the Ottomans, two soldiers of Irish extraction played a major rle:
TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and Pierce Charles Joyce. An article in The Irish Times (22 May 2012) gives an account
of the Irish journalist in Baku, Azerbaijan (venue for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest) during the period 1879-1881 who
gave his1,000 fee from the London Daily News to the Fenians whom he had joined as student in Trinity College Dublin,
an act which did not prevent a plaque in his honour in St. Pauls Cathedral in London. Another graduate of Trinity College,
Turner Macan (McCann), is reported to have become not only translator to the courts of the Persian Mughals in India but
to have used his royal contacts to ensure the definitive anthology of the work of the famous Persian poet Ferdowsi during the
early 1800s. Ferdowsi is celebrated in Persian literature for his work, the Shahnameh or Book of Kings. In the 19th century
art world, La Belle Irlandaise (The Beautiful Irishwoman) Joanna Hiffernan (sic) provided inspiration to both the French artist
Courbet and the American artist Whistler.
Given the national interest in music, it is probably not unusual that an Irish bow-maker from County Mayo received three
gold medals for his prowess at the 2010 competition of the Violin Society of America. What is unusual, perhaps, is that there
are currently only two expert bow-makers in a country known for its traditional and classical violinists. Perhaps not so unusual
is the research finding, reported in the Review of English Studies, that the name Hamlet in Shakespeares famous tragedy, may
derive originally from a character in an Old Irish story going back to the 8th century, Admlithi, the precursor for the 13th
century Danish prince Amlethus, himself based on Amlothi of a 10th century Icelandic poem. Given the contact between
Scandinavia and Ireland, and the fact that the name is not regarded as of Norse origin, the Irish connection may be plausible.
The Celtic scholar, Whitley Stokes (1830-1910), contemporary and fellow academic of continental Celticists Kuno Meyer
and Ernst Windisch as well as of Irish scholars Eugene OCurry and John ODonovan, in fact produced no small amount of his
writings while working as civil servant of the British Empire in India, where he was responsible for the codification of much of
the body of Anglo-India law. During the same general period, a recent book (in Irish) reveals that the socialist Friedrich Engels
was learning Irish in preparation for writing a history of Ireland. Much later, another Celtic scholar, Richard J Hayes, director
of the National Library (1940 1967), was simultaneously involved in two apparently disparate activities. One involved
sourcing and listing manuscripts and other materials of Irish interest all over the world. The extraordinary result of 23 volumes
is now digitised and accessible online thanks to the Sources project of the National Library. However, as a linguist, Hayes had
another interesting occupation working as a secret code-breaker for the intelligence services in Ireland during World War 2.
Simultaneously, at the famous Bletchley Park headquarters in Britain, two men of Irish background were at work. Alan Turing
of computer science and decoding fame was one. The other, John James Doherty of Donegal County, is reported to have had
eight languages (two classical) in addition to Irish and English as background to his work as translator and cryptanalyst. Irish
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women were at Bletchley also.



While clerical Irish missionaries have left their mark in many parts of the world, lay volunteers are probably more numerous
today. A recent publication on Irish missionaries views them as an informal diplomatic corps which has created good will for
Ireland across the globe and added to its reputation through the education missionaries provided in many countries. The book
is simply entitled, Gods Entrepreneurs: How Irish missionaries tried to change the world. An acting group from Carlow University,
Philadelphia, USA, recently participated in the annual festival, igse 2010, held in Carlow town, Ireland. This American
university (2004) for women was founded 80 years ago by Mercy nuns from Carlow as a college (1929). Among those receiving
honours abroad for services to the people of other lands is Elaine Bannon who was recently (July 2010) awarded the honour
of the Order of Warriors by the President of Kenya for her humanitarian work among the Maasai of his country. In December
2010, the government of Vietnam awarded its Order of Friendship to Christina Noble, for her charity work since 1990 on
behalf of Vietnamese children. Sr Cyril Mooney, a Loreto nun from County Wicklow, was the recipient of the Padma Shree,
the highest honour in India, for her work among Calcuttas poor, street children especially. In 2009, Sr Ethel Normoyle, from
County Clare, of the Little Company of Mary Order, received the Order of the Baobaob in Silver for her work in South Africa.
On the same occasion the former minister in the SA government, Kader Asmal, who spent much of his professional life in
Ireland, was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Silver. Franciscan Fr Stan (Seamus) Brennan received many honours for his lifes
work in South Africa, one of which was the Sixth Class Grand Cordon Order Award of the Rising Sun Silver and Gold Rays
from the Emperor of Japan. Few people in the world have been so honoured since the award was established in 1875. Sr Joseph
Helen Cunningham, from County Laois, of the Religious Sisters of Charity received the Order of Distinguished Service from
the President of Zambia for her pioneering work in ensuring education for girls back in 1978. She died recently (January 2012)
at the age of 104. In March 2012, the President of Pakistan honoured Sr Berchmans Conway of County Clare with the Order
of the Great Leader Award for outstanding services in education and in the promotion of inter-faith relations. In earlier times,
and in another sphere of activity, Mary Harris, an emigre from Cork to the US, at the end of the nineteenth century became
the famous labour activist now known as Mother Jones and co-founder of the movement, the Industrial Workers of the World.
With this kind of global presence as context, it is hardly surprising that famous landmarks such as the leaning Tower of
Pisa, the Empire State Building of New York and now the mountain top statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro all
become green on St. Patricks Day.
An exhibition which it is hoped will travel on New Irish Architecture: Rebuilding the Republic was mounted in
Leuven (Louvain), Belgium, in May 2011 on examples of contemporary (2001-2010) Irish buildings. The recently completed
headquarters of Wexford County Council has been (2011) shortlisted for the World Building of the Year award. In July
2010, the city of Dublin was designated a Unesco City of Literature in perpetuity, one of only four globally (the others being
Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City), a venture planned by the library service of Dublin City Council. Information on the vast
array of Irish writers may be found on the Dublin Unesco website, www.dublincityofliterature.com. Dublin was shortlisted in
June 2011, among a group of just three capitals, from bids submitted by 56 cities all over the world to be World Design Capital
in 2014. The two others on the shortlist were Bilbao and Capetown. Interestingly, Dublin was ranked 9th of 80 cities globally
as a cycling city; this arises out of political decisions to provide bicycle ranks for free use by citizens, a popular arrangement.
Stamps are regularly issued by the philately section of An Post to commemorate famous Irish places and persons. In
2010, the Irish language poet from Inis Mr, the largest of the Aran islands, Mirtn Direin (born 1910) and the PostImpressionist painter, Roderic OConor (descendant of the last High King, born 1860), were remembered. In the 2010 crossEuropa issue on the theme of books for children, two writers in English represented Irelands contribution: Oscar Wilde (The
Happy Prince) and Jonathan Swift (Gullivers Travels). None as yet has appeared, however, for the popular early 20th century
American crime writer Raymond Chandler who spent much of his childhood in the home of his Irish mother in Waterford. A
stamp depicting four of the famous High Crosses of the early Middle Ages was also issued, clearly showing their unique stone
carved panels of biblical events. An Post also has a very attractive set of stamps depicting the flora and fauna of Ireland.
In sport, the Irish footballer, Paddy OConnell, was manager of more than one team in Spain, including a Barcelona team
back in 1935. But that Ireland actually conquered Pakistan in cricket (May 2011) is currently more newsworthy. In the golfing
and horse racing worlds, as well as in the card game of poker, in running, swimming, sailing and in boxing (including female
boxing), Ireland, (North and South), continues to impress.
In the animal world, research by an international team, led by Ireland, has led to the unusual finding that all living polar
bears are descended from Irish ancestors, now extinct (Current Biology, July 2011).
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Perhaps some further evidence that the Irish language has arrived may be seen in its use in some internet scams where
Irish speakers are targeted by e-mail (through what appears to be machine translation Irish text). One message informs the
recipients that the United Nations are seeking bank details into which a large sum won will be deposited. Another purports to
come from an individual known to the recipient urgently requesting $2,000 USD as the known individual has been robbed
while abroad.
Of greater consequence is the fact that Ireland, for the first time, will chair the 56 member Organisation for Security and
Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2012, a very significant organisation in the field of human rights and conflict prevention
and management which is now at a difficult time in its history.

Scientific achievement
In the realm of science, two recent discoveries during mid-2010 appear to show that Ireland is not falling behind in that branch
of knowledge. A team from University College Dublin (UCD), in collaboration with Yale University, has helped not only to
illuminate the evolution of life on earth through an analysis of fossils of soft-bodied creatures discovered in rock in Morocco
but to complete an existing time-gap. The research shows that these creatures did not die out as was thought over 500 million
years ago but lasted at least another 30 million years. Also, as part of the Large Hadron Collider international nuclear research
at CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research, near Geneva), doctoral students with the UCD team re-discovered two subatomic particles known as the Z and W boson particles with the aid of software, designed by the Irishman currently heading
the Cavendish laboratory in Cambridge. Interestingly, the Irish female physicist, Anne Kernan, was part of the previous
CERN research team (led by Rubbia and van der Meer) who won the Nobel Prize in 1984 for their original discovery of the
Z and W bosons. John Bell (died in 1990) also worked for many years at CERN; he is author of the equations known as Bells
Inequalities. In recent times, Jocelyn Bell Burnell of Belfast was responsible for the discovery of pulsars. Before her, Kathleen
Lonsdale was the first woman elected in 1945 to the Fellowship of the Royal Society; she was involved in x-ray technology.
Irish scientists have been involved over the years in space experiments as part of international teams. The astrophysicist, Susan
McKenna-Lawlor, who was professor of experimental physics at National University of Ireland Maynooth, has delivered much
innovative instrumentation used in many space missions by leading countries through her company, Space Technology Ireland.
She was elected to membership of the International Academy of Astronautics. The continuing work of the Academy in the
production of a multilingual space dictionary led to the publication in September 2010 of An English-Irish Lexicon of Scientific
and Technical Space-Related Terminology initiated by Professor McKenna-Lawlor. It contains some three and a half thousand
terms.
The Irish Centre for High-End Computing, established in 2005, is now one of only seven prestigious international centres
involved in the research project known as Cuda (a new computer language, Compute Unified Development Architecture).
Dublin City of Science 2012 was linked to the EuroScience Open Forum. Both arts and science groups are collaborating in
these events although the attractive Little Book of Irish Science published by Science Foundation Ireland to mark them met
with some criticism for omitting the Early Middle Ages and the computing of the date of Easter as one example of science
among medieval Irish monks. The innovative public Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin is proving extremely popular;
it too engages with both the sciences and the arts. The Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists in North America was set up
in February 2011 to promote links and collaboration between Irish scientists at home and abroad in advance of the events
planned for Dublin in 2012. (Wild Geese was the rather evocative name given to those forced to flee Ireland in earlier
centuries particularly members of the Jacobite army under Patrick Sarsfield or other soldiers who served in so many European
armies from the 16th to the 18th centuries). The National Centre for Geocomputation at the National University of Ireland
Maynooth was recently (mid-2011) awarded the status of Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) Development
Centre, the first academic institution in Ireland to be so recognised and one of only 26 around the world. In June 2011, with
the 300th anniversary of the Medical School, Trinity College Dublin opened its new Biomedical Sciences Institute, with some
financial backing from the European Investment Bank. It is reported to be one of the most sophisticated biomedical research
facilities in the world, having 3,000 square metres of laboratory space and bringing together five related schools on campus in
an interdisciplinary programme which will serve undergraduates as well as 800 researchers. The National University of Ireland
Galway, (where engineering has been taught since 1849), reports that it has the largest set of engineering undergraduate
programmes in the country. Its innovative new engineering building is a learning/teaching/research tool built to demonstrate
many facets of engineering in a living laboratory. The third new university building in 2011 is the first phase of the Science
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Centre at University College Dublin, the UCD Centre for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery. It includes three
research units: the Institute for Food and Health, the Centre for Pharmaceutical Science and the Centre for Nanomedicine
where it is hoped to attract world class principal investigators and fourth level postgraduate researchers. The venture is viewed
by the President of UCD as a relationship between research, the creation of intellectual property and the commercialisation of
new discoveries.
In the past five years, a team of students from Ireland has participated in the worlds largest technology competition,
Microsofts Imagine Cup, directed at technological solutions to worldwide problems, arising out of the United Nations
Millenium Goals. They have achieved well against global competition. In July 2011, the Irish team, Hermes, from IT Sligo
(Institute of Technology) reached first place. They had competed against 350,000 registered students from almost 200
countries to reach the prize. The USA team were in second place and Jordans in third. The Irish project was geared towards
safer driving. In the prestigious European Science, Engineering and Technology awards for 2011, two Irish undergraduates are
among the finalists, from UCD (a female student in civil engineering) and from Cork Institute of Technology (a male student
in mechanical engineering). The sixteen-year-old winner of the national Young Scientist of the Year Ireland award (January
2011) went on to win first place in the computing/engineering category at the EU Young Scientists Contest in September
2011; the first place in the other two categories went to Switzerland (maths) and to Lithuania (chemistry). Similarly the twoteam winners of the 2012 Ireland Award won first prize in physics in the EU Contest in which 37 countries participated. In
fact, Ireland has won this EU Contest 14 times in 24 years, demonstrating a better record than any other country. These Irish
secondary school students were in competition with students aged from 14-20 (some of whom were in university) as was the
eighteen-year-old from another Dublin school who was one of 33 selected from 15,000 candidates globally for a Summer
internship (2011) at the Digital Life Academy in Singapore. Two other male Junior Certificate students (fifteen-year-olds)
took first place in the national SciFest@Intel2011 for their inexpensive innovative project on converting used plastic into fuel
using a simple home made device. They represented Ireland at the International Science and Engineering Fair in the US in
May 2012. Two of the three Irish projects were successful in winning awards at this Fair in which 1,500 young students from
68 countries competed.
Entries for the January 2012 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition have surpassed all previous records for
numbers of girls, of projects, of schools and from every one of the 32 counties. The Exhibition, based on the Science Fairs
common in the US, began in 1965 as an idea from two researchers in physics at UCD, with 230 entrants. In recent years it
has grown to eight times that number of entries with well over 500 being selected across the differing categories for inclusion.
Winners over the years have gone on to become well known in many fields. The number of projects being presented through
Irish is also on the rise, largely from schools in Dublin and Donegal. Foras na Gaeilge is one of the sponsors.

Ratings
While the method of using the number of citations as a benchmark for research in the sciences is not without its critics, the
system remains influential. During 2010 and 2011, the rating agency Thomson Reuters Science Watch ranked University
College Cork in second place in the world for research papers in the field of probiotics from its Alimentary Pharmabiotic
Centre. Irish researchers reached a world rating of 1st in molecular genetics and genomics, 3rd in immunology, and 8th in
materials science. In the field of biomaterial research, several innovative projects from the Network for Functional Biomaterials,
based at the National University of Ireland Galway, were presented at the European Conference in Biomaterials held in Ireland
in September 2011. In October 2011, the Director of the Nanoscience Institute at Trinity College Dublin became Laureate
of the international 2011 ACSIN Nanoscience Prize for his work in the field. The 19th century equivalent may have been the
Dublin doctor Francis Rynd (Meath Hospital), remembered at an event on 17 February 2012, who discovered the process
which eventually led to the hypodermic syringe.
For the duration of the Dublin Innovation Festival (October-November 2011), an internet TV channel ran from 6 pm to
7 pm daily, An Lr TV (The Centre, used on public transport).
In the QS World University Rankings, Irish universities were reported in the top 200 for 24 of the 26 subjects surveyed.
In electrical engineering, seven institutions in Ireland were in this list of 200 while both Trinity College and University
College Dublin were in the top 50 for politics and sociology. These two institutions also figured in the top 100 for three areas:
economics, law, finance. Employer as well as academic ratings were used for purposes of the survey. Even more interesting,
given the constant concern with second level examination take-up and results in mathematics and in the sciences (Chapter 4
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below), is the reported (July 2011) QS ranking of mathematics as Irelands best-performing discipline at third level; Trinity
College Dublin being ranked 15th globally in the subject.
Nevertheless, reduced exchequer funding and consequent decline in third level employment appears to have resulted
in slippage for all but one Irish institution in the most recent (2011) results from the QS rankings of global university
performance, based on four main criteria: research, teaching, employability and internationalisation. Outside the first 300,
rankings are usually given by range. The Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings for 2011 also noted a
fall, explained by increased staff-student ratios arising out of funding cuts and rising demand for third-level places. By March
2012, in the same Times Higher Education Rankings no university in Ireland was among the top 100 institutions. However,
QS ranked DCU in the group of 50 top new (less than 50 years old) universities in 2012.

Institution/Year QS Global University Ranking Overall


2012

2011

2010

2009

TCD

67

65

52

43

UCD

131

134

114

89

NUIG

287

298

232

243

UCC

190

181

184

207

DCU

324-

326

330

279

DIT

451-500

401-450

395

326

UL

451-500

451-500

451-500

401-450

NUIM

501-500

501-550

401

437

Forfs is the policy advisory board for enterprise and science. In a recent report (August 2011), it gave the following
figures for Government investment in research, across all departments and agencies: 2008: 946 million; 2009: 941 million;
2010: 872 (estimated). In general, the Higher Education Authority was responsible for disbursing one third and the Irish
Science Foundation (SFI) for half that amount, 17.2%. This foundation (Fondireacht Eolaochta ireann) arose out of a study
commissioned by the Government in 1998, the Technology Foresight Ireland Report, being established in 2000 under Forfs
to administer Irelands Technology Foresight Fund. The proposal to make it a separate statutory entity in the Programme for
Government 2002 was realised in the Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Act of 2003. It uses Government
funding to invest in researchers and teams generating and developing new knowledge. The 2010 annual report (September
2011) of the Foundation reveals a good return on that investment. The number of collaborative studies across research teams,
or in matched funding from international sources or private sector firms, has risen sharply: 2008: 311 joint projects; 2009:
601; 2010: 867. Ireland is now (2010) ranked 20th in the world for research, above the EU and OECD countries average. For
2011, that ranking was maintained.

In line with Government policy on reducing the number of arms length bodies or quangos, Forfs itself was to be transferred
intact, but with a board reduced to three, into the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation where its research function
would become part of a new strategic policy unit within that department.
All these newer developments are hardly surprising in view of the many contributions made by earlier Irish scientists.
They include Boyle in the 17th century (Boyles Law in chemistry); Boole of University College Cork (Invariant Theory in
mathematics) and Beaufort (Beaufort Scale on wind force at sea), as well as Callan (the induction coil) and Stoney (the
electron), both of whom worked on electricity and the mathematician Hamilton (quaternions; algebra) in the 19th century.
In August 2010, an exhibition was mounted in honour of the engineer geologist, Robert Mallet, born in Dublin in 1810, a
scientist who put the study of seismology and volcanology on a new course. Together with his son, he produced the first list of
global earthquakes from biblical times. Similarly, John Tyndall, born in Leighlinbridge, County Carlow in 1820, is the founder
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father of the science of climate change. Several institutes are named after him. As early as 1845, the (then) largest telescope in
the world was built by William Parsons at Birr Castle.
The achievements of John Philip Holland (born in Clare in 1841), native Irish speaker, teacher and one time Christian
Brother, and best known as inventor of the submarine, were remembered at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork
in June 2011, during the bicentenary celebrations of the North Monastery school in Cork. It was there that Br. Holland, as
he then was, began the experiments that eventually led to a working submarine (the Holland No 6), finally produced for St.
Patricks Day 1898, in the US to where he had emigrated and where he found financial backers. He was awarded a Rising Sun
from Japan when his vessels helped in the Japanese-Russian war (1904-1905). His vessels were also purchased by the British
navy. Having conquered the sea, he went on to write of his ideas on aviation. He died just before the outbreak of World War I.
In the medical technology sector, Ireland is reported to be one of the top four medical device clusters in the world and the
second biggest exporter of medical devices in Europe (after Germany). Interestingly, it is also reported that not alone is all the botox
in the world made in Ireland but all the Viagra made outside of the US comes from Ireland (MacGill Summer School 2011).
Given that a successful Kerry businessman, who spent much of his working life in France, Richard Cantillon (1680s
1734), is considered the father of modern economics and originator of the term entrepreneur as risk taker, the current state of
the Irish economy, given in the next section, is somewhat ironic. An annual event is held in his honour in Tralee, County Kerry.

Changing times, changing focus


However, despite these worldwide achievements across a range of human activity, another view of the Irish at home also exists,
based on the contemporary respect for, and concentration on, commodities rather than knowledge in a more commercialised
world. The theme of a new publication, Reflections on Crisis: The Role of the Public Intellectual (June, 2012), is the denigration
of the public intellectual. One commentator decries the prevalence of derivative thinking, the lack of a magazine of ideas
or an Irish intellectual life, and the over-emphasis by public bodies on fictive writers as opposed to writers of philosophy or
ideas (The Irish Times, 2 July, 2012), while another sees the absence or reduction of sustaining myths as a psychological and
aspirational loss (The Irish Times, 22 June, 2012).
THE ECONOMY
The term Celtic Tiger was apparently first used by analyst Kevin Gardiner in 1994 in a section of a report by the Morgan
Stanley Investment Bank on the Irish stock market. A little more than ten years later, changes in the Irish economy from 2007
onwards were swift and brutal and had many influences on linguistic matters at all levels. A brief background to the fiscal and
economic situation in Ireland during the period is given below. It gives some indication of the turbulent context in which
forward planning for the Irish language was conducted.
Firstly a whole new vocabulary became quickly current if not always fully understood: senior/sovereign/corporate bondholders
or lenders who receive a level of preset interest for a preset period of lending; these may be secured bondholders (against the
assets of those to whom they lend, including states) or unsecured; junior or subordinated bondholders who may invest more
riskily at higher rates of interest but who, in the event of a crash, have less possibility of some return, their rights being less
than those of senior bondholders; haircuts or reductions or discounts in the interest originally arranged; restructuring (both
hard or soft) or reprofiling of debt default (not paying back debts) being a term (and a condition described as credit event)
apparently to be avoided as is the possibility of contagion or the spread of the problem, particularly among the countries of the
almost teenage euro zone currency; bubble something which inevitably bursts. The concept of burden sharing in a financial
crisis is constantly being redefined; initially it seemed to be the task of taxpayers solely but gradually the concept emerged of
even secured bondholders, but in a voluntary capacity only, accepting either some losses or diminution of the return expected
or at least a prolongation of the timescale for payback, the latter in order to prevent the former which is considered as burning
the bondholders. Finally the term troika, (in the original Russian meaning a carriage or similar being drawn by three horses
abreast), the EU, the European Central Bank/ECB and the International Monetary Fund/IMF, came to be used as shorthand
for the trio of institutions of interest involved in the possible bailout of a member of the euro zone in difficulty, the term bail
in (in relation to bondholders, particularly if unsecured) having connotations of burden sharing. Images of knights on white
horses to the rescue seemed to be rather quickly dispelled. The seemingly innocuous concept of adjustment, however, generally
meant efforts to reconcile revenue and expenditure and inevitable unwelcome changes.
Secondly, the crisis should probably not have arrived, as it did, almost unannounced. Three articles by Professor Morgan
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Kelly of University College Dublin (UCD), the first two reported in the March 2011 edition of Vanity Fair, were seminal to
the continuing debate on the crisis. The first appeared in 2006 warning of an impending fall in house prices. This was followed
in 2007 with a warning on the possible collapse of the banks. Both proved unfortunately true but were not perhaps given the
kind of critical scrutiny they deserved at the time of publication. Within the Department of Finance, officials had been giving
warnings from at least 2005 onwards according to public report, borne out by the later Nyberg Report. Other analysts had also
been giving warnings. The collapse of Northern Rock in the UK in 2007 was probably the first warning to be taken seriously
on a wide scale. In Ireland, it had apparently led in early 2008 to an internal Department of Finance scoping paper on financial
stability issues. This was followed by a clear warning from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in late June 2008
on a looming domestic crisis with probable attendant unemployment. The second more international alarm may have been the
necessity for the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to set up a 75 billion bail out
fund (the European Financial Stability Facility, May 2010) in the aftermath of the first problems in Greece and the difficulties
this provoked for the future stability of the euro currency. As later reports proved, however, the Irish national mood was not
really in tune with doom and gloom. The third Kelly article, published on 7 May 2011, on the issue of debt default, engendered
still continuing disparate and opposing views. The governor of the Central Bank responded (9 May, 2011), inter alia, that
the Irish Government bank guarantee of 2008 could not be reversed without Ireland being considered bankrupt and that the
decision on the guarantee had been accepted by the Oireachtas (Legislature). As far back as 2001 apparently, the European
Commission attempted to warn the Irish and other member state authorities about the overheating economy, according to the
(June 2011) Competition Commissioner. At that time, however, such matters were felt to be an issue for each sovereign state.
Nevertheless, in the intervening years up to the first intimations of crisis in 2007, Ireland was being internationally lauded for
its economic performance, even by the IMF.
The Irish problems then did not just begin with the fall in late 2008 of the Lehman Brothers Bank in the US; they were
already in train, due to the size of the banking problems (which arose out of the construction bubble) as a percentage of
national GDP. The Irish case did, however, fall victim to the new attitude of the market lenders in the aftermath of Lehman
and the ensuing necessity for the European Central Bank, and later the Irish Central Bank, to provide loans themselves to
European banks. The Irish situation, then, was indeed exacerbated by the global financial and economic crises but much more
by the unwise property-related lending policies and governance/management deficiencies of the domestic banking sector in
Ireland as documented in commissioned reports. The efforts to alleviate the inevitable results of the latter further contributed
to a faltering economy, with a substantial mismatch between income and expenditure, leaving the Government with twin
problems to solve.

The banking sector


There were six institutions in the Irish banking sector including building societies. By the last day of September 2008, the
Government having reached agreement (on the night of the 29th) in the interests of depositors and of not allowing the
sector to implode, introduced a guarantee (until end September 2010) to cover the liabilities of the banks, deposits and some
loans, a sum of 440 billion. Later commissioned reports showed that the situation in the banks at that time was even worse
than reported. Arguments have since been made by some economists that a blanket guarantee of such magnitude might not
have been the best choice. The EU Competition Commissioner (former Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs)
intimated in June 2011 that the Commission were not informed of this momentous decision by the Irish Government until
after the event. The same directorate was earlier reported to have created problems for Ireland because of the dilatory fashion
in which it sanctioned the restructuring of the most crucial aspect of the crisis, the banks; this sanction did not occur until
September 2010 towards the end of the guarantee date set. However, the EU does have a clear oversight and directive rle in
the matter of state aid to commercial enterprises.
The next steps after the guarantee by the Irish Government were inevitable: one bank, Anglo Irish, was nationalised in
mid-January 2009, since bank failure was not considered an option. In September 2010, the Government announced its
intention to separate the bank into two entities, to create an asset recovery bank to manage existing loans, and a separate
funding bank holding deposits. In November of that year, Anglo is reported to have lodged a patent to rename the savings
unit in Irish, Banc Nua. However, in mid-September 2011, the Companies Office was formally notified of the change of name
and incorporation as a limited company of the merged entities, Irish Nationwide Building Society and Anglo Irish Bank, as
IBRC Bank (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation). Public advertisements informed that the name change was effective from 14
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October 2011. In February 2013, IBRC was dissolved by legislation of the Oireachtas following new arrangements between the
Irish Government and the ECB on Irelands debts and related promissory note. In mid-February 2009 the State took shares in
two other banks, Allied Irish Bank (AIB) and Bank of Ireland; 25% preference shares at a cost of 3.5 billion aid per bank. The
savings and investment business of Irish Nationwide Building Society were transferred to Permanent tsb, the banking business
of Irish Life & Permanent plc (with legal effect from 24 February 2011). In effect, two major banks eventually remained, AIB
and Bank of Ireland.
A new entity, the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) was established by legislation in April 2009 to take over
some of the billions of loans (toxic assets) from the banks; however, it applied haircuts of between 30% and 47% and later
up to 58%, leaving the banks with the subsequent losses. In March 2010, the banks had to be bailed out once more to the tune
of some 32 billion. By September, the third bank bailout was required. The European Central Bank had been lending to Irish
banks at a discounted rate. By October 2010, the Irish Central Bank had also to provide them with emergency funding. The
situation was not only unsustainable but so unstable that company depositors were transferring their money out by the billion,
especially in the latter part of 2010. The fourth bailout was inevitable in November. The true picture of the state of the banking
sector finally emerged with the stress tests carried out by 31 March 2011. These tests were a condition in the Memorandum
of Understanding (of the bailout) between Ireland and the troika. The total extent of potential losses were in the region of 70
billion. The cost of conducting these independent stress tests amounted to 30 million. Since Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide
were then in the process of winding down, the tests were conducted on four institutions, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Educational
Building Society (EBS) and Irish Life & Permanent.
In tandem with these events, harsh budgets was introduced for 2009 (brought forward to October 2008 in place of the
usual December) and 2010 with a further Emergency Budget in April 2009 (which included the establishment of NAMA)
but Ireland still continued to lose its top credit rating with the agencies Standard & Poors (March 2009 and August 2010),
Moodys (July 2010) and Fitch (October 2010). Confidence in Irelands ability to pay its debts had waned.

The National Recovery Plan 2011 - 2014


During the last recession the then Government issued a Programme for National Recovery (October 1987) that included
agreement from the recognised social partners. It derived largely from a NESC (National Economic and Social Council)
report, A Strategy for Development 1986-1990, and was a relatively short document. A new plan was now required, for a new
crisis. However, the European Commission was more involved with this new plan and social partnership had broken down
because of public service pay cuts. The final iteration of this plan was a longer and more detailed document, The National
Recovery Plan 2011-2014, and was integral to the bailout by the troika.
The EU has a Stability and Growth Pact agreed and later amended (if not always implemented) at a summit meeting in
Dublin in 1996: public debt to be maintained at not more than 60% of GDP and budget deficits at not more than 3%. The
EU Commission has an oversight role in relation to this Pact. Ireland had clearly exceeded the guiding figures, given the overall
fiscal situation. A four-year corrective plan was announced in December 2009 with the 2010 Budget. As 2010 wore on, the
figures kept changing. In mid-year, the IMF expressed doubts about the optimistic assumptions for growth in the plan. The
government revised the 3 million adjustment for 2010 up to 7 million in the Autumn. By late 2010, the EU Commission
and the Government were then working on a revised four-year plan to stabilise the economy and encourage growth.
On the projections available, it had been agreed that savings of 15 billion over four years to 2013 would be required
to reach the deficit of under 3%. In order to achieve this level of savings, all government departments and every government
programme would be affected, including social welfare. In addition, ensuring increased revenue would entail new forms of
taxation and the sale of state assets. These measures would have a knock-on effect on all language-related programmes and activities
as will be detailed below under the appropriate headings. Calls were being made by mid-November 2010 by both Government
and EU spokespersons on the importance of the two main Opposition parties agreeing with this target deficit of 3% of GDP
by 2014 and the planned adjustment of 15 billion. The Plan was published on 24 November 2010. By then it had more or
less been overtaken by other events.

EU/ECB/IMF assistance: programme of support


In April 2010, Greece (a member of the euro zone), had found itself increasingly unable to borrow from the markets and
applied for aid. By May mechanisms had been set in place to assist such cases in the form of a 75 billion EU-IMF Fund.
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Fairly stringent conditions were set for Greece, the first recipient of some of this fund, by the new paymasters. The move did
not help to calm the markets, unfortunately. By late 2010, even as the four-year austerity plan was being developed in Dublin
and the relevant EU Commissioner was in Ireland (November 8 to 11), the idea of a bailout for Ireland, as had been necessary
for Greece, was being both widely discussed as inevitable and just as roundly being denied in domestic political circles. It has
been argued that private debt is the problem in Ireland (and in Spain), public debt being the problem in Greece.
The weekends of November 2010 provided much newsprint, radio talk and televisual explanation. On 11 November, the
17 members of the council of the ECB, of whom the Governor of the Irish Central Bank is one, apparently decided, after
discussions since the previous September, that Ireland required a bailout; this was reportedly conveyed by letter to the Irish
authorities on 12 November. On 15 November, Irish ministers were maintaining, with some credence, that the fundamentals
in Ireland were healthy; that the State was financed up to mid 2011 and on to 2012 if the 25 billion in the National Reserve
Pension Fund were used.
On the other hand, euro zone finance ministers were worried about the euro and possible contagion, particularly since at
least two other peripheral (in the geographic sense) states were also having economic problems. Sources of instability could
not be countenanced.
As an interim measure, on 16 November, Ireland agreed to allow technical experts from the EU, the ECB and the IMF
to visit Irish institutions in order to examine the crisis in the banking sector. On Sunday 20 November, the Irish Government
finally agreed to seek a bailout; the formal application was made the following day. Interviews with the (then) Minister for
Finance, now deceased, and correspondence recently (2012) published give an indication of the political problems involved.
By 28 November, the details of the deal were available: a total of 85 million of which 17.5 billion would be provided by
Ireland itself (5 billion from existing cash reserves and 12.5 billion from the National Pension Reserve Fund); 22.5 billion
from the IMF; 22.5 billion from the European Financial Stability Mechanism of the EU; 17.7 billion from the European
Financial Stability Fund. In addition, three states made bilateral loans to Ireland totalling almost 5 billion: the UK 3.8
billion, Sweden 598 million, Denmark 393 million. No small amount of the bailout would provide the fourth attempt to
shore up the banking sector: 10 billion on bank recapitalisation; 25 billion bank contingency fund.
But the detail that most struck a chord with the Irish public was the loss of economic sovereignty borne out not only in the
reality of the bailout, but also by the various announcements and general involvement of representatives of the troika. That
Ireland was now subject to Europe running its economic and fiscal affairs is evident in the timeframe and conditions for
drawdown of the assistance loans being given. The first payment was contingent on the budget for 2011 being passed by the
Oireachtas. Thereafter, payments were to be made on receipt of acceptable reports on implementation of the agreed targets;
any future policies of the Irish Government not consistent with the memorandum of agreement were to be discussed with
the troika. The question was raised whether the Irish Government was acting constitutionally in accepting the bailout; article
29.5.2 of the Constitution requires any international agreement to be laid before the Dil (Lower House). It was, however,
agreed that the financial arrangements did not constitute the type of agreement envisaged in the Constitution.

Memoranda of Understanding contained the general conditions attaching to the Programme of Support, as the bailout was
officially known. These covered firstly bank restructuring and reorganisation, basically continuing from where the Government
had begun but now with a stronger emphasis, as well as new bank stress tests to be completed by 31 March 2011. The second
set of conditions related to fiscal policy and structural reform and were wide-ranging. They included, inter alia, taxation at
all levels; measures to provide reductions in all areas of state expenditure; the establishment of an independent budgetary
council; removal of restrictions to competition in some professions. Clearly, austerity measures were to continue. Many of these
proposals were already in draft form in the National Recovery Plan 2011 2013. More than one commentator pointed out that
many of the measures would impact most on the more disadvantaged sectors of society, leaving the taxpayer vulnerable to the
capriciousness of both banks and markets and the community at large responsible for the deeds of others.
It was later argued, with regard to the bailout, that perhaps Ireland was used as an example or as a threat to others. In fact,
the seemingly over-independent rle of the ECB in the affair found its critics also as did media comments from its officials on
the Irish situation. An interesting argument was made to the President of the Commission (in the press January, 2011) and
in a press article (April 2011) by a former Fine Gael Taoiseach (Prime Minister). He contended that those banks in EU states
(including Germany), and the ECB itself, which had lent huge sums to Irish banks, and benefited from that, were also part
of the problem and should therefore be part of the solution by accepting proportionate responsibility. It was also argued
that the ECB, and even the Central Banks in individual EU states, should have exercised a more stringent regulatory role in
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general over preceding years. This was also the tenor of parts of an interview with the BBC by the former Minister for Finance
(April/May 2011) and of the third article by Professor Morgan Kelly (May 2011). The latter argued that Ireland should default
and leave the problem of the banks with their owner, the ECB. The counter-arguments centred on Irelands dependence on
foreign investment as an open economy and the necessity not to further lose the confidence of the markets but to maintain
reputation. Given the state of the economy, it was not clear where funding for public services could be found without the
external aid provided by the bailout. Neither was the proposal to leave the euro zone seen as a viable option at this point. Other
commentators saw differences of corporate culture within the IMF and the ECB. The former is a worldwide organisation
but not a bank; the latter is European only but as a bank has to maintain the stability of its currency, the euro. Inevitably,
governance structures and responses to crises will reflect these differences.
On the positive side, attention was drawn to some useful facts: despite unemployment rates, 6 of 7 jobs still existed at
the time; 9 of 10 mortgage owners were still repaying their mortgages. An interesting finding was reported (May 2011) on
per capita net financial wealth: end 2006 (30,000); end 2008 (14,258); end 2010 (on average 22,125 due to recovery
in pension and insurance values). Since people were wary of taking on new debt, and banks were slow to lend, savers were
increasing in an effort to both to be prudent and to pay off existing debt. However, this also meant that people were not
increasing their spending except very cautiously of little help to the economy.
It has been remarked that views among Irish economists appear to divide on age lines; those with experience of the 1980s
crisis are considered more likely to see the politico-economic difficulties as a whole.
Among those in Ireland who apparently accepted the inevitability of the bailout, public discussion continued on the terms
agreed which appeared harsh. The issue of possible renegotiation of these terms of the bailout provided policy material for the
Opposition parties in the ensuing General Election (25 February 2011). In the case of the ensuing new Coalition (Fine Gael/
Labour Party, March 2011) renegotiation centred consecutively on two issues: initially the lowering of the original interest rate
of 5.83% (if all the external bailout loans were drawn down) to the troika and later the possible burning of bondholders to Irish
banks. By mid-2011, little had occurred in relation to the interest rate although discussions were continuing and the outlook
appeared more promising. In the event, as recounted below, reductions did take place.
The second issue of burden sharing, if not bondholder burning, went through several phases. Initially, the bailout terms
did not permit any such approach by Ireland, even in respect of unsecured bondholders. This continued to be the position of
the new Coalition of March 2011, particularly at the outset of the worsening of the Greek case when the prevention of credit
default or credit event was of paramount economic importance for the EU institutions. However, the domestic political
situation in some EU euro zone states had, earlier in the process, resulted in a differing stance. The October 2010 joint
Deauville Declaration from Germany and France would have made government bonds issued from 2013 subject to default. At
the Seoul G20 Summit on 12 November 2010, Germany maintained its view that private investors should share the burden of
the euro debt crisis. France agreed. At the time, these statements caused some degree of panic in the markets resulting in higher
interest rates for Ireland. In the event, a compromise was reached among EU ministers in advance of the second Greek aid
plan in terms of a voluntary rather than an imposed contribution from elements in the private sector. It must be remembered
that French, German and other banks, as well as the ECB itself would suffer if Greece or Ireland defaulted. Shortly before this
compromise was finalised, the Irish position changed to the possibility of bailing in senior unsecured bondholders, particularly
in the Irish banks that were being wound down. Whether this would be accepted by the ECB in the case of Ireland was not clear
(mid-June 2011); in fact, it was considered most unlikely, given the unrelenting opposition of the ECB to any such moves lest
the entire edifice supporting the euro zone and European economy break down. Again, as in the case of the banks guarantee,
this statement on unsecured bondholders (although by a different Coalition) was apparently not signalled in advance to the
ECB, since it was considered Government policy. Even in late 2012, encouraging statements by Irish politicians with regard
to separation to some extent of sovereign and bank debt received an initial cool response from Germany, later rescinded, but
support from France. The sympathetic public profile of the Irish Taoiseach at this period may have helped; only the second
Taoiseach to appear on the cover of the magazine Time and the first to receive public awards (one from a German group).
A third issue arose also and remains live, that of Irelands perceived low rate of corporation tax in comparison with other
EU member states and Irelands unwillingness to accept a certain level of tax harmonisation, even though seeking aid. Both
the previous and the current Coalition Governments remained adamant that inward investment and consequent growth were
contingent on this policy, as were economic recovery, pay back of bailout assistance, and return to the markets as soon as
possible.
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However, by mid 2011, four years after the international financial crisis began, the anticipated economic upturn was
still slow in being realised. Nevertheless, the President of the Irish Exporters Association reported (22 June, 2011) positively:
exports for the first quarter of 2011 were up 9.4% (pharmaceutical, agri-food and particularly IT in the services sector). This
continued in the second quarter resulting in growth of 1.6% in the economy for the period. Comparative figures for exports
during 2010 in three peripheral states had shown Ireland well ahead: Ireland 162 billion; Portugal 49.2 billion; Greece
42.3 billion. On the international scene by mid-2011, the debate began to centre less on individual peripheral states of
the EU and more on the future of the euro zone itself as it became increasingly clear that, perhaps, the political will was not
strong enough among the states of the centre to maintain the euro, given the propensity to give precedence to domestic issues
and agendas. This was further aggravated in late 2012 by the continuing euroscepticism in the UK which could lead to that
member states withdrawal from the euro zone.
In the meantime, Ireland was keeping well to the terms of the bailout. However galling the fact of external oversight
was to Irish citizens, the requisite progress reports on meeting the set targets were being regularly forwarded to the troika
paymasters and being met with approval. The first formal quarterly report of the troika was made to the new Taoiseach in
April 2011. In early June 2011, the EU Commission reported that implementation of the bailout programme to Ireland was
on track. By end July 2011, the Minister for Finance was informing the EU and the IMF that, at that point, Ireland had met
or had overachieved with regard to the terms of the assistance plan. The decline in deposits in Irish banks was stabilising as
withdrawals slowed and confidence grew. Lending by banks was also, if slowly, on the increase. In fact, the new Coalition had
little choice but to follow in general the policies agreed by the Oireachtas in the last months of 2010 and in the Finance Act
voted by the Oireachtas at the end of January 2011 in advance of the General Election of February 2011, whether in relation to
the National Recovery Plan or to the 2011 Budget which formed the first year of that plan, or to the conditions of the troika
Programme of Support, many of which were already in the Recovery Plan. By June 2011, in addition to cuts across the board,
all public salaries had been reduced, from the top down. A referendum was planned on the salaries of judges to take place in
October 2011 on the same date as the election for the presidency. A Fiscal Advisory Council was announced (although some
commentators questioned the usefulness of such instruments) and its title later changed. The Implementation Body established
in July 2010 in the aftermath of the Croke Park Public Service Agreement issued its first report in June 2011 on the year to endMarch 2011. It announced that estimated sustainable pay bill savings in the order of 289 million had been achieved during
the period as well as significant non-pay cost savings of 308 million and costs of 87.5 million being avoided through
initiatives taken. On the other hand, in mid-June 2011, marking the first 100 days of the new Coalition, the Taoiseach and
the Tnaiste (Prime Minister and Deputy) announced that the budget for 2012 would not contain any tax increases. This was
slightly watered down later by some individual ministers although the initial 4 billion adjustment for Budget 2012 became
3.5 billion, for a period, after the reduction in the cost of the bailout through lower interest rates for Ireland.
This reduction was proposed by the EU at the late July 2011 summit, subject to acceptance by all 27 member states. With
continuing problems in Greece and impending problems in Spain and Italy, a euro zone solution was required. This worked
to Irelands advantage since it receives loan funding from two sources: the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) of
the European Commission and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) of the euro zone countries. Reforms proposed
a 2% reduction (to 3.5%) in the interest rate on loans from the Facility; the initial reduction sought before the crisis widened
in the euro zone had only been 1%. In the aftermath of the July proposals, the Government embarked on a diplomatic mission
to persuade the other 26 EU member states to ensure a similar reduction in rates on loans from the EU Stability Mechanism
which is operated by the EU Commission and in rates on the bilateral loans from Britain, Denmark and Sweden.
By September 2011, the Commission decided to give the Mechanism loan at cost price, or at the amount it pays when
it borrows, without any addition to that. Other changes which Ireland could use if required arose from more flexibility
being granted to the European Financial Stability Facility: the possibility of the term of loans being extended together with
bond buyback facilities. The corporation tax reduction was not sought but Ireland engaged to discussion with EU partners
on a common consolidated corporation tax for Europe. By the end of September, the markets were demonstrating renewed
confidence in Ireland and foreign investment in Irish banks began to increase. Such developments may herald a quicker return
than anticipated to independence and sovereignty in fiscal matters.
By February 2012, with Greece still in dire straits and fears for the euro increasing, the 27 EU States had agreed to set up
the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) as a permanent euro zone bailout fund. Stiffer fiscal responsibility and solidarity
(in EU budget rules for Member States) will be reflected in the Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance in the
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Economic and Monetary Union. Politically, it was hoped that this undertaking would not require a referendum in Ireland.
However, the recommendation of the Attorney-General dictated otherwise. The referendum was passed.
One indication, however, of some slight improvement in the perception of the Irish situation came in late February 2012
when Irish Government bonds were bought by private investors for the first time since Autumn 2010. By June 2012, the
World Competitiveness Yearbook placed Ireland in 20th place overall of 59 countries on a range of factors. These included 1st
on the following criteria: attitudes to globalisation; understanding of the need for economic and social reform; availability of
skilled labour, flexibility of workforce and investment incentives. Unfortunately, Ireland was ranked 53rd with regard to access
for credit to business.

Analyses of the crisis: repercussions and reports


On the economic front, in recent years, then, the Irish economy could best be described as being on a rollercoaster course.
The results were predictable: collapse of the construction industry; recapitalisation of banks; regulatory reforms; legislation
to establish a National Assets Management Agency (NAMA to take over the bad assets of banks) and banks inquiries to
ascertain the background which had apparently led to corporate governance and regulatory weaknesses. This was accompanied
by house owners left in a situation of negative equity accompanied by a growing number of repossessions. The measures taken
to shore up the banking sector will have repercussions for public finances and taxpayers well into the future. All areas of State
policy, including policy and expenditure on language, will undoubtedly be affected also well into the future to some extent not
only by these events but by the situation they led to in late 2010.
The chair of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (An Bord Snip Nua, report 2009; see
below Funding) commented publicly at the MacGill Summer School in July 2010 that the crisis could have been avoided but
for the massive failure of economic governance. Rather than the international context being totally responsible for the crisis,
the two reports on banking (mid 2010), by international bankers Regling & Watson (on monetary and fiscal policies in the
period just before the crisis) and by Irish Central Bank governor Honohan (on the role of the Central Bank and the Financial
Regulator) faulted Government budgetary and fiscal policy, the Central Bank, the regulatory system, and the failure of bank
management to maintain safe banking practices. One commentator viewed the bank management situation at the time in
terms of the pressure to compete outweighing the required evaluation of risk. An independent review panel was established by
the Minister for Finance in late 2010 on Strengthening the Capacity of the Department of Finance. Its findings were published
in early 2011 (having reported in December 2010). The panel reviewed and assessed the Departments performance over the
previous ten years. In general, the report found that the Department did provide clear warnings to Cabinet and that this advice
was more direct and comprehensive than concerns expressed by others in Ireland, or by international agencies. However,
the report also made a suite of recommendations to enhance the functioning of the department, a matter for the incoming
administration after the General Election of February 2011.
The Central Bank Reform Act 2010, which commenced on 1 October, effectively merged into the Central Bank of Ireland
the existing entities: the Central Bank, Financial Services Authority of Ireland, and the Financial Regulator. In light of later
events, it is worth quoting from its Strategic Plan 2010-2012, in which the new entity states that it will:
contribute to financial stability, Eurosystem effectiveness and price stability
ensure effective regulation at market and institutional level
build on consumer protection
provide authoritative economic advice to Government
provide an efficient financial services infrastructure
maximise operational efficiencies and cost effectiveness.
A third report was commissioned by the Minister for Finance in part to answer the point made by the previous reports on the
necessity to find answers to the bank management practices outlined. In his report (April 2011), the Finnish expert, Peter Nyberg,
effectively blamed all parties involved for what is described as a national speculative mania; the rule of group consensus and
reluctance to challenge as well as eficient information which led to the costly bank guarantee of 29 September 2008. One of
the more immediate responses of the new (March 2011) Coalition government to this report was the promise of a referendum
to allow members of the Oireachtas (Legislature) to establish inquiries into matters of fact and hold persons accountable. In
2000, the Supreme Court had ruled against such inquiries (the Abbeylara case). The wording of this referendum, scheduled to
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take place at the same time as the October 2011 presidential election, caused some controversy on the grounds that it would
give too much power to Oireachtas committees in the case of individuals under scrutiny by such committees.
The National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), a research body based at the National University of
Ireland (NUI) Maynooth, issued a report in July 2010 which located the unsustainable construction boom in the policies of
central and local government which resulted in poor planning, excessive rezoning of land, and tax incentives. The authors
called for an independent inquiry into these practices and the role of the State in promulgating them. While excessive lending
by banks is acknowledged, it is the authors contention that this came about as a result of poor State fiscal and planning
policies. These policies bypassed the States own spatial strategy and led to unfinished ghost housing estates, problems for
existing homeowners and tenants on these estates, and the eventual necessity for the establishment of NAMA. It was hoped
that the review of the National Spatial Strategy in Autumn 2010 would address some of the planning lacunae.
Another view blamed the narrow interpretation of planning that existed, one which was not sufficiently people or futureled. The Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 now requires alignment of local development plans with national
strategic intent as well as more evidence-based planning. Another section of this Act, however, section 50 (b) of the Act, led to
a request by environmentalists to the President to convene the Council of State to discuss the constitutionality of the section.
The view of the lobby group centred on each party having to bear its own costs in any case taken; a provision which could
prevent any cases being taken. In the Departments view this was an improvement since until now litigants could be liable for
all costs. The context for the amendment apparently lay in the finding of the European Court of Justice in 2009 that Ireland
was in breach of its obligations in relation to impact assessment and public participation since applicants for judicial review
could be exposed to possible prohibitive costs.
By year end (December 2010), a call was made for unambiguous legislation to deal with possible conflicts of interest in
relation to planning decisions at different levels of government. In March 2011, the newly appointed Coalition (Fine Gael/
Labour) Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government announced a review of the 2010 legislation in
line with the new Coalitions promise to reform local governance structures and ensure a more co-ordinated approach to
national, regional and planning laws. On the other hand, protests are constantly being made at the destruction of many sites
of cultural and heritage significance, current legislation being either weak or lacking or ignored or not being actively applied.
In the same vein, archaeologists expressed concern at the proposals of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to
initiate a review on the delisting of all archaeological and historical sites and structures after 1700 from the National Record
of Monuments and Places with the intention of having a standard approach nationally. Apparently, the official Archaeological
Survey of Ireland (ASI) is having difficulty in maintaining records due to lack of resources. Such a policy, if implemented,
would detract from the entire social and historical context and be at variance with the method in use in Northern Ireland.
A deeper analysis of the malaise by one commentator places its roots in lack of memory of the past and of the cultural and
political value system underlying the early State and its economic hopes, in the cult of personality replacing the traditional
emphasis on character. To some extent, this has become an examination of what republican values really represent. Others
deplore the materialistic outlook which almost destroyed the sense of community solidarity now more than ever required.
Similar views led to new forms of citizen assemblies.
On the personal level, as a result of the recession and State policies to counteract it, salaries and pensions were affected in
both the public and private sectors. Income levies were imposed. Unemployment rose; more than 423,000 were reported out
of work in late 2009, of whom 80,000 were under 25 years. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) gave an estimate of 11.6%
of the labour force unemployed for April June 2009, based on the Quarterly National Household Survey and adjusted for
seasonality. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) expected unemployment to peak at around 13.5/14% in 2010,
having revised their estimate downwards in the face of slight economic improvement. The corresponding international figures
in January 2010 were reported at 10% in the Euro zone and 8.8% in the 30-nation OECD. By July 2010 the numbers out of
work were the highest ever recorded in the State and the unemployment rate stood at 13.4% as predicted. By end May 2011,
the figure had reached 14.8% with an increasing number of long term claimants of unemployment assisstance. However, in the
last recession in Ireland, unemployment rates reached 18.3% in early December 1986. (The Government of the time pointed
to the implementation of a European directive which allowed married women to claim unemployment assistance on the same
basis as unemployed men). The value of exports fell. One commentator estimated that the economy contracted overall by 20%
since 2007 but that the rate of contraction was now (2010) falling.
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The standard, but also the cost, of living fell. Up to 12,000 jobs were lost in the tourism sector which underwent significant
reductions in visitors, since Britain, the US, Germany and France the main sources for overseas visitors were also in forms of
recession. Social welfare payments were threatened. Many incomers from other EU states returned home leading to distortion
of emigration patterns. In the year to end April 2010, some 42% of 65,300 emigrants reported by the Central Statistics Office
(CSO) were Irish leaving Ireland and the remainder returning immigrants. The preferred countries of Irish citizens emigrating
during 2010 were: Canada, New Zealand, United States, Australia and the UK, in that order, although for many it appeared
to be a case of sitting the recession out abroad. A report from the National Youth Council of Ireland in January 2011 found
that up to 70% of the young unemployed would probably emigrate during the year. CSO figures in September 2011 showed
the following comparative trends:

Emigration, Immigration, and Destination of Emigrants of Irish Nationality 20062011


YEAR

TOTAL
EMIGRATION

TOTAL
IMMIGRATION

TOTAL
UK DESTINATION

EMIGRANTS
OF IRISH
NATIONALITY

2006

36,000

107,800

8,800

15,300

2007

42,200

109,500

10,100

13,100

2008

45,300

83,800

7,000

13,400

2009

65,100

57,300

11,900

18,400

2010

65,300

30,800

14,400

27,700

2011

76,400

42,300

18,900

40,200

Social partnership broke down. Union membership appeared to be falling although still around 840,000. Trade unions
at the crossroads was the heading of the editorial in the Irish Times of 26 January 2010. However, one of the larger unions
(Technical Engineering and Electrical Union) reported some recovery with an increase of 1,500 new (not lapsed) members
in the first half of 2011. A study on incomes from 1987 to 2005 in the period before recession, which was conducted for Tasc
(an equality think tank) and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, showed not only significant differences between households,
but a widening gap. Most advice to the Government, however, still centred on continuing, not relenting on, the cuts and
retrenchment.
In the aftermath of the announcement of measures in the Budget for 2009, large marches of those affected took place,
the most astonishing being the march of the Grey Army of thousands of pensioners from every part of the country in October
2008 protesting at the withdrawal of universal access to the medical card for over-70s. The policy was later changed slightly
and higher eligibility levels introduced. Students marched on the same day on the issue of third level fees being re-introduced,
bringing the combined total to 25,000 participants from both ends of the age spectrum. While this latter policy is still a fairly
live issue for the institutions involved, the former (2010) Minister for Education at first ruled out the re-introduction of fees
but instead increased registration fees leading to further protests in 2010. The Education Minister in the next administration,
although having said before the election that he would reverse this increase, had to change his mind when in office, given the
scale of the economic problems. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) were then asked to review the third level funding
crisis, in light of the Hunt Report (January 2011), and report back by the Autumn when new charges might be discussed
ahead of the Budget for 2012. Farmers protested on losses and teachers on the increased class sizes and changes to the rules
on substitution. The Church of Ireland took issue with changes to the longstanding agreement on funding arrangements for
their schools. A national Day of Protest was union-organised on November 6 (2009) and public sector workers took to the
streets in December on cuts and income levies. Private sector workers who had actually lost their jobs were not impressed.
Public sector workers were still planning protests in April 2010 although the agreement reached in May 2010 (the Croke Park
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public service reform deal) with the support of the majority of unions provided a degree of stabilisation in relationships. Some
unions were, however, still discussing the new arrangements by Autumn 2010. The Croke Park deal did not constitute a return
to the former arrangements on social partnership but rather an employer/employee agreement. Indeed, by June 2011 there
were overtures from union leadership to the new Coalition Government on the possibility of a new relationship. However,
some commentators had considered the existing social partnership as a form of corporatism. The new Taoiseach inclines more,
apparently, to social dialogue and civic engagement.
The then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) described 2009 as the most difficult year in Irish economic history. However, by
August 2010 he was ranked among the top ten political leaders in the world by the influential American news journal Newsweek
for his handling of the crisis (as a Taskmaster), in partnership with his Minister for Finance. The Financial Times newspaper,
however, had another less congratulatory view of the Minister for both 2009 and 2010. Media accounts are interesting in their
diversity.
The predictions were for a return to slow growth in the second half of 2010. While international credit rating agencies
did downgrade Irelands rating, nevertheless by mid-2010 there was an admission that the outlook appeared to be stabilising
rather than deteriorating, as a result of government action. While this cautious optimism was encouraged somewhat by the
banks passing the EU stress tests in mid 2010 (later considered not stringent enough), the spectre of a second recession had
not entirely receded given the fragility of the euro zone and possible sovereign default on government bonds held on the
banking books of states. Once again, the chair of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes
(An Bord Snip Nua, report 2009), referring to the current and 1980s recessions, warned (September 2010) of a third crisis in
a generation if systemic failures were not addressed; in his view, these included pro-cyclical economic policies (boom and
bust), institutional failure, media unwilling to air alternative views, a political and administrative system not open to received
notions being challenged, a public service where open recruitment was not the norm.
In September 2010, the decision of one of the three major credit rating agencies, Standard and Poors (S&P), to further
downgrade Irish debt, action which could increase even more the interest rate on Government borrowing, was greeted with
more than dismay and reaction was quick. In an unusual intervention, the body responsible for managing the national debt, the
National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), viewed the move as unwarranted and the methodology of calculation out of
line with that of the International Monetary Fund or of the EU statistics body. Other commentators pointed to the need for
regulation and standardisation of methodologies among rating agencies in general. Nevertheless, S&P still believed that Irelands
credit rating was good and its capacity to repay strong. In the event, financial markets did not appear overly affected in the case
of Ireland in the aftermath of the S&P downgrading. That quickly changed as the level of public debt became clearer due to the
bailout for the banking sector; interest rates on State borrowing went to an unprecedented high of 9% by November 2010 but
fell slightly later in the month to between 8% and 9%. It was hardly surprising then that the chief executive of NTMA (National
Treasury Management Agency) viewed 2010 as a very challenging year, particularly since the agency could no longer source the
bond market when it became clear that confidence was ebbing and a bailout looming. In addition, when the terms of the bailout
were clarified, the National Pension Reserve Fund, which is under the aegis of the NTMA, was reduced by 10 billion.
As the euro zone became threatened, the EU Commission sought a four-year plan (beyond the term of the incumbent
Government); the relevant Commissioner visited to ensure that Ireland adhered to EU fiscal rules. Hints of the 2011 Budget,
to be unveiled in early December 2010, were greeted with trepidation. Although it seemed that the Budget might receive allparty support eventually, given the scale of the problems, calls for an early election were unsettling. Even as this budget was
being voted on in December 2010, there were protests outside the Houses of the Oireachtas. At home, the notion of possibly
losing the economic sovereignty so hard won to the comfort zone of the troika, represented by the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the EU Commission, were even more disturbing. The fact that the November
2010 meeting of the mighty G20 in Seoul found itself, to some extent, involved in the international ramifications of Irelands
fate tells its own story. The official political line, however, still continued to be that Ireland had always paid its debts and, given
the hard political choices now inevitable, there was no reason to suppose that it would not continue to do so. The problem was
financial, because of the banking crisis, rather than economic; the fundamentals were still considered sound. However, within
one week all that had changed. On radio, on Sunday 21 November 2010, the Minister for Finance announced that he would be
proposing to his governmental colleagues at that afternoons meeting of the Government that a formal application be made for
a programme of aid. By Sunday 28 November, the outlines of that programme and its conditions were clarified. By May 2011,
public discussion was centring on the possibility of defaulting on debt in an attempt to avoid national bankruptcy, a position
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that had receded somewhat by June 2011. By July, much greater concerns than Irelands debt were exercising the minds of the
euro zone institutions and the IMF was looking to the EU and the ECB for a European solution to a European problem, not
an overly encouraging phrase given the meaning usually assigned to the saying an Irish solution to an Irish problem.

Outcomes
Social outcomes
In some quarters, the media were criticised for their overly negative approach to the crisis. One more positive commentator
pointed out that, in terms of GNP (Gross National Product), Ireland is still the 16th richest country in the world and that
Ireland has one of the highest purchasing power standards of any country, even in recession. The CSO reports (October 2010)
showed, however, that GNP fell by 3.5% in 2007 and 10.7% in 2008. On GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita, the
Central Statistics Office reported Ireland at second highest in the EU for 2009. For quality of broadband, without which
the modern world appears unable to function, Ireland comes at number 13 of 72 countries, ahead of the UK and the USA,
according to research at Oxford (October, 2010). A ministerial statement of the same month points out that exports are
performing well (90% of what is produced is exported) and Ireland is ranked as the second most entrepreneurial state of the
EU. Irish workers also work longer hours. The World Bank (November 2010) ranked Ireland among the top ten (at ninth
place) places in which to do business, of 183 countries. The most recent human development index published by the UN
Development Programme (late 2011) ranks Ireland as the 7th most developed country in the world.
However, Ireland also had one of the highest rates of income inequality in the developed world. Economists and
commentators argue from two different perspectives on tax revenues: leave income tax alone until the rising tide offers general
improvement; tax the rich now to pay government debt and leave public services alone. There appears to be general agreement
that those lines of state expenditure which offer the highest economic and social benefits should be least cut. This implies no
mean level of pre-analysis to ensure political and public acceptance. However, income inequality may have decreased somewhat
at one level insofar as the effects of the recession left segments of the middle class in the category of the new poor. This resulted
in the gap between rich and poor growing even larger.
The biennial report on the State of the Nations Children, produced by the Department of Health, reported in December
2010 (8.7%) that there had been the first increase since 2006 (11%) in consistent child poverty, having declined to 6.3% in
2008. A study of 31 countries by the German Bertelsmann Foundation, reported in January 2011, placed Ireland low at 27th
on criteria of social justice. In April 2011, a study by the OECD (Doing Better for Families) found that 16.3% of Irish children
live in poverty according to OECD criteria, the OECD average being 12.7%. These figures must be seen against the EU
Commissions Demography Report for 2010: Ireland had the youngest population and the lowest proportion of people over 65;
the fertility rate for Irish women was highest in the EU at 2.07, the EU average being 1.6. Irish women also tended to be older
when beginning their family, at age 30/31. In fact, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reported an increase in births in the
first quarter of 2011 to the highest number since 1960, thus giving an annual rate of 17.8 per 1,000 population. The natural
increase in population stood at a rate of 11.0 per 1,000 for the quarter.
The State of the Nations Children (2010) report showed that traveller children, immigrant children and disabled children
were bullied at school. An Unicef report on adolescents, Changing the Future: Experiencing Youth in Contemporary Ireland
(April, 2011), found that over 50% had experienced bullying. They were very conscious of the recession and pessimistic
about the immediate future. No more than 12% went to church regularly. Nevertheless, 80% were happy in themselves. A
study of 120 nine-year-olds in their families, from around the country including urban and rural contexts, was published
in September 2011, Growing up in Ireland The National Longitudinal Study of Children. While bullying was an issue and
separated parents, over 80% ranked their life high on the satisfaction indicator, friendships playing an important role. More
than half of respondents ranked life satisfaction at 9 out of 10.
Similarly, a study by Amrach Research in March 2011 reported 80% of people over 50 in Ireland being in general happy
and healthy. This finding was borne out in research from Trinity College Dublin of May 2011, The Irish Longitudinal Study on
Ageing. The Gallup 2010 global survey on well being, conducted in 155 countries and published in April 2011, placed Ireland
in the top ten countries. Interestingly, on these criteria of fulfilment and thriving, Irish people were ahead of the US and the
UK, France and Germany. Scandinavian citizens topped the poll. Resilience, resignation even, and slowness to anger, coupled
with enjoyment and happiness, were reported by Amrach Research as more prevalent than other moods such as stress and
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worry. This led some commentators to speculate that riches of relationships may surpass material riches. On the other hand,
The National Adult Nutrition Survey of April 2011 found that 60% of under-65s were either obese or overweight.

Citizens reaction
The possible loss of sovereignty to Europe and to foreign bondholders, as well as dismay and disappointment in respect of
institutional Ireland, led to new interest in the concept of citizenship. Instead of continuing protests, meetings were organised
of civil society, organisations and individuals, seeking to articulate a set of values and ways of realising them.
The initiative, We the Citizens, one of the bottom-up outcomes of the economic downturn, is reported (mid-June 2011) to
have surprised its chairman, Director of the Abbey Theatre, with regard to the lack of negativity displayed at public meetings
where the emphasis has been on how to improve things. But then the Irish voting public do use the ballot box very efficiently to
express their views; this is variously referred to as rioting at the ballot box and the pencil revolution, pencils being supplied at
voting booths to mark the voting paper. A similar initiative is being discussed (June 2011) under the aegis of a strategic group
for research and initiative supported by several Irish language organisations, An Mheitheal Straitise Taighde agus Tionscnamh.
However, the actual aims, structure, articulation with other democratic structures and possible uses of such citizen initiatives
have yet to be satisfactorily clarified if a longer life for them is envisaged. It has been argued that, as yet, no genuine grassroots
movement of active citizenship exists in Ireland; that none of those loose groupings which came to the fore recently can
legitimately claim to represent the collective citizenry; that their committees or boards may be more representative of other
interests in society possibly unhelpful or even inimical to citizen empowerment. Nevertheless, impetus has to come from some
quarter to ensure an organised movement capable of positive change.
Rekindling of civic pride was also the impetus for another initiative (early 2011), Dublin City of a Thousand Welcomes;
2,000 volunteers were willing to be ambassadors for Dublin and introduce tourists to their city. In somewhat similar vein,
while it is not currently intended to conduct citizenship tests, those granted citizenship will, from June 2011, be part of a
formal citizenship ceremony and swear fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the state..
Despite the economic downturn, the UN Human Development Index still reported Ireland (November 2010) among the
top five countries of 169 surveyed, albeit in fifth place, on quality of life indices as opposed to the more economy based GNP
per capita. An EU-wide survey in mid 2009 found Irish respondents very pessimistic indeed about economic and employment
prospects for Ireland and having low levels of satisfaction with public administration. However, despite public anger and
disillusionment with politicians and bankers, they were still more satisfied than other Europeans about living in their own
country. On the same note, given the deteriorating economic situation, the results of the 2009 survey conducted on behalf of
the Irish Times and published in November 2009 were somewhat surprising. Despite the personal problems of respondents,
73% were still content with life and 80% wished Ireland to start believing in itself again. Interestingly, many had re-embarked
on a new assessment of their values system and maintained what was described as a stubbornly positive outlook on life. These
2009 results were borne out a year later in several studies. A Eurostat survey on mental health found that the Irish had the
lowest levels of physical or emotional problems in the EU. The majority feel happy although one third felt that their job could
be insecure. A CSO quarterly household study in the third quarter of 2010 (before the bailout) found that, overall, 8 of 10
adults (both men and women) reported being happy all or most of the time. Subsequent studies found this 80% to be a fairly
constant result, among children and adults as reported above (Social outcomes). Nevertheless, a WIN-Gallup poll reported
in early 2011 using a different method of direct questioning of respondents on whether they were currently happy, unhappy,
or neither. With 45% happy and 25% unhappy, the 30% of others being omitted, the result is given at 20% happiness
rating. This, apparently, is half the international average at 40% and much less than the Western European figure of 56%. The
undecideds seem to have made quite of difference, or maybe that is another national trait. It was pointed out that happiness
and well being are differently measured.
Research by the Charities Aid Foundation (UK) ranked Irish people on a score of 7 out of 10 on happiness and well being
(the average score was 5.4). In addition, Ireland came joint third in world rankings for giving money and time to charitable
purposes. Not surprisingly then, another Eurostat survey (September 2010) found that the Irish were the highest givers in
Europe (61% of those surveyed) to development aid charities. In May 2011, a survey conducted for Philanthropy Ireland, in
light of the difficult future facing charities, showed optimistic results. It reported that 460m is donated yearly; women giving
more than men and with no small variation between regions. In August 2011, it was reported by Dchas (Hope) the umbrella
organisation for some 40 Irish aid or development organisations that 12 million had been collected over six weeks for the
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crisis in the Horn of Africa. In September 2011, the Second Annual Report on Fundraising in Ireland (on 171 out of the 9000
not-for-profit organisations revealed) a 24% increase for 2010 over 2009, although largely in international development and
health; domestic organisations saw no more than a 5% increase. The State is still the largest donor for the work carried out by
the organisations. Most organisations focussed on services in Ireland suffered a loss in donations. This may be related to the
once off donation for crises abroad as opposed to more continuous appeals for ongoing aid at home.

Interestingly, Irish people remain positive about Europe. Despite 50% believing that Ireland had surrendered its sovereignty
by accepting financial support from the EU and the IMF, 68% felt it was better in the current crisis to be part of the EU. In
this Irish Times Ipsos MRBI poll reported on 22 July 2011, 38% did not believe sovereignty had been surrendered (12% did
not know) and 22% felt it was better not to be in the EU in the current crisis (10% did not know).
All these positive findings may account for another survey result among tourists. A survey (November 2010) by a travel
book series which sought travellers favourite destination unexpectedly placed Ireland top of the international list, despite the
fact that it had not been included on the list provided to voters. In fact, these intrinsic attitudes were noted back in 1986,
during another recession, by the compiler of an information booklet on cultural behaviour for the US Defense Intelligence
Agency, at the time of President Reagans visit to his forebears home in County Tipperary. The Irish were seen as optimistic,
with a real joy in life.
Other outcomes of the recession, its causes and results, seemed to tap into more historical and psychological undertones.
One columnist saw the problem as residing in the corrupt ideology espoused by Irish society. A former Taoiseach (Prime
Minister) and newspaper columnist listed reasons for what he described as the lack of civic morality: the Irish being for
long a colonised people alienated from the language and religion of their rulers; late modernisation; the importance of
land ownership; the emphasis of the Roman Catholic Church on its relationship with the independent state to the possible
detriment of training in civic responsibility. A writer and poet, addressing new university graduates, discriminated between
state and nation, or people as creators of civic society. He called for solidarity in what he described as imagining a new Ireland.
Many commentators bemoaned the lack of innovative leadership in a situation of political flux. The social justice lobby group,
Afri, rewrote the ideals expressed in the 1916 Proclamation to show the lack of economic sovereignty and vision for the future
beyond paying back international loans.
Not unexpectedly, bookshops had a plentiful crop of books on the Irish economy for sale at Christmas 2009. They
apparently sold well. A more unusual publication was Capitalising on Culture, Competing on Difference by Finbarr Bradley agus
James Kennelly (2008), where the authors contrast two views in economic thinking:
(i) Confidence and independence arise out of an erosion of a sense of place; rootedness is antithetical to competitiveness,
and its polar opposite:
(ii) No nation can be truly innovative if people do not know and appreciate who they are, where they came from,
where they are trying to go.
The authors argue cogently for the second view, the sense of all members of the nation having and creating a shared destiny.

Culture as a national asset


In keeping with this view, perhaps one of the most significant outcomes of the recession was the renewed interest in the
successful members of the Diaspora on the one hand and on culture and matters cultural as national assets, on the other hand.
This interest had two sources: the association of creativity and imagination with the desired smart economy at home (Ireland
is currently, 2010, placed at 17 of the top 20 digital economies in the world); the maintenance abroad of brand Ireland, now
through the more enduring lens of Irelands constant creativity and reputation in the arts sphere. Cultural diplomacy became
the way to restore international standing. Such a view was bolstered by some varied current events at the time. Princess Mako
of Japan, granddaughter of Empress Michiko, attended university in Dublin in 2010. The Empress speaks Irish and has always
had an interest in Irish culture. In mid-2010, the book for children voted the British Puffin of Puffins book, was Artemis Fowl
by the Irish author from Wexford, Eoin Colfer. Around the same time, the Irish band, U2, were reported by Forbes.com as the
highest earning band in the world, while the Irish involvement in the Shanghai World Expo 2010 has received much praise for
its innovative approach within a fairly modest budget, as did Irelands participation in the international architecture biennale,
held in the oratory of San Gallo, the Irish monk, in Venice.
A topical publication from Cork University Press, Ireland, Design and Visual Culture: Negotiating Modernity 1922-1992,
provided a reminder that the struggling newly independent State set about imagining and redefining itself as a changed entity
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through visual culture: designing the Free State seal, the currency, stamps, and the distinctive harp logo. The 75th anniversary
(2011) of the founding of the airline Aer Lingus (on 15th April, 1936) as national carrier, with its distinctive green colour
and shamrock, is considered as another example of such redefinition as modern and independent, but always Irish. In later
decades it trained pilots and shared expertise with states small and large. However, the State now retains no more than a certain
shareholding since 2006 when the airline floated on the stock exchange and is now open to takeover.
In July 2010, the city of Dublin was designated an Unesco City of Literature in perpetuity, one of only four globally (the
others being Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City), a venture planned by the library service of Dublin City Council. Information
on the vast array of Irish writers may be found on the Dublin Unesco website, www.dublincityofliterature.com. One of the 50
works nominated for invention of the year 2010 by Time magazine is by a young Irish designer, a type of versatile gum that
hardens to whichever purpose the user requires. She has named it Sugru, or play in Irish and markets solely through e-tail,
or social media.
The Global Irish Economic Forum or Think Tank, convened by the Government in Farmleigh, Dublin, in September
2009, led to the establishment of the Global Irish Network of significant businesspeople, over 300 in almost 40 countries
around the world, whose task is to maintain contacts and exchange ideas and views with Government sources. The two main
outcomes of this Forum centred on the Diaspora and on culture. The first meeting of the Network in North America took
place in November 2010, chaired by the Minister for Tourism, and attended by up to 70 Irish-Americans, prominent across
a range of operations. The Minister reminded the audience that Ireland receives more US investment than Russia and China
combined. The new Coalition Government (Fine Gael, Labour) planned the second Farmleigh gathering for October 2011.
The continuing impact of this emphasis on the successful members of the Diaspora may be gauged in several ways: the
Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), based in Silicon Valley, which has grown to 4,000 members worldwide assisting
Irish technology companies; the Irish Day planned by the New York Stock Exchange around St. Patricks Day 2012, described
as a global summit, as one of many investments in Ireland-based initiatives.
In March 2010, the actor Gabriel Byrne was appointed cultural ambassador for Ireland. Issues of identity began to be
explored at public conferences and seminars, both through Irish and through English. The Gateway Ireland Project, which
arose from the Farmleigh meeting, is interested in the international perception of Ireland as well as the perception of identity
among the Diaspora. A privately owned and run website was to be launched on St. Patricks Day 2011. As a broad based portal,
it would provide information on all aspects of Ireland which would be translated into the languages of different countries
through electronic embassies.
For the benefit of all those of Irish descent worldwide, estimated at more than 70 million people, a certificate of Irish
heritage was planned by the Department of Foreign Affairs to be produced under licence by a third party company and made
available at a reasonable fee. The first example was presented to mark the 10th anniversary of the Twin Towers, to Bridget,
mother of firefighter Joseph Hunter, who lost his life attempting to save others. The take-up of the certificate has proved
disappointing (2012). A small project, Ireland Reaching Out, involved inviting the descendants of emigrants back to a small
area in south-east Galway. Its success in 2010 has led to community volunteers in other parishes getting involved also. A much
larger initiative, from the tourist industry, entitled Tstal ireann 2013 (The Gathering, or Irish Homecoming) was announced
at the Global Irish Economic Forum of 2011 as was an awards scheme for outstanding figures among the Irish. Two postcards
were sent in late 2012 to households to encourage invitations home to family or friends abroad. However, the concept has
found critics for tending towards the venal. Nevertheless, the continuing popularity of free access to the records of the 1901
and 1911 censuses are proof of interest. Within weeks of the 1901 census being made available in June 2010 (census.ie), the
site had attracted more than 60 million hits. Several dioceses also now provide church records on the www.irishgenealogy.ie
website. In early September 2011, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht held a joint meeting for all involved in
the Irish genealogy project, from researchers to tourism operators to digitisation experts. Experts in the field look for some
standardisation of access (free and with fee) and of search methods.
The 2010 Farmleigh (pronounced Farmlee echoing the original Irish, non-anglicised name, Fearann Liath, literally
grey/green land or townland) gathering highlighted the arts in recovery policies from the recession, although in phraseology
foreign to many practitioners, monetising the arts. However, the newly appointed Minister of the newly named Department
of Tourism, Culture, Sport, speaking at an event after her appointment (March 2010) emphasised valuing the arts for
their own sake and considering any tourism and economic spin-off as an added bonus. This view was also put forward
during an academic conference held in Trinity College Dublin on 15 April 2010 on the contribution made by the arts and
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cultural spheres to economic and social health and in an editorial in the Irish Times (19 April, 2010), Valuing our heritage,
commenting on the list of sites submitted by the Minister for the Environment to UNESCO for possible recognition on
that bodys World Heritage List. It was further echoed during 2010 in the reply of the new Ireland Professor of Poetry, Harry
Clifton, to the assertion of the Taoiseach that the arts could give brand Ireland a competitive edge in a globalised world. The
Professor decried the notion of the arts or the human mind as mere market commodities. Another commentator considered
cultural vigour and the arts as part of the cultural intelligence of a people. In general, it would appear that the juxtaposition
of culture and creativity with industry is unsettling for some although others call for artists to openly play their part in the
life of the nation.
On the other hand nevertheless, a coalition of groups representing Irelands creative and cultural industries made a joint
submission in August 2010 to the European Commissions green paper on Unlocking the Potential of the Cultural and Creative
Industries. The possible uses of the outcomes of the creative process in keeping Ireland in the global consciousness, with possible
market fallouts for all sectors of society and the economy, is not a process which is anathema to all. Arguments are also made on
the role of the arts in what is described as the creative economy and how the arts are missing from the innovation fund and the
impact of the digital agenda and encouragement of the smart economy. Reports have been produced to show the economic
return from investment in the various art forms. A report for Business to Arts published in June 2010 on bank sponsorship for
two festivals in Dublin and Belfast revealed the spin-off: without sponsorship the festivals could not function at the same level;
with the sponsorship almost 70 jobs (or equivalents) were supported and 8.4 million added to economy activity north and
south. In July 2010, the Minister for Tourism launched a new grant scheme in the area of cultural technology. It is intended
to further the departments aim of recognising the social and economic role of the arts, culture and film sectors. The scheme
consists of aid towards any form of communications technology which promotes Irish arts and culture with a tourism angle.
Comments on Irish participation at the three Edinburgh festivals (Fringe, International, and International Book Fair) in
August 2010 reveal some of the tensions in the thinking and in the use of market terminology in discussion of the arts and the
economy. The State body, Culture Ireland, has at the core of its mission the task of growing the reputation and market-share
for Irish artists. The Irish Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport considered the Edinburgh Festivals significant platforms
where Irish artists can showcase their creative work to a massive audience and make important economic connections to
develop valuable new touring opportunities. The Minister also noted in August 2010 that the marketing budget for tourism
had increased at a time when cuts were more the norm (additional funding was also found in 2011 for tourism initiatives). She
was responding to the findings of a survey (Anholt-GfK Roper Nations Brands Index) of global travellers which considered
Ireland the 12th most beautiful country in the world. Of global interest also, apparently, is the fact that an Irish comedian
established the first world record for the longest solo stand-up comedy show in 2009: 36 hours and 15 minutes. (It has since
been surpassed by an Australian and a Norwegian). In fact, the recession in Ireland led to an increase in visitors to most
museums, galleries, libraries, archives and concerts during 2009 and into 2010.
The Arts Council values the cultural tourism industry at 2.4 billion directly a year and their annual funding for 2010
(down to 69.15m) at less than 1 a week for every household. Funding between 2008 and 2011 (65m) has decreased by
almost a third. The Council argues that the arts are the most productive and innovative sector of the domestic economy,
providing 30,000 jobs and giving back 350m per annum to the exchequer in taxes. The Council also emphasises the prizes
and nominations for all major awards enjoyed by the various art forms: writing, theatre, music, film, animation. The arts
practitioners are themselves very politically pro-active, pointing to the truths that all this success is accomplished on extremely
low salaries and overheads.
Nevertheless, whatever the emphasis on the Diaspora and on tourism, the interest at home on self-definition through
culture led to new interest on perceptions of identity. One commentator sees a new need to reconnect with the past, with new
forms of tradition, now that the type of identity engendered by the economic Tiger era has lost its meaning; this identity being
never more at any rate than a replacement for the waning belief in church and institutions. The fiscal and political crisis of the
moment he sees as becoming in the future both social and cultural. The possible loss of sovereignty to Europe and to foreign
bondholders, as well as dismay and disappointment in respect of institutional Ireland, led to new interest in the concept of
citizenship. Instead of protests, meetings were organised of civil society, organisations and individuals, seeking to articulate a
set of values and ways of realising them. A movement also began for reform of the whole political system, particularly among
the younger generation of politicians across all parties. A study carried out during the election campaign in February 2011
and launched in Leinster House (seat of Parliament) on Democracy Day (15 September) had some interesting results. While
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people wanted fewer TDs to represent them, they wished the emphasis to be on local rather than national issues (more support
for this in other areas than in Dublin city and Leinster). There was also support for abolishing the Seanad (Upper House). The
current electoral system of proportional representation by single transferable vote received high support for its retention and
opposition to its removal. As in other random sample polls, confidence in public institutions was lowest in banks and political
parties, topping the list at the time was the Garda (police) and RT (public broadcaster), then in descending order the
courts, Civil Service, EU, church, trade unions. These attitudes have had some results as detailed in the section below under
Politics and Government.
Another outcome of the recession was the competition conceived by the husband of the President, An Smaoineamh
Mr (The Great Idea, February 2010), publicised under the slogan Your Country Your Call. Companies, individuals and
a government department funded the online competition, run by a not-for-profit company, to find two successful projects
which could be developed. There were two winners from almost 9,000 entries. One envisages making Ireland a global media
hub for the content industries; the second the creation of a data island, where Ireland develops green mega data centres. The
competition was initially criticised on the grounds of a rule asking for submissions in English. However, submissions as Gaeilge
(in Irish) were accepted and displayed on the projects website.
Iceland was another example of a country that turned once more to self-definition through the arts after its financial crisis.
In France, policy on the arts has unexpectedly taken on new significance in the contest for the presidency there (July 2011).
LANGUAGE MATTERS AND RECESSION
The very practical implications of less public monies to spend on language affairs are evident and explained under various
headings below. While they may be seen as having very negative effects, on the other hand, nevertheless, concomitant changes
of emphases in both political and public discourse as well as a renewed public discussion on identity and core values could, if
properly mobilised, prove very positive to perceptions of, and engagement with, Irish language and culture.
Several publications appeared on the theme of economy and language. A new study of the decline of Irish as vernacular
was published in February 2011, Contests and Contexts: the Irish Language and Irelands Socio-Economic Development, by Dr
John Walsh of the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). Its thesis is that the language shift in the 19th century was
detrimental to both society and economy resulting in not only language loss but additionally in loss of self-confidence and
of economic creativity. In September 2011, a work in Irish, Meon Gaelach, Aigne Nulaoch (Gaelic Disposition, Creative/
Inventive Mind), by Professor Fionnbarra Brolchin (Professor Finbarr Bradley), came out; it discusses the advantages of a
native language in developing an innovative smart economy. This might be considered a sequel to the work mentioned already
above, Capitalising on Culture, Competing on Difference by Finbarr Bradley agus James Kennelly (2008), where the authors
contrast two views in economic thinking:
(i) Confidence and independence arise out of an erosion of a sense of place; rootedness is antithetical to competitiveness,
and its polar opposite:
(ii) No nation can be truly innovative if people do not know and appreciate who they are, where they came from,
where they are trying to go.
The authors argue cogently for the second view, the sense of all members of the nation having and creating a shared destiny.
On the issue of language and the direct implications of economic problems, an account of the impact of the economic
crisis on both philosophy and funding for the language and the Gaeltacht may be found below, towards the end of Chapter 3,
Funding for Irish Language and Culture.
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Two visits
The period mid 2007 to mid 2011 could well be counted among the more turbulent periods in Irish political and economic
history as detailed below and in the section above on the economy. Nevertheless, in May 2011, two events occurred which were
seen as of major positive significance, nationally and internationally, in political terms. Queen Elizabeth the Second accepted
the invitation of the President of Ireland to visit. Given the history of the two countries, the words of both dignatories at a
reception in Dublin Castle began a new chapter in relationships. The Queen spoke of being able to bow to the past, but
not be bound by it. The Presidents response was similar in tone: We cannot change the past, but we have chosen to change
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the future. Unusually, the Queen was accompanied for some of her visit by Prime Minister Cameron and William Hague,
the Foreign Secretary. As always, Prince Philip was by the Queens side. Irish speakers were pleased that the Queen began
her keynote speech in Irish, addressing the President and the assembled guests: A Uachtarin agus a chairde (President and
friends).
A few days later, Barack Obama, President of the United States, accompanied by his wife Michelle, paid a brief visit to his
forebears house in Moneygall (Muine Gall) in County Offaly. Speaking in public in Dublin to a crowd estimated at 100,000,
his rousing words, particularly to young people, on Irelands future, were very well received, as was his use of one possible
Irish language version of his slogan, We can do it, Is fidir linn. This had been popular for some time printed on tee shirts.
Naturally, the possible trade implications of both visits were of economic importance. The symbolic use of the Irish language
by both visitors was appreciated, although not to be regarded as a model for Irish politicians who could go further. While not
detracting from either event, it was also noted that national self-confidence best comes from within, and not from dependence
on external sources of affirmation.

During her visit, the Queen was presented with a copy of an Irish Primer (Speake Iryshe) prepared for her ancestor, Elizabeth
the First, by Baron Christopher Nugent and given to that queen in 1564. The facsimile was enabled through the digitisation
project, Irish Script on Screen (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies). It may be seen on the website, www.isos.dias.ie, under
the Farmleigh component.
On the international scene, the Charlemagne Prize for furthering European unity was awarded in 2004 to the Irishman,
Pat Cox, who served as President of the European Parliament from 2002 to 2004, having been a Member since 1989.

Two elections
On the political domestic scene, the 30th Dil convened in June 2007, following general elections in May. The subsequent
Coalition Government (Fianna Fil, Greens, Progressive Democrat) endured despite all the crises and the decision in
November 2008 to wind up the Progressive Democrat Party. The Lisbon Treaty of the EU was rejected by the Irish people in
June 2008 but accepted in October 2009. The Referendum Commission issued its Guide to the Treaty in bilingual format as
now required under the Official Languages Act. Following the resignation of two ministers, for differing reasons, the Taoiseach
announced a Cabinet reshuffle in the Dil on March 23rd 2010 which had repercussions for five government departments in
particular and for some existing ministers as well as for other new appointments.
In the pre-shuffle media commentary and post-Bord Snip (McCarthy Report) suggestion that the ministry with
responsibility for language affairs be abolished, various fates were proposed for that department. During this period, the main
opposition party (Fine Gael) promised a senior minister for language affairs if they were in power. In the event, very little
change occurred to the language ministry at the time. The former department of community, rural and Gaeltacht affairs, which
had responsibility for the language, became the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs. A new minister
and minister for state were appointed. This newly named department was intended to have responsibility also for two further
policy areas: social inclusion and family policy which moved from the former department of social and family affairs; equality,
disability, integration and human rights which moved from the Department of Justice, [Equality] and Law Reform. These
additional policy areas were put under the aegis of a minister for state (a member of the Green Party).
The longstanding minister with responsibility for the language was moved to the newly named Department of Social
Protection (largely the former department of social and family affairs with some additional areas of responsibility). The
previous minister for social and family affairs became minister of the newly named Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport
(previously arts, sport and tourism). The department of education and science became the Department of Education and Skills
with the addition of a range of training programmes formerly under the aegis of a quango. Finally the former department of
enterprise, trade and employment became the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation to include responsibility for
the research funding programme for third-level institutions. The two previous ministers of these two departments exchanged
places in the reshuffle.
The implications of these changes for language policy implementation meant that at least one other member of Cabinet
(the previous minister with responsibility for the language) would understand better than most the arguments of the new
incumbent of the department which includes language affairs whenever language issues would come to the table, particularly
those relating to the 20-Year Strategy for Irish.
The Fianna Fil party continued consolidating its base in Northern Ireland (NI) during 2010, a policy probably interrupted
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by events in 2011. To the existing university cumainn (branches) it added in mid-2010 an office based in Crossmaglen (Crois
Mhic Lionnin) in south Armagh which was opened by the Taoiseach (Dublin Prime Minister). For two years or more the
party had been organising what was described as a forum in NI counties. Three had (mid-2010) been established in the south
of NI, in Armagh, Down and Fermanagh. Three more were planned in the north-east and north-west, in Antrim, Tyrone and
Derry. The party did not yet contemplate putting candidates forward in NI elections. In addition, the SDLP party of NI did
not envisage any pact with Fianna Fil.
However, the domestic political landscape changed utterly between the General Election of May 2007 and the General
Election of 25 February 2011. The implications of the economic situation and the perceived loss of economic sovereignty
outlined above in the section on the economy took their toll on the Coalition Government (Fianna Fil, Green Party, one
former Progressive Democrat) as did other issues. In May 2008, the incumbent Taoiseach resigned and a new Taoiseach, the
former Minister for Finance, was elected by the Dil (Parliament). The new Minister for Finance found himself inheriting
a multi-faceted crisis, the results of which eventually led to mounting public disquiet and loss of confidence, particularly in
the majority Coalition partner, Fianna Fil. The sequence of events is interesting. As occurred in November 2010 on matters
economic, November 2010 and January 2011 saw a series of weekends in matters party political of a kind rarely seen before.
The situation had, however, been brewing for some time. Surveys of public satisfaction with political parties and party leaders
had not been favouring the government coalition parties as the austerity measures took hold and public dissatisfaction grew.
All political parties had their problems during the life of the 30th Dil. The Greens saw the resignation of a junior minister;
the Progressive Democrats dissolved the party (20 November 2009) and the two deputies of that party, including one minister,
became Independents. A deputy from Fine Gael resigned leading to unsuccessful moves to replace the leader of the party at
that time. However, these moves were repeated, again unsuccessfully, when opinion polls showed growing support for the
Labour Party. Several parliamentary party members of Fianna Fil lost the whip from time to time; two deputies became
Independents; the Ceann Comhairle (Speaker) resigned from that office. Two ministers resigned for differing causes. The sitting
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) resigned within a year after the inception of the 30th Dil (Parliament). The deputy for Donegal
North East resigned his seat early in November 2010. This by-election was never held, since a General Election was clearly
pending.
A by-election for Dublin Central, which tends to return an Independent, was held in June 2009, for a seat vacant since
the previous January. By November 2010, the writs for by-elections in three other areas, Donegal South West, Waterford,
and South Dublin, had not been called for what were considered unduly long periods after being vacated. These areas had
previously returned three Fianna Fil candidates in the General Election of May 2007, reduced to two in the first by-election
in South Dublin in 2009. The Dublin seat became vacant for the second time in February 2010 when the Fine Gael deputy
resigned less than a year after winning the first by-election. The Waterford seat had been vacant since March 2010 following
the resignation of the Fianna Fil deputy on health grounds; the Donegal South West seat since the Fianna Fil deputy was
elected a Member of the European Parliament in June 2009. Following a successful High Court action by Sinn Fin, the byelection for Donegal South West was finally signalled on 3 November 2010, and took place on 25 November. The Sinn Fin
candidate won the by-election, leaving the Government majority at two. In the interim, the Government had appealed the
Donegal High Court decision to the Supreme Court. However, it had indicated that if this appeal was lost, the writs for the
other two constituencies would be moved without delay. On 22 November, two Fine Gael deputies initiated legal proceedings
in the High Court in relation to these other two constituencies. However, other events and a General Election in the New Year
resulted in these two remaining by-elections not being held at that time.
Increasingly during the month of November 2010, economic and political issues became intertwined. The Budget for
2010 (published in December 2009) contained 4 billion in cuts and tax increases. The Budget for 2011 was expected to have
cuts around 3 billion. By September 2010, however, an even higher figure was signalled. By the beginning of November 2010
the official figure had doubled to 6 billion. As outlined above under the section on the economy, this news was eventually
followed on Sunday 21 November by the announcement of previously denied talks on a bailout from the EU, the ECB and
the IMF. Within a day the Green Party was seeking a General Election in January and threatening to leave the Coalition
in the New Year, although willing to vote with the Government from the Opposition benches on the upcoming Finance
Bill (which was largely concerned with the details of the bailout and was crucial to it). In line with statements from the EU
Commission, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) was continuing to seek all-party consensus on passing the then upcoming Budget
on 7 December with its 6 billion adjustment a vital part of the overall austerity plan. He committed to dissolving the Dil
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(Parliament) when that legislation was in place. A four-year austerity plan, with a 15 billion adjustment, was also published
on 24 November and the details of the bailout on Sunday 28 November. On the previous Saturday, 27 November, unions
marched in protest against the details of the four-year plan.
In the meantime, backbenchers were also uneasy and the leadership of the Fianna Fil party began to be openly discussed.
Calls for an election were already in the air; confidence motions were being proposed both in the Government and in relation
to leadership within the parliamentary party of Fianna Fil; protest skirmishes were taking place outside the Houses of the
Oireachtas. On Tuesday 23 November, a meeting took place of the Fianna Fil parliamentary party at which it was expected
that the Taoiseach, in his capacity as leader of the party, would face a challenge, given the public comments from some
members. While the issue was raised, no challenge was mounted. In the Donegal South by-election result on 25 November,
the dramatic fall in first preferences for the Fianna Fil Party from 50% to 21% unsettled the party further, although the two
Opposition parties had not increased their vote either.
Budget 2011, unveiled on 7 December 2010, was accompanied by more protests and no small amount of persuasion of
both Independents and some unwilling Fianna Fil deputies to ensure acceptance. The very cold weather was considered an
appropriate backdrop but a temporary glitch of technology at one of the banks caused a frisson of public concern which soon
passed. On cue, the EU gave formal recognition to the bailout package on the same day. This Budget and its various austerity
provisions were eventually passed. The Finance Bill incorporating these and the provisions of the bailout was published on 21
January 2011. Unusually, the Minister for Finance agreed a timetable to allow passage through amendments and all stages in
both Houses within a week, this to allow for an early General Election. To general relief, the Finance Bill was finally passed to
go for signature to the President on Saturday 29 January 2011. The General Election had been signalled for March 2011 but,
as promised, the Taoiseach announced the dissolution of the Dil early the following week after passage of the Finance Bill with
the election date set for 25 February, two weeks earlier than planned and in response to Opposition demands for that date,
including from the Green Party.
The Christmas recess had apparently given much food for thought to politicians. It was generally conceded that the
Opposition would win the upcoming election By mid-January 2011 quite a few TDs (Teachta Dla, Member of Parliament),
three ministers and a minister for state were not intending to stand in this election. On Sunday 16 January, the Taoiseach, after
consultation with party members in the light of a confidence motion, decided to stay on as party leader. The parliamentary
party accepted this decision on Tuesday 18th on the grounds that a change of leader so close to elections would not be wise. The
Minister for Foreign Affairs then resigned. The Taoiseach assumed the duties of that department.
Event then followed event. Firstly, the Taoiseach requested those Ministers not standing in the election to step down from
ministry, thus allowing the appointment of new faces going into elections. He later informed the Green Party of his decision
to reshuffle cabinet. On the same day, the Progressive Democrat minister resigned (she had been an Independent since the
dissolution of her party). Apparently, the Green Party was initially unaware of her decision. By that night and into next day
four other ministers had resigned bringing the total now to six. It is understood that two Fianna Fil deputies were later
informed that they would be appointed to ministries on the morning of January 20th.
When the Dil met that morning of 20 January 2011, aware of the resignations, neither the Green Party nor the Taoiseach
were present. Given the uproar that ensued, the House was suspended until the Taoiseach arrived. Instead of a reshuffle, he
announced the reassignment of the five ministries now vacant to existing ministers: Enterprise, Trade and Innovation to Tourism,
Sport and Culture; Defence to Social Protection; Health to Education; Justice to Agriculture; Transport to Community,
Equality and Gaeltacht. He also announced a General Election for 11 March (a date later changed to 25 February).
Following these events of 20 January, although there were calls for the Taoiseach to go, even from party ranks, he was still
of a mind to lead the party into the election. However, on the following Sunday 23 January, after discussion with his family, he
gave his decision. He would not stand in the election; although not continuing as party leader, he intended to stay as Taoiseach
for the interim. The way was now clear for a Fianna Fil internal party election for the position of leader within sight of a
looming election. This took place on Wednesday 26 January, one week after the confidence motion being effectively won by
the Taoiseach at the previous meeting of the parliamentary party. There were four candidates. The previous Minister for Foreign
Affairs became the eighth leader of Fianna Fil.
The day after the Taoiseachs announcement, on Monday 24 January, the Green Party left the Coalition (as had been
intimated in December 2010) citing lack of communication on important political matters. This left two other ministries
vacant. These too were reassigned: Environment, Heritage and Local Government to Social Protection; Communications,
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Energy and Natural Resources to Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs. The cabinet was now at the Constitutional
minimum of seven, eight ministries in all having been reassigned to the other seven departments.

Language and politics


20-Year Strategy for Irish
Against this extraordinary background dominated by economic woes, fairly unusual political events and an atypically long
spell of cold weather, some meetings did still take place of the high level inter-departmental committee on Irish chaired by the
Taoiseach in tandem with some slight revisions of the original Draft Strategy document. The Fianna Fil/Green Party Coalition
Cabinet approved the final version of the 20-Year Strategy for Irish on 30 November 2010. It was subsequently launched on
the 21 December 2010 in Government Buildings by the Taoiseach and two senior cabinet ministers. Speaking at the launch,
the Minister with responsibility for the language said:
This Strategy was formulated in consultation with the public to whom the language belongs. Although it is a
Government strategy in name, the Government does not claim ownership over it. It belongs to the people. It is your
strategy and it is up to us and to you to make sure that it is successfully implemented.
The Minister also noted that a Strategy Unit had already been established in his department as part of the planning stage.
Implementation would now be for the next administration. However, Irish speakers hoped that the overall thrust of the
Strategy would remain, particularly as there had been all-party consensus at the relevant Oireachtas Committee.
While Irish language organisations were relieved that the Strategy was now official Government policy, nevertheless some
of the final changes made, or indeed not made, received comment. In the first instance, there was a level of disappointment
at how little of the official and public response from the consultation phase actually found its way into the revised Strategy.
Among these points was the continued lack of clarification with regard to:
the relative distribution of functions between the various elements of policy and policy implementation, in particular
between the departmental Strategy Unit, the body named as implementing body (dars na Gaeltachta extended
beyond the Gaeltacht), and the cross-border body, Foras na Gaeilge;
the relative weighting of policies aimed at the Gaeltacht language community and speakers, largely school-generated,
outside the Gaeltacht.
Guth na Gaeltachta (Voice of the Gaeltacht; founded in August 2009, in Gaoth Dobhair in the Donegal Gaeltacht) noted
the absence of a national educational policy for the Gaeltacht and of a comprehensive support structure for Gaeltacht families.
Nevertheless, there was guarded acknowledgement of wording that still permitted an entrepreneurial rle for the new style
dars na Gaeltachta although the changed order in the name of the entity was not encouraging, from dars na Gaeltachta
agus na Gaeilge to dars na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta , particularly to those who had reservations about sharing the dars
outside the Gaeltacht. The resources implications were probably the locus of most concern since the Strategy was to be initially
implemented within existing resources although 1.5 million had been set aside from existing resources within the relevant
department for the first year (planning, legislation, structural reform). In the event, the proposed dars na Gaeilge did not see
the light of day in the changes made by the next administration.

Irish pre-General Election 2011


The announcement by the Taoiseach of the dissolution of the Dil on 1 February 2011 contained no small number of references
in Irish, ending with lines from a well-known poem: Anois teacht an Earraigh
Mar fhocal scoir pheann Raifteara, an file,
Anois teacht an earraigh, beidh an l ag dul chun sneadh,Is tar is na file Brde, ardidh m mo sheol.
[In conclusion from the pen of the poet, Raifteara.
Now, with spring on its way, the day will grow longer,
And after St Brigids feast day, I will hoist my sail.]
The reference is to the Taoiseachs statement of the previous day, reiterated in this valedictory speech, that he would not be
contesting the upcoming election. St. Brigids Day is celebrated on 1 February, the Celtic feast of Imbolc, midway between the
Winter solstice and the Spring equinox, marking the move into light and new growth from the dark days of Winter. The poem
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is found in most school anthologies. The Mayo poet, Antaine Raifteara, blind from early childhood, lived between 1779 or so
and 1835.
Interestingly, Irish language affairs were, in fact, central to subsequent pre-election activity. The Irish lobby organised
around two main issues: the Strategy, including the Gaeltacht, and the retention of Irish at Leaving Certificate level. The five
main parties published their respective pre-election policies on Irish as on other areas. Twenty-three Independents from across
the country published a joint letter of support for the Irish lobbys position in the national press; thirty-one expressed verbal
support.
Fianna Fil, the Labour Party, the Green Party and Sinn Fin would all maintain and retain Irish as a core subject for Leaving
Certificate. Fine Gael softened its initial position to the possibility of undertaking a review before making Irish optional at this
level (a survey for the Irish Independent newspaper indicated that 53% wished Irish to remain compulsory while 3% did not
know). All parties favoured policies to maintain the Gaeltacht as a language community and to secure job creation there. There
was also general consensus on Irish-medium education, on improving teachers competence, and on reviewing Irish language
curricula. The Strategy, the Official Languages Act, and Irish language broadcasting received support. Fine Gael introduced the
concept of a 10-point fluency scale for citizens plus access to resources for improvement in competence. Sinn Fin urged the
Dublin and Westminster Governments to fulfil the commitments made in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.
On 16 February 2011, on TG4 (the Irish language channel), the first ever debate conducted entirely in Irish took place
between the leaders of the three main parties: Fianna Fil, Fine Gael, the Labour Party. It was broadcast to a large audience of
over half a million viewers at peak time, immediately after the main 7.00 p.m. news and repeated at 10.30 p.m., with a female
interviewer asking the hard questions. The results were considered a draw between leaders, each excelling in a particular area
of the questioning undergone.

General Election 2011


The Fianna Fil/Green Party Coalition formed in mid-2007 (including the Progressive Democrat Party at that time) did not
run the full term of five years. The results of the next General Election on 25 February 2011 changed many aspects of the
political landscape. Firstly, many familiar faces disappeared and many new young candidates were elected to the 31st Dil
(parliament) of 166 deputies with the result that 84 TDs (MPs) had not been in the previous Dil; 76 TDs were elected for
the first time; 25 TDs were female, a figure higher than ever before. There was no deputy from the Green Party for the first
time since 1989.
The relative state of the parties changed entirely. Figures for the previous election are shown in brackets: Fine Gael 76
(51); Labour Party 37 (20); Fianna Fil 20 (78); Sinn Fin 14 (4); Green Party 0 (6); Socialist Party 2 (0); People Before Profit
Alliance 2 (0); Others/Independents 15 (5+ 2 PDs as Independents after dissolution of that party). Independents now had
sufficient numbers to be considered a technical group, with the administrative benefits attaching, if they chose to so group.
Both Fine Gael and Labour reached their highest number of seats ever while Fianna Fil reached its absolute lowest, in third
place. It had been the largest party since 1932. Commentators speculated on whether recovery for the party was possible from
such a low base. However, by early February 2013, support for the Fianna Fil party and its leader were heading an Ipsos MRBI
opinion poll for the Irish Times. The number of those undecided was also high in this poll, a factor with which all political
parties are grappling., old certainties being eroded.
By-elections may affect the strength of any particular party during the lifetime of the Dil. The figures below show the
relative strength of parties by seats won directly after three recent elections.

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Election

2002

2007

2011

Fianna Fil

82

78

20

Fine Gael

31

51

76

Labour Party

20

20

37

The Green Party

Sinn Fin

14

Progressive Democrats

Socialist Party

People Before Profit

13

15

166

166

166

Independents

New Coalition: Fine Gael/Labour Party


With the largest combined majority ever at 113 seats, negotiations began on 28 February between Fine Gael and the Labour
Party towards forming a government and formulating an agreed programme for that government. The Programme for a National
Government 2011 2016 was completed by 6 March in time for a special conference of the Labour Party. The contents,
drawing on past plans and titles, were variously described in the press as Programme for Government and National Recovery
2011-2016, or Government for National Recovery, or Programme for Government 2011.
During the last recession the then Government issued a Programme for National Recovery (October 1987) which included
agreement from the recognised social partners. It derived largely from a NESC (National Economic and Social Council)
report, A Strategy for Development 1986-1990, and was a relatively short document. A new plan for a new crisis was devised by
the previous administration towards late 2010. However, the European Commission was more involved with this new plan,
social partnership having broken down because of public service pay cuts. The final iteration of this plan was a longer and more
detailed document, The National Recovery Plan 2011-2014, and was integral to the bailout by the troika.
The new Dil convened on 9 March and the leader of Fine Gael was elected Taoiseach by a large majority of 90 votes.
The leader of the Labour Party became Tnaiste (Deputy). The new cabinet consisted of 10 Fine Gael ministers and 5 Labour
ministers with 2 ministers of state attending cabinet also, one from either party. The existing Government departments were
reconfigured to some extent, with some functions differently redistributed, and having new titles.
The new administration was not without advice; a group of some 17 public figures presented a joint document entitled A
Blueprint for Irelands Recovery.

The administrations initial emphasis was on restoring credibility and rebuilding Irelands reputation particularly during the
traditional visits abroad for St. Patricks Day 2011. This was also the message of the Labour Tnaiste and Minister for Foreign
Affairs and Trade to the 76 ambassadors recalled to a joint meeting. In the allocation of functions, Trade was added to Foreign
Affairs (D/FA) in an effort to better integrate diplomatic, economic and trade representation abroad. The management of EU
affairs was transferred from the D/FA to the Department of the Taoiseach. Departments which retained more or less the same
functions as previously were: Taoiseach (with EU Affairs now included); Finance; Agriculture, Marine (formerly Fisheries) and
Food; Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Social Protection; Education and Skills. In other changes Community
became part of the Department of Environment and Local Government; Justice, Equality and Defence were put together
as were Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation. Health and Children were separated into two standalone departments (although
Children were attached to Gaeltacht etc for a period until the new department was formally established). A new ministry of
Public Reform and Expenditure was created. A new Minister of State with responsibility for housing and planning would
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attend Cabinet meetings as would the Government Chief Whip (Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach). Of
these 17 at cabinet, two were female as was the Attorney General. The Labour Party held the Departments of: Foreign Affairs
and Trade; Education and Skills; Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Public Expenditure and Reform; Social
Protection.
With regard to language matters, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport was renamed as the Department of
Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The new department was formally allocated responsibility, inter alia, for the Irish Language,
the Gaeltacht and the Islands, the National Famine Commemoration, Waterways Ireland (cross border body).
Among the advisers appointed by ministers were the education editor of a daily newspaper in Education and Skills and in
Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht a former journalist and director of public affairs with the Arts Council (for a period).

Reform
Given the turbulent context to the General Election, the question of reform had dominated party programmes, particularly
with regard to the bailout, the banking sector, public expenditure, job creation. In addition, younger candidates in particular
had voiced concerns in relation to parliamentary structures. The leader of Fine Gael had mooted the idea of abolishing the
Seanad (Upper House). This may have provided the context for a publication launched by the Ceann Comhairle (Speaker) in
Autumn 2011 on the workings of The Houses of the Oireachtas: Parliament in Ireland, the first work since 1979 on the subject.
The co-editor is of the view that political reform is long overdue and that there exists a dislocation between the citizenry and
their political structures. These citizens, however, revealed their views in a study carried out during the election campaign
in February 2011 and launched in Leinster House (seat of Parliament) on Democracy Day (15 September). The results
were interesting. While people wanted fewer TDs to represent them, they wished the emphasis to be on local rather than
national issues (more support for this in other areas than shown in Dublin city and in Leinster). There was also support for
abolishing the Seanad (Upper House). On the other hand, the current electoral system of proportional representation by single
transferable vote received high support for its retention and opposition to its removal. (See also Chapter 3, Constitution).
In addition to continuing reductions in political remuneration at all levels, the new Coalition did introduce several other
changes, both structural and costsaving, as signalled in the agreed Programme for a National Government. These included
the new Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and reduction of Oireachtas committees by 10 (from 25 to 14 plus
one new committee), although, unusually, up to 70% of seats on these committees came from the governing coalition since
assignment is in proportion to party representation. Membership of the Finance and Public Expenditure Committee was
increased to 21 and one new committee established, the Committee on Investigations, Oversights and Petitions. Language
was once again part of a large composite committee, the Committee on Environment, Community & Local Government and
Transport, Tourism & Sport and Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs. Departments now advertise for expressions of interest for
appointment to non-executive positions, including chairperson, on state boards, although ministers are not restricted to those
who so apply.
Pre-election promises to reduce the number of Dil public representatives from 166 found expression in the Constituency
Commission announced in late June 2011 on receipt of the preliminary Census 2011 results which showed an increase in
population. The Constitution stipulates one representative for every 30,000 of population. The eventual results were not
welcomed by those public representatives who will lose their seats under the new arrangements. The Electoral Amendment Bill
on this and other issues will include a six-month time limit on holding by-elections when Dil vacancies occur. Lowering the
voting age to 17 may also be considered by the Convention on the Constitution.
Measures planned by the previous administration were continued and some were published in late June 2011. Limerick
City and County Councils will be merged and become a single authority after the 2014 local elections. This had been the main
recommendation of the Brosnan report for the Limerick Local Government Committee. The Minister with responsibility
for local government affairs later published further proposals for fairly radical reform. The Minister for Education and Skills
announced a revised reconfiguration and restructuring of the Vocational Education Committee (VEC) system already begun
by the previous Government. Mergers will now reduce the existing VECs to 16 from 38.
On 31 May 2011, the coalition cabinet agreed the Electoral Amendment Political Funding Bill 2011. This introduced two
provisions of previous debate: a 30% gender quota for the next national election and 40% after that; a limit on individual donations
to political parties, not a ban on corporate donations as this would raise constitutional questions but a substantial reduction in the
threshold of declaration in company annual accounts (from 5,000 to 200); a reduction of 50% in State funding for parties not
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adhering to the 30% gender quota (meaning a minimum of 30% male and 30% female representation rising to 40%).
Three referenda were initially announced in tandem with the October 2011 presidential election: on reductions in judicial
remuneration (although the judiciary would prefer an independent report to a referendum), on the outcome of the Abbeylara
judgement which limited the investigative powers of Oireachtas Commitees, and on protection of whistle-blowers. The first
two were eventually put to the people in October 2011. The people agreed with reductions in judicial salaries but not with
increased powers of investigation for Oireachtas committees. As usual, all official material on the constitutional changes being
proposed was issued bilingually as was material from the Referendum Commission.
A Commission (An Coimisin Reifrinn) is appointed under the Referendum Act 1998 each time a constitutional issue
is put to the people, and for each issue. Commissions are chaired by a member of the judiciary who is appointed by the
Chief Justice at the request of the Minister. The ex officio members are the two Clerks of the two Houses of the Oireachtas,
the Ombudsman (whose office provides the secretariat) and the Comptroller and Auditor General. Funding is provided by
the department(s) sponsoring the referendum proposal(s). The tenure of each particular commission lasts for approximately
8/9 months, being appointed before the date of the referendum, submitting a report to the Minister (for the Environment,
Community and Local Government in this case, in 2011) within six months of the holding of the referendum, and dissolving
within a month of the submission of that report. It is an entirely independent and impartial body. Since 2001 (in the wake
of the Lisbon Treaty referendum), however, the Referendum Commission no longer sets out the arguments for and against
whichever referendum proposal is at issue. Its role is to explain the subject matter, to raise public awareness, and to encourage
people to use their vote.
In relation to the third issue initially signalled for referendum, on Tuesday 5 July 2011, in response to a parliamentary
question, the Minister for Finance said that the commitment in the Programme for Government to legislation to protect
whistle-blowers would be expedited as overarching legislation providing for good faith reporting and protected disclosure
on a uniform basis for all sectors of the economy. The proposed childrens rights referendum was initially deferred (until
November 2012 as it transpired) as apparently was any immediate movement on the Seanad, although five parties were for
abolition of the Upper House before the election and abolition featured in the agreed Programme. In fact, the Seanad is one of
two issues which received much coverage in the pre-election period but little debate since. Twelve reports had been issued over
the years on reform of the Seanad, the last in 2004. The results of a referendum in 1979 on the Universities Panel were never
implemented. The immediate focus at that time appeared to be shifting back more to the Dil, to the power of the Executive
vis--vis Parliament, to the Dil as an inclusive legislative body in a position to hold the government of the day to account.
The Taoiseach was still referring to a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad in late 2012. The general mood, however, was
leaning more towards retention with reform and no decision on the basis of savings alone.
The second issue concerned changing the voting system although some were of the view that such change would not
necessarily change the political system for the better. The existing system, proportional representation by single transferable
vote (PR/STV), allows Independents gain seats in ways that a list system would not. There is also the issue of the undoubted
clientelism of the present system being offset by the connection between voters and local representatives, unknown in many
other democratic systems. In 1959 and in 1968, the people rejected change to the current PR/STV system. The number of
public representatives per constituency population appears to be an issue for future debate unlike single seat as opposed to
multi-seat constituencies.
The Fine Gael leader had said he would welcome the views of a Civic Assembly on the Seanad question. A constitutional
convention on political reform had been the position of the Labour Party. A June 2011 meeting of the citizens group, We
the Citizens, advocated reform rather than abolition of the Seanad, reducing the number of Dil representatives, and making
voting mandatory. The chair of the group had become one of the newly appointed Seanadir (Senators), who are nominees of
the Taoiseach. The participating citizens were chosen by representative sample.

Coalitions and citizens


In a study conducted for the Medical Council by Millward Brown Lansdowne, between 9 February and 3 March, in the period
just before and after the General Election of 25 February, politicians did not fare too well. Of fifteen professions, respondents
trusted doctors most as persons most likely to tell the truth (88%) and TDs or public representatives least (12%). Teachers,
judges, garda (police) were also high on the list; clergymen/priests midway (50%) and journalists (37%), trade union officials
(32%) and business leaders (27%) towards the bottom.
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Given that coalitions are beginning to be the norm in Ireland, citizens views are interesting as revealed in the Edelman
Trust Barometer Index 2011. The results are a clear indication of economic and political recent history. Despite this, however,
trust by other countries in international companies in Ireland had not been affected. The survey was conducted in 23 countries
across four areas which impinge on citizens lives: government institutions; media; business; non-governmental organisations
(NGOs). The sample population surveyed was based on those with a college education and a good income. Irish peoples trust
in government, at 20%, was the lowest of the 23 countries surveyed where the average was over 50% (52%). Trust in the media
at 38% was also lower than the international average. Banks came lowest of all at a mere 6%. Business fared much better at an
average 46%, the technology sector receiving a score of 75%. NGOs, however, were globally and in Ireland the most trusted
of the four areas surveyed: 61% globally and 53% in Ireland.
Irish respondents ranked very highly the action of government or business taking full responsibility in time of crisis (85%);
this was followed by taking actions to protect customers and employees (81%) and open communication about the extent of
the crisis (81%). Not unexpectedly, correspondingly lower emphasis was given to minimising the crisis to protect reputation
(19%) or keeping information private (8%).

Language affairs and the new Fine Gael/Labour Coalition


Department with responsibility for the language
No change occurred in the title of the independent department established in 1956, Roinn na Gaeltachta, and little in the main
functions of that department, until the 1990s. It had from time to time been under the aegis of the Department of Finance
or the Department of the Taoiseach. In 1993, new functions were added and the entity was renamed the Department of Arts,
Culture and the Gaeltacht; given the range of functions this department had both a Minister and a Minister of State appointed,
a state which is still current (2012). In 1997, the new title was Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, again
with two ministers. By 2002, it was the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. During the latter part of the
life of the 30th Dil, the departmental title changed once more in March 2010, following a Cabinet reshuffle of ministerial
responsibilities arising out of the resignation of two ministers, for differing reasons. In the pre-shuffle media commentary and
post-Bord Snip (McCarthy Report on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes) suggestion that the ministry with
responsibility for language affairs be abolished, various fates were proposed for the department. During this period, the main
opposition party (Fine Gael) promised a senior minister for language affairs if they were in power. In the event, very little
change occurred to the language ministry at the time but the former department of community, rural and Gaeltacht affairs,
which had responsibility for the language, became the renamed Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs. A
new minister and minister for state were appointed. This department was intended to have responsibility also for two further
policy areas: social inclusion and family policy which moved from the former department of social and family affairs; equality,
disability, integration and human rights which moved from the Department of Justice, [Equality] and Law Reform. The
additional policy areas were under the aegis of a minister for State (a member of the Green Party).
When the 30th Dil met on the morning 20 January 2011, aware of the resignations of five ministers, neither the Green
Party nor the Taoiseach were present. Given the uproar that ensued, the House was suspended until the Taoiseach arrived.
Instead of another reshuffle, he announced the reassignment of the five ministries now vacant to existing ministers: Transport
was then added to Community, Equality and Gaeltacht. On Monday 24 January 2011, the Green Party left the Coalition
(as had been intimated in December 2010) citing lack of communication on important political matters. This left two other
ministries vacant. These too were reassigned: Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to Community, Equality and
Gaeltacht Affairs plus Transport.
This lasted until the new 31st Dil convened on 9 March 2011. With regard to language matters, the former Department
of Tourism, Culture and Sport was renamed as the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The new department
was formally allocated responsibility, inter alia, for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, the National Famine
Commemoration, Waterways Ireland (cross border body). This newest configuration of functions, entitled Arts, Heritage and
the Gaeltacht, had a senior minister (Fine Gael), as formerly promised by Fine Gael when in opposition. A Fine Gael Minister
of State, from the Gaeltacht, was also appointed to Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs. Heritage functions were transferred
with effect from 1 May 2011. In all, this department now includes: built and natural heritage; arts, film, music, cultural
institutions; Irish language, Gaeltacht schemes and offshore islands. The department works then with the various agencies
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under its aegis: e.g. dars na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeilge, the Arts Council, the Irish Film Board, the Council of National
Cultural Institutions.

Language and the implications of fiscal problems


The ramifications and possible implications for language arising out of continuing fiscal problems, as well as some decisions,
are fully discussed below under the section on Funding.

Language and Coalition 2011 (Fine Gael/Labour)


With regard to structures, language affairs are now sited in a full Government department entitled Arts, Heritage and the
Gaeltacht with a senior minister (Fine Gael), as formerly promised by Fine Gael when in opposition. A Fine Gael minister for
State, from the Gaeltacht, with specific responsibility for language matters, was also appointed to the department. However, he
does not sit at Cabinet. The Irish lobby had sought a full seat at Cabinet for language matters. Among Oireachtas Committees,
language is, as before, part of a large composite committee, the Committee on Environment, Community & Local Government
and Transport, Tourism & Sport and Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs.
On language policy, for Irish speakers, the hopes, expectations, and possibly fears, with regard to the language policies
of the new Coalition centred on the following major issues: retention of Irish as a core subject at Leaving Certificate level;
implementation of the Strategy for Irish in undiluted form; assurance on the future of dars na Gaeltachta.
A government with a large majority in recessionary times could well concentrate on issues other than language and
not fully take into account that sound language policy permeates all official policy areas. Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge
(representing 24 organisations) held a Tionl (Meeting or Congress) on the Draft Strategy in February 2010 and collated a
series of election points. Two pressure groups, Guth na Gaeltachta (Voice of the Gaeltacht) and Conradh na Gaeilge (Gaelic
League), held a continuous series of information meetings for public representatives both before and after the General Election,
locally and in Dublin. All organisations, and some individuals, lobbied their local representatives or issued statements.

Towards Recovery: Programme for a National Government 2011-2016


Responses of a kind on all three policy issues came gradually. The final agreed joint document of the two Coalition parties,
Towards Recovery: Programme for A National Government 2011-2016, contained a section entitled An Ghaeilge agus an Ghaeltacht
(Irish Language and the Gaeltacht); two separate policy areas were intended. While no mention was made of removing Irish as
a core subject at Leaving Certificate level, some read ominous undertones into the statement:
We will take steps to improve the quality and effectiveness of the teaching of Irish at second level. When these steps
have been implemented, we will consider the question of whether Irish should be optional at Leaving Certificate.
Others pointed to the possibilities in another commitment:
We will aim to double the proportion of Irish students sitting the Higher Level Leaving Certificate (LC) exam by
2018.
It was presumed that this refers to increasing the numbers sitting the Higher Level in the Irish examination, rather than to the
examination as a whole. Numbers are currently much lower than for the Ordinary (or Pass) Level.
The section on language also made reference to the following:
Education
a thorough reform of the Irish curriculum and the way it is taught at primary and second levels with more emphasis
on oral and aural skills; 50% of marks for the oral component of the LC examination
20-Year Strategy
support for the Strategy and delivery on the achievable goals and targets proposed Gaeltacht
delivery of new job creation prospects; investment in energy, broadband and water infrastructure; support for jobs
in tourism and marine activities
Irish language broadcasting and arts sector
continued support
Legislation
review of the Official Languages Act to ensure expenditure on the language is best targeted towards the development
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of the language and that obligations are imposed appropriately in response to demand from citizens
Vuluntary sector
review of the current investment and funding programmes in order to achieve visible value for money for citizens
and tangible outcomes on a transparent basis.
While employment is undoubtedly important for the Gaeltacht, no overt mention was made of the most precious resource
of the community, its language, nor of more language-oriented initiatives in job creation, nor of dars na Gaeltachta.
Interestingly, broadcasting and the arts were included under Gaeltacht although benefiting all Irish speakers. On the Strategy,
no further elucidation was made as to which goals and targets were being considered achievable; it was presumed that cost
would be one of the determining factors. It was also presumed that Irish-medium education was not specifically mentioned
since it forms part of the Strategy. Elements of the public sector apparently found the demands of the Official Languages Act
out of kilter with the actual response of citizens; translation of documents had been often cited by certain commentators.
Nevertheless, the duty of the State, the demands of citizens, and the responses of citizens, are generally considered to be
separate issues that must be scrutinised individually. An Coimisinir Teanga (Commissioner for Languages) published (5 July
2011) his assessment of review of the Languages Act, based on experience to date. It is assumed that the review of the current
funding of the voluntary sector is a reference to that later conducted by Foras na Gaeilge. This is treated in Chapter 3, Funding.
Overall, this section appeared to give little hint of an understanding, within a coherent approach, of the differing needs and
latent potential of a regionally based language community and more network based contact groups. However, this was a
programme devised under time pressure which permitted no more than commitment to broad outlines of future policy.
Among the responses to these intentions of the new Coalition, including from Foras na Gaeilge which was not specifically
mentioned in the Coalition document, there was general acceptance in Irish language circles of the references to the Strategy,
to Irish in education and of visible results for monies expended in support of the language. It was suggested that COGG (An
Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaochta) should play a central role in curriculum review. dars na Gaeltachta
issued a statement to the effect that a meeting would be sought with the Minister.

Changes to the 20-Year Strategy for Irish


Some more definitive indications as to Coalition policy on the language were seen in education: review of curricula and
ministerial statement on State examinations; publication of ongoing work by the Teaching Council. The latter included two
documents on teacher education both dated June 2011: Policy on the Continuum of Teacher Education; Initial Teacher Education:
Criteria and Guidelines for Programme Providers. The Department also published a policy statement on literacy and numeracy
in schools. Certain of the references to Irish in these official statements and documents found favour in Irish language circles.
They are examined in more detail below in Chapter 4, Acquisition Planning: Education
Before then, however, general disquiet had been mounting: In mid-April 2011, questions were asked in the Dil by the
former minister for the language now in opposition, with regard to the delay in publishing the Gaeltacht legislation promised
in the Strategy as it was not included in the legislative programme for 2011. In Gaeltacht circles there was concern on the future
of dars na Gaeltachta, particularly since there had been official delay in sanctioning the appointment of a new chief executive
and rumours still abounded that it might lose its enterprise function. In an interview in Irish, published in mid-May 2011,
the recently retired chief executive of dars na Gaeltachta opined that it would be preferable not to make any changes to the
body as had been envisaged in the Strategy as launched on 20 December 2011, but to allow it to concentrate its energies on the
Gaeltacht regions solely. Speaking on 3 June 2011, the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht
announced the plans of the Coalition Government with regard to aspects of the Strategy. They were somewhat different from
the section from the Strategy he had quoted in his replies in the Dil in April which came verbatim from the Strategy but
instead now echoed the remarks of the retired chief executive.
At a Cabinet meeting of 31 May, the content was agreed of the legislation required to implement sections of the Strategy.
These final Government decisions were announced on 3 June by the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs. Basically, two
changes from the original version of the Strategy were made with regard to the implementation bodies for the Strategy and to
the rle that had been originally envisaged for an extended dars na Gaeltachta. Preparation of the heads of the Bill could now
proceed although the time frame for enactment had not yet been clarified. Extracts from the official announcement are given
below.
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New definition of the Gaeltacht


_ Provision will be made in the Gaeltacht Bill for a new statutory definition of the Gaeltacht, which will be based on
linguistic criteria rather than on geographical areas, as is currently the case.
_ Provision will be made under the legislation for a language planning process in order to prepare language plans at
community level for each Gaeltacht area and for the Minister to approve and review those plans periodically.
_ Statutory status will be given to a new type of network Gaeltacht area outside the existing statutory Gaeltacht areas.
These will be areas, predominantly in urban communities, that will have a basic critical mass of community and
State support for the Irish language.
_ Gaeltacht Service Towns, i.e. towns which service Gaeltacht areas, will also be given statutory status.
This section above contained no changes from the original version of the Strategy. The future of dars na Gaeltachta is set
down in another section given below of the official statement of 3 June 2011.

dars na Gaeltachta
_ The status quo will be maintained regarding the current functions of dars na Gaeltachta, including its enterprise
functions, subject to the following:
(a) statutory provision to enable the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to direct dars na Gaeltachta
to focus its limited resources towards specific enterprise sectors; and
(b) the development of a mechanism to facilitate dars na Gaeltachta to cooperate with other enterprise agencies,
particularly with regard to significant Gaeltacht projects with high potential.
_ Provision will be made under the Gaeltacht Bill to significantly reduce the Board of dars na Gaeltachta and to end
the requirement to hold elections.
While this decision was generally welcomed as dispelling uncertainty, the type of mechanism for cooperation with other State
enterprise agencies (as signalled several years previously) is significant and will require discussion.

Implementation structures under the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language
_ The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will retain primary responsibility for matters concerning the
Irish language, both within and outside of the Gaeltacht.
_ Foras na Gaeilge will continue to fulfil its responsibilities on an all-island basis as an agency of the North South
Language Implementation Body.
_ The Department, in partnership with relevant State bodies, will be responsible for the implementation of the
Strategy outside the Gaeltacht. The potential for Foras na Gaeilge to deliver certain elements of the Strategy, on an
agreed basis, will be explored.
_ dars na Gaeltachta will be responsible for the implementation of the Strategy within the Gaeltacht.
The last two points above envisage a different implementation scenario from the original extension of dars na Gaeltachta
to the rest of the country. In the Draft Strategy this is described as dars na Gaeilge. The recommendations of the Report
on the Draft Strategy from the Joint Oireachtas Committee (July 2010) were clearly influenced by the submissions from the
Gaeltacht community and on their behalf as shown in the wording of Recommendation 4:
dars na Gaeltachta or a new dars na Gaeltachta/na Gaeilge to retain the primary responsibility to develop the
economy and infrastructure of the Gaeltacht.
The Joint Committee calls for:
no diminution in the services provided in the Gaeltacht as a result of any restructuring of that organisation.
They go on to list the possible additional functions for a restructured dars na Gaeltachta/na Gaeilge.
However, on page 56 in the English-language version of the final iteration of the Strategy (December 2010), the Oireachtas
Committee version is, to some extent, reversed in the body which is now described as a new Irish Language and Gaeltacht
Authority (dars na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta).
While precise functions are still to be clarified, a more definite role is envisaged for Foras na Gaeilge in the June 2011
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statement. The Department, however, in all cases, retains primary responsibility, although implementation in partnership
with relevant State bodies appears to apply to outside the Gaeltacht. It was the view of the Minister of State that These
Government decisions will ensure that existing structures will be used to deliver the Strategy and that the functions of the
key stakeholders with responsibility for implementing the Strategy, both within and outside of the Gaeltacht, will be clearly
defined. There was no specific reference to the role of the Voluntary Sector, as had occurred for other sectors, unless the sector
is included under funding bodies, either dars na Gaeltachta or Foras na Gaeilge. Interestingly, neither is precise distinction
of rles made in relation to the possible future operation of dars na Gaeltachta in new urban network-type Gaeltacht settings
(Category D).

Reaction to the changes


Objections both from the former minister and the Irish lobby centred on the following areas:
diminution of the democratic element with the ending of elections to dars na Gaeltachta and the possibility of
unsuitable appointments out of touch with local communities;
continued involvement of a possibly unsympathetic administration in Northern Ireland in policy and in funding
of language activities in the Republic through Foras na Gaeilge as implementing body outside the Gaeltacht; the
proposed dars na Gaeilge might have been a better vehicle;
the possibility of dars na Gaeltachta becoming swamped in the new arrangement with larger State enterprise
agencies.
However, departmental agreement to appoint a chief executive to An tdars was welcomed. But by September 2011, three
months later, this had not yet been realised to the disappointment of the Board (press release, 21 September 2011).

Presidential Election 2011


After 21 years of the first two female presidents, Mary Robinson for almost seven years and Mary McAleese for fourteen years,
no less than seven candidates presented for election on 27 October 2011. Among them were two women and five men, among
whom were three male party political candidates (Fine Gael and Labour Party from the Republic and the Sinn Fin Deputy
First Minister of the NI Assembly) and four Independent candidates.
The issue of Irish language competence is significant for the President whose main duty is to uphold the Constitution. As
occurred in the General Election of February 2011 with the party leaders, TG4 held a debate with the candidates. In this case,
however, only one candidate (Labour Party) was fluent although the remaining candidates had varying degrees of competence
from having sat Leaving Certificate through Irish to having had schooling in NI where no Irish had been taught. Arrangements
were made to have all candidates give a prepared preliminary and concluding statement in Irish but to have the remainder
of the debate bilingual for participants and viewers. This format was subjected to some degree of media criticism. In the NI
Ireland Assembly, a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) member took the (political) opportunity to refer to the lack of Irish of
the Sinn Fin presidential candidate.
In all media interviews on the subject, all candidates reiterated the importance of competence in Irish for the presidency
and those without sufficient competence promised to acquire or develop it as quickly as possible, as the previous two presidents
had done.
The highlighting of the Irish language in this and in the General Election might seem indicative of at least a new
understanding, and perhaps respect, not only among political parties but in the public in general.

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SOCIETY

Population
General demographic trends for 2009, a high EU birth rate of 16.8 per thousand and a low death rate of 6.6 per thousand,
ensured that Ireland had the highest natural growth in population in the EU at 10.2 per thousand. This despite the highest
outflow of people in the EU, due to the recession, many of whom were returning migrants. In April 2010, the estimated
population stood at 4,470,700. The preliminary and provisional results of Census 2011 (end June 2011) showed a figure of
4.58 million (4,581,269), with more women than men; it was reported as the highest level in 150 years.
A report from the Trinity Immigration Initiative (Trinity College Dublin), entitled Current and Future Reality of Irelands
Multicultural Status, published in July 2010, concluded that Ireland will remain multicultural despite a decrease in inmigration
but that State policies are far from reflecting this reality.
Facts from an article in The Irish Times (5 October 2012) reflect the Ireland of today:
Ireland is the only territory in the world in which the population today is smaller than it was two centuries ago
Migration is the reason
Almost one in eight people resident in 2011 was not Irish.
By the standards of the rest of Europe, Ireland was one of the most homogenous societies in the early 1990s. By
[2011] it had become one of the continents most heterogenous countries.
inward migration from Poland and Lithuaniaif not as transformative as the changes of the 19th century, could
in time come to leave its own indelible mark on this island.

Marriage and birth rate


Socially, changes continued. They included a fall in the numbers seeking separation or divorce, which may be due to difficulties
in the property market, and a rise in the numbers of volunteers and blood donors among those with more time on their hands
for the moment. As sometimes happens during recessionary periods, the birth rate rose. In 2007 Ireland recorded the highest
birth rate in the European Union (EU), an average of 2.05 children for Irish women. It is reported at 2.07 in the Statistical
Yearbook 2010 (CSO). The birth rate had risen to 16.9 per thousand at year end 2010, the majority to women over 30, mostly
in the age group 30-34. The preliminary results (June 2011) of the 2011 Census show the highest rise on record of natural
increase in population (births minus deaths). That over one third of these babies were born to single mothers reflects the social
phenomenon of the changing nature of the family unit in Ireland as reported in the study conducted by the Economic and
Social Research Institute (ESRI, 2010), entitled Family Figures: Family dynamics and family types in Ireland 1986-2006. An
EU survey, Eurostat, reported in October that Ireland and Latvia were ranked joint first in the EU for children in one parent/
guardian homes (23.2% of young people under 18).
Cohabitation appears more popular than marriage although marriage is still a respected institution and the rate of divorce
is stabilising. In late 2010, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reported that both men and women are marrying older, womens
average age being 31.3 and mens 33.4. More than half of women are over 30 at marriage. Interestingly, at 25% of all marriages,
civil ceremonies continue to increase. However, 74% were Catholic. On the other hand, a recent finding from Eurostat
(October 2010) shows that one in three Irish men, and one in six Irish women, aged between 25 and 34, live at home. There
are clear social class divisions between the age of marriage, the size of families, education, poverty and teenage pregnancy.

Children and youth


The EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions for 2009 revealed an increase in consistent child poverty from 2008 (6.3%)
to 2009 (8.7%). One commentator places this as a change from 1 in 16 to 1 in 11 children in the State. Around the same time
(November 2010), the CSO reported a growing number as dependent on State payments, over a quarter were in arrears on at
least one bill or loan, bringing the risk of poverty rate to 14.1%. This is still slightly below the average for the 27 EU states,
where Ireland is in 13th place.
Nevertheless, Irish children of 11-15 years are reported to be not only healthier but happier than children in any part of
Britain, according to recently (November 2009) published research. The study was carried out during 2006 by the National
University of Ireland Galway, (Health Promotion Research Unit), and the World Health Organisation. The longitudinal study
funded by the State, Growing Up in Ireland, has, however, found that too many children are overweight: 19% of nine-year-olds
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in 2009 and 25% of three-year-olds in the most recent preliminary report (mid-2011). Research supported by the European
Commission (October 2010) shows that Irish children use social networking sites more responsibly than most. They also tend
to be less bullied online. Irish parents (94%) restrict online use more than the EU average (83%). In fact, a study (mid-2011)
on digital literacy in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) series of the Organisation for Economic
Development and Co-operation (OECD) ranked Irish 15-year-olds in 7th place of 16 countries. In the past five years, a team
of students from Ireland has participated in the worlds largest technology competition, Microsofts Imagine Cup, directed at
technological solutions to worldwide problems. They have achieved well against global competition. In July 2011, the Irish
team from IT Sligo (Institute of Technology) reached first place. They had competed against 350,000 registered students from
almost 200 countries to reach the prize. The USA team were in second place and Jordans in third. The Irish project was geared
towards safer driving. In part of an international survey on civic and citizenship education (by the International Association
for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement), Irish teenagers (14 year olds) also scored highly in their interest in social and
political issues (7th of 36 countries).
A survey of childrens names in the Irish Times birth announcements for 2010 shows Patrick joint third for boys names
and other Irish names for both boys and girls outside the top ten. Not all parents are necessarily Irish-born. The Central
Statistics Office reports (2010) that Sen and Conor (Conchr) have been among the top 5 boys names since 1998. However,
changes occur annually.
President Higgins had initiated four regional seminars (Dublin, Cork, Monaghan, Galway) between May and September
2012 seeking the views of young people on their vision for Ireland. The Galway response ranked language, culture and social
issues above the purely economic. Interestingly, these cultural issues were given importance across all four workshops. The
national seminar was held in November. The President hopes to continue with this initiative in coming years.

Referendum on childrens rights


The promised referendum on strengthening childrens rights had not been held by mid-2010 despite consensus in the report
issued by the members of the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children in February 2010.
However, the new Coalition government (Fine Gael, Labour) of March 2011 established a new standalone ministry for
childrens issues with functions from a range of other departments transferred to it. It is titled the Department of Children
and Youth Affairs. The Minister considers the referendum on the rights of children a priority although it did not appear on
the legislative programme of the new government. It was initially speculated that it might be held in conjunction with the
presidential election in October 2011 once the final wording to be put to the people is agreed. However, by June 2011, it was
postponed to early 2012. It was finally held in November of 2012 and passed. The turnout of voters was one of the lowest
recorded at 33.5% of eligible persons and the size of the No vote was a source of surprise to politicians at 42.6%. As in the
earlier case where allowing more power to Oireachtas Committees was also refused by the people, some voters were of the view
that giving power to the State to intervene in the family was not acceptable. In general, there was some public comment on
lack of trust in the political class as evidenced also in surveys (above).
RELIGION
In the religious sphere, Irish society was rocked by the revelations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children mainly
by religious of the Roman Catholic Church as detailed in the Ferns (2005), Murphy (May 2009) and Ryan (November 2009)
Reports as well as the later published Cloyne Report (2011). The Ryan report was the result of the Commission to Inquire into
Childhood Abuse which had its beginnings in the apology to victims by the then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) in May 1999. It
reported on the institutions run by 18 congregations. The Murphy report on clerical abuse was a Commission of Investigations
report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin. These followed the Ferns report into that diocese of 2005. As a result, there
were resignations of bishops and over 6,000 persons had officially defected from the Church by early 2010. A specific pastoral
letter from the Pope addressed to the Church in Ireland was issued and Visitors appointed to investigate matters in Ireland.
The Archbishop of Dublin referred to a crisis of faith particularly since no more than 30% of Catholics now attend Sunday
Mass in the archdiocese and these are mostly in the older age groups. An analysis based on the reports and on polling research
(In Plain Sight) reveals that 84% of people blame the silence of society and 83% the State for not doing more in the past to
prevent abuse of children. More worryingly, there still exists a perceived lack of accountability.
The absence of priests and an aging hierarchy have led to discussion on a radical restructuring of the current diocesan
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system established during the 12th century, from 26 to 11 dioceses for the country, including NI. However, there is no fall-off in
the numbers participating in ancient pilgrimages, whether in St Patricks Purgatory on the island of Lough Derg or in climbing
Cruach Phdraig; the spiritual aspect being separated from the overtly religious aspect. These places go back through history
to the first contacts with Christianity in Ireland when their original purpose, with the passage of time, became enmeshed with
the new religion.
A Forum on School Patronage was initiated by the Coalition Labour Minister of Education and Skills in May 2011.
The Minister is of the view that 50% of Catholic primary schools should be divested by the Church authorities. The figure
proposed by those authorities is closer to 10%. Parents and local communities will undoubtedly provide the answer to the type
of diversity of patronage that would be welcomed in the areas where surveys are ongoing (end 2012).
NO PEOPLE IS WITHOUT ITS MYTHS AND PARTICULAR CULTURE

History
While Saint Patrick (Pdraig), Saint Brigid (Brd) and Saint Colm Cille (dove of the church or cell) are considered historically to
be the three main patron saints of Ireland, Saint Patrick is the most significant. This may be due to the primacy won by Armagh
in the early Celtic Church although his feast day (17 March) was not officially recognised as a Bank Holiday until 1903. Brigid
is more popularly remembered through the distinctive rush crosses which commemorate her feast day (1 February). Colm Cille
(521-597) is probably best known for founding the island monastery of Iona off the west coast of Scotland in the mid sixth
century, 563. However, his reasons for fleeing to that remote island were rather less religious. He was the cause of litigation
with his former tutor, St. Finnian, on grounds of copying a manuscript belonging to the latter without permission. The High
King of Tara, Diarmuid Mac Cearbhaill, eventually ruled against Colm Cille with the famous words on copyright, To every cow
its calf, to every book its copy, an assertion used on the stationery of Cl (the Association of Publishers in Ireland). For this and
other reasons Colm Cille being himself of royal stock with a certain following the bloody battle of Cl Dreimhne in Sligo
occurred in the wake of the court ruling, later called the Battle of the Books, leading to Colm Cilles attempt at redemption
through exile, peregrinatio pro Christo (travelling for Christ). This type of missionary work is familiar to Irish religious down
to the present day.
The ancient cairn on the summit of Knocknarea (Cnoc na Riabh, Mountain Range/ Mountain) in County Sligo predates
the warrior Queen Maeve of Connacht who is reputed to have been buried there. Unlike the passage grave of Newgrange in
County Meath, it appears from media accounts that Maeves Cairn is so constructed that even modern excavation imaging
tools have failed to penetrate its stones.
Viking sites continue to be discovered on the east coast. One of the earliest, Linn Duachaill, near the village of Annagassan
in County Louth, where a Viking festival takes place annually, is historically attested to date from 841. It was used to trade and
to repair longships and as a base to pillage further inland. It is considered by experts one of the most important Viking sites
in Europe. Other sites, once considered Viking, are proving to be much older. The remains of a 7th century African trader was
found on the east coast of County Meath.
Interestingly, from a historical perspective, in research conducted by an insurance company for heritage buildings, the
GPO (General Post Office), centre of the 1916 Rising, was considered the most important by the public, coming before the
Hill of Tara of the Kings or Br na Binne, considered the largest and one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites
in Europe. The earliest Viking settlement in Ireland, from 841, is now commemorated through a festival in the small village of
th na gCosn (Annagassan, Ford of the Paths) near Droichead de (Drogheda, Bridge of de, female saint) in County Louth,
north of Dublin.

Tradition
On the traditional front, semi-feral goats are not without their protectors in Ireland. The Bilberry Goats of Waterford City are
apparently unique not only for their city existence or their blond fringes or long shaggy coats and gracefully curved horns but
also, it is reported, for creating what is possibly a legal first. Development was planned for the commonage where the goats
graze. The local community objected. In the court case and Bord Pleanla hearings that followed the goats were represented
by a local law firm and won their case. The goats came to Ireland with Huguenots fleeing persecution in France in the late
17th century and were set to graze on the common land known as Bilberry Hill. Now the Bilberry Goat Heritage Trust looks
after the goats interests and has built up the herd, producing cheese and even natural soap as produce. The same Huguenots
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may also be responsible for the distinctive Waterford white bread, known as blaa, possibly from the French blanc. This is
now produced by just three bakeries. It was submitted for, and received, EU protected regional integrity status. Ballinasloe
October horse fair in County Galway has been running for at least 300 years. Archival reporting in The Irish Times points out
that 1871 was not the best year for sales as demand for horses for cavalries declined with the end of the Franco-Prussian war.
Other livestock is also sold at these fairs which include many attractions sufficient to draw up to 80,000 attendance in 2010.
The annual horse fair of Cahirmee, said to date back to the 11th century and to have supplied mounts for wars at home and
abroad, still takes place every July on the main street of the town of Buttevant in County Cork.
Commemoration of St. Mac Dara goes even further back in history to the 6th century. Every year on L Mhic Dara (Day of
Mac Dara), 15 July, Mass is celebrated on his tiny island attended by no small congregation who are brought in by boat free of
charge by local boatmen. The Station Mass tradition in private homes in parishes in still observed in some rural areas. It dates
back to the era of the Penal Laws when Catholics had to find secret ways to hear Mass. Even in 2011, twenty thousand pilgrims
still made the arduous stony climb of Cruach Phdraig in Mayo, on Reek Sunday, the last Sunday in July. An old pilgrimage
(of 21 miles over hills and stepping stones in streams) through west Cork, St. Finbarrs Pilgrim Way, from Drimoleague (Drom
Dh Liag) to Gougane Barra (Ggn Barra) has been revived recently by the local Heritage Group. In September 2011, a
rare example of Bronze Age art in the shape of a spiral was discovered carved in rock along Cosn na Naomh (Path of Saints),
another medieval pilgrimage way on the Dingle peninsula. Bronze Age enclosures were found nearby. In the same manner,
commemoration is now being made of the many sites where unbaptised and stillborn babies were buried in the past, Oilen na
Marbh (Isle of the Dead) in County Donegal being one recent example.
When an ancient cedar tree was split by lightning in late 2010, comment immediately centred on the five sacred trees of
Celtic Ireland. Comparison was made between the fall of the 270-year old cedar and the nearby location of the Bile Tortain
(sacred tree) which fell a thousand years ago, heralding general misfortune. Adding to the omen in the popular mind was
firstly the location of the cedar, in the retreat centre, An Tobar (The Well), run by the Spiritans or Holy Ghost Fathers, and the
proximity of the timing of the fall of the tree to the loss of sovereignty incurred by the EU/IMF/ECB bailout for Ireland.
The Book of Ballymote, a folklore belief, concern for the environment and a belief that many have lost their way, came
together in an unusual open air art installation in Ballymote itself in late 2009, supported by Sligo County Council arts service.
In a field where two roads of former times had been excavated, the artist planted and grew flax in the complicated shape of the
sketch of Noah Arks with which the scribe of the Book of Ballymote, an important late medieval manuscript, began his work.
The crop drawing has connotations of the folklore belief in the fidn meara or fidn mearbhaill (the sod of confusement
or bewilderment); walking on this sod on which a spell has been cast by the siga (fairies) leads to believing one is in a maze
from which there is no escape until the fairy folk relent. For the artist, this particular piseog (superstition) symbolises modern
incapacities.
The term rth appars in many Irish placenames. It may be translated as ring-fort or type of earthern rampart. Such forts
are of great archaeological significance. They are also often associated in popular culture with fairies or leprechauns (siga;
leipreachin), the little people, and with many associated folk stories and beliefs. There are still some areas where local people
hesitate to interfere with such sites. One such is Rathnadrinna Fort, near the historic Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary,
which is unusual in that it has no less than three perimeter rings, and resembles a large sporting arena. The popularity of
logainmneacha or placenames is seen in the 2.6 million hits made on the very useful website maintained by Fiontar (Dublin
City University) since 2008.
An editorial in The Irish Times (19 April, 2010), Valuing our heritage, commented on the list of sites submitted by the
Minister for the Environment to UNESCO for possible recognition on that bodys World Heritage List. Three sites have
already received such recognition, the wonderful formations of layered basalt known as the Giants Causeway on the County
Antrim coast in Northern Ireland; Br na Binne, a complex of megalithic passage tombs in County Meath and Sceilig Mhichl,
a very early monastic site perched on a tall narrow rock in the ocean off the County Kerry coast, both in the Republic. The most
recent archaeological findings of previously undiscovered stairways suggest that these monks of the early 8th century came, in
fact, to an already existing earlier settlement.
The new list submitted provides a fascinating sketch of Irelands history: the great limestone rock slabs sheltering a wide
variety of flora and fauna known as the Burren (Boireann) in County Clare; the stone age settlement of Cide Fields in County
Mayo; some earlier sites associated with kingship, including Tara (Teamhair na R, Tara of the Kings); the great stone forts of
Dn Aonghusa on Inis Mr rann (Aran) and Cahercommaun (Cathair Chomin), the triple stone fort in County Clare; early
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monastic settlements such as Glendalough (Gleann D Loch, the glen of two lakes associated with St. Kevin, Caoimhn) in
County Wicklow and Monasterboice (Mainistir Buithe) in County Louth which also contains a round tower and intricately
decorated high crosses.
New discoveries of ancient Ireland continue. They include an oak road or trackway from the late Bronze Age, found in a
Bord na Mna bog in County Tipperary, the purpose of which has still to be ascertained.
In early 2010 the national leprechaun museum opened in Dublin as a tourist attraction but also to celebrate storytelling, a
native art form. Ancient customs are being revived, such the Festival of Fires on the Hill of Uisneach in County Westmeath or
more locally based initiatives. The Hill of Uisneach is linked to Tara nearby. Millions are to be spent on developing the tall cliffs
of Sliabh aLiag (mountain or moor of the flat stone) on the coast of Donegal. Whether these initiatives arise out of a sense of
losing touch with the past or seeking security there in times of change or merely out of hopes of attracting visitors, they appear
to be on the increase. Storytelling groups are reported to be on the increase all over the country. The Oral History Network of
Ireland was formed in Spring 2011 by a group comprising academics and local historians. The intention is to provide a forum
for both traditional story tellers and community groups wishing to conserve their folklore and oral heritage. The Network plans
include an international conference on oral history.
Storytelling, the art of the seancha (storyteller) is not, of course, particular to the culture of Ireland. But, nevertheless,
an Irish nine year old succeeded in coming within the top five finalists of the All China Story Telling Competition in August
2010, the first non-Asian child to do so. He had been studying Mandarin Chinese for three years at his school in Shanghai,
the city where his Irish parents now reside. On the other hand, others prefer to evoke the earlier myths and sagas, as does the
Irish-speaking world wrestler from Dublin, now based mostly in America, the Celtic Warrior.
An Chomhairle Oidhreachta (the Heritage Council) is working with local small farmers in parts of the west of Ireland on
a campaign to use the traditional farming practices of low-intensity farming towards the conservation of bio-diversity. The
continuation of sustainable models of high nature value, farmers working with nature and the local landscape as used be the
norm traditionally, are now seen as indispensable to the conservation of biodiversity in Europe. On the other hand, turf-cutters
were unimpressed with new conservation measures (May 2010) which would affect 32 raised bogs and ban work on them.
Those who predict the weather in traditional manner from the way animals behave or nature changes still get a very serious
hearing in Ireland as do providers of potions passed down through families.

Culture
In the cultural sphere, Irish artists, actors, writers and musicians continue to garner recognition and awards internationally. The
nine volume Dictionary of Irish Biography published by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) in November 2009 gives a fascinating
account in 8 million words of 9,700 significant Irish people from the beginning up to 2002. Updating the online version from
2002 onwards is envisaged twice yearly from May 2010. There were more Irish nominees than usual for the 2010 Oscar Awards
of Merit from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They represented a range of categories: animated feature
film (The Secret of Kells); animated short film (Granny OGrimms Sleeping Beauty); short live action film (The Door); sound
mixing (Star Trek); visual effects (Avatar). In the event, the latter was the sole Oscar winner among the names from Ireland,
north and south, but nomination itself carries no small kudos, especially for small companies working to small budgets.
Successes contined at ensuing Oscar Awards.

On 16 March 2010, in Washington for St. Patricks Day, Irelands first cultural ambassador was announced by the Taoiseach,
the actor Gabriel Byrne. Together with the state-aided organisation, Culture Ireland, a global programme of Irish artists from
every genre, Imagine Ireland, was mounted, particularly in America. The political intention was not only to display Irish talent
to the world, but to help restore Irelands reputation in the wake of the recent economic crisis. By 2012, Culture Ireland had
been subsumed into the Department to public criticism.
Unfortunately, however, the Irish National Opera Company which was formed in 2009, folded in May 2011 due to lack
of commitment on its future funding, without having had the opportunity to mount any production. Opera Ireland, the
former Dublin Grand Opera Society (DGOS), which had been established on a voluntary footing in 1941 (a rather unlikely
event during the Emergency) and was later funded by the Arts Council, had closed at the end of 2010. The Department
which had responsibility for the Company has now formally returned opera policy to the Arts Council, with a request to assess
for the Minister issues around the funding of opera to 2013. Two other smaller companies are still Council-funded: Opera
Theatre Company and Wexford Festival Opera.
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Culture Ireland had much to draw on from the past as well as the present, across a range of artistic endeavour. It is known
that section four (The Story of Paradise and the Peri) of the epic poem of the Romantic era, Lalla Rookh, written by Thomas
Moore (1779-1852), poet, songwriter and singer, was the inspiration for the oratorio, Paradise and the Peri, by the German
composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856). The original poem, although set in the Orient, seemed to refer to the attempts of
the Irish nation to win political independence. Moores melodies travelled well and influenced other composers also including
Mendelssohn. His lyrics are known, apparently, even today, in schools in Russia.
The emigrant William James from County Cavan who went to America at the end of the 18th century became a millionaire
through construction, largely on the Erie Canal. More importantly, he had two famous grandsons: Henry James, the writer,
and William James, one of the founders of modern psychology. The German winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972,
Heinrich Bll (1917-1985), introduced many of his compatriots to Ireland through his time spent in his cottage on Achill
Island and his philosophical travel book, Irisches Tagebuch (Irish Journal, 1957). An American contemporary, the crime writer
Raymond Chandler (1888 1959), spent part of his youth in Waterford, home of his Quaker forebears.
On another level, the compilation of the valuable contribution to Renaissance thought of works in Latin from Irish
writers, both in print and in manuscript, is ongoing.
In another field, in sport, the Irish cricket team defeated Pakistan in 2007 and England in 2011, in the World Cup series
in Bangalore. In horse racing, Irish horses, jockeys and Irish-trained horses continued to dominate at the annual Cheltenham
races in the UK around St. Patricks Day.
SYMBOLS OF THE STATE
The Irish language organisation, Gaelchultr, which provides specialist language courses, in collaboration with others, developed
an application which allows Nokia mobile phone users to download the Irish national anthem, Amhrn na bhFiann. It was
initially intended primarily for the attendance at the GAA (Gaelic Athletics Association) hurling and football finals in Autumn
2009, where the anthem is always sung. However, it proved highly popular outside Ireland also, even in countries such as
Turkey and Vietnam.
However, copyright for the national anthem, which is held by the Department of Finance, runs out in December 2012,
70 years after the death of the man who wrote the English language lyrics, Peadar Kearney. In fact, the 70 year rule results from
an EU directive which extended copyright to life plus 70 years in place of the previous life plus 50 years in force. Copyright
had then run out once before in 1992.
Planning for the anniversary of the 1916 Rising is already in train in some quarters. The historic Proclamation of 1916 will
undoubtedly be a very public part of that. Unfortunately, an expert in typography at the University of Reading, UK, informed
a conference in Trinity College in 2010 that the majority of reproductions were inaccurate on two counts: use of the wrong
font; not reproducing minor flaws due to the conditions of strife in which the original Proclamation was printed.
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF IRISH
In light of the 2010 General Election in the UK (6 May 2010), it was of interest that one of the more unusual examples of Irish
words that have found their way into the English language is Tory (Tora). The term referred initially to the dispossessed Irish
who became the object of pursuit (tir) in their own land and hence outlaws and wild Irish in the opinion of the settlers. The
nickname Tory was then applied in the late seventeenth century first (1679-80) by the Exclusioners as a term of insult to those
who were against the exclusion of James, Duke of York, from the succession to the Crown, on the basis that the Duke appeared
to favour Irishmen. From 1689 Tory became the name of one of the political parties in England, and later in Great Britain,
until it became the Conservative Party in 1830. For those acquainted with literature in Irish, a variant of the same word appears
in the title of the well-known tale, Traocht Dhiarmada agus Ghrinne, from the Fenian saga cycle (The Pursuit of Diarmaid
and Grinne by the jealous Fionn Mac Cumhaill). Another example is rapparee based again on 17th century Irish history;
rapaire is translated as pikeman or irregular soldier while ropaire may be translated as robber or scoundrel or bandit. The
connotations that eventually applied to the use of the word in the English language have their roots in attempted conquest.
Describing in Irish the race of blue-skinned people in the popular film, Avatar, provides an example of how languages differ.
The colour spectrum may be segmented in different ways in the lexicon of different languages. Differences are more easily
understood in terms of networks of meanings rather than precise equivalents. The range of colour terms expressed in Irish by
liath-glas-uaine is related to the range grey-green in English. The colour term liath may refer to things in nature which have
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become grey or faded, grey hair (gruaig liath). Either liath or glas may refer to things in nature for which grey is their natural
colour: a grey horse (capall glas) but as grey as a badger (chomh liath le broc) ; the saying, Far-away hills are green is expressed
in Irish as Is glas iad na cnoic i gcin. However, a green dress, where green is an artificial colour, is gna uaine. The colour term
glas may have connotations of immaturity or rawness: gnach glas, callow youth, as green might be used in English, or aimsir
ghlas as raw weather; but liath/glas san aghaidh as grey/pallid in the face. At the other end of this spectrum, rich dark green
grass may be expressed as far gorm and a person of black skin as duine gorm. However, gorm is the normal term for blue as
in gna gorm, a blue dress. To describe accurately in Irish the blue-skinned race of the film is, perhaps, an indication of how
(linguistic) reality may differ from things only imagined.

STILL A REPUBLIC?
The lack of confidence in the institutions of authority represented by State and Church is serious issue and, together with the
causes and effects of recession, led to a series of articles in The Irish Times (Spring 2010) on the meaning of Renewing the
Republic in these times, on issues ranging from the possible need for change in all public institutions, the rle of the Church
in education particularly, to the importance of civic society and redefinition of self. However, the candidate of the Labour Party
in the presidential election to be held in October 2011 contended (The Irish Times, 27 January 2011) that a real republic was
never created in Ireland, insofar as power and resources are still so unevenly distributed.

On St. Patricks Day, 2010, the editorial in The Irish Times was entitled Being Irish in tough times. However, it ended with
the words of the alternative national anthem, or alternanthem entitled Ireland, Ireland, (commissioned by the newspaper to
mark national day, St. Patricks Day, 2010):
Sometimes its heaven and sometimes its hell,
But Id rather be Irish than anything else.
Nevertheless, despite all these crises, Irish people donated up to 8 million to aid agencies in the immediate aftermath of
the Haiti earthquake. This high level of charity donation is borne out in other research. By end 2010, however, charities were
reporting some decline in the level of donations.
The place of the Irish language has always been central to the concepts of sovereignty, autonomy and definition. It has
always been intricated with political action, popular will and civic endeavour. The foregoing account, however, has attempted
to give an indication of the enormous changes that have occurred in a relatively brief period across all the areas that impinge
on peoples lives: the economy, political life, public institutions including religion, society itself. New and different values have
emerged but side by side with the more traditional. Not everything has been rejected. The place of the Irish language in this
new and ever changing world does not appear to have yet been clearly articulated. It is questionable whether a solely rightsbased approach is sufficient to ensure the inclusive and enthusiastic popular movement from the bottom-up of a kind that the
political class ignores at their peril.
Government intentions for the commemoration of the1916 Rising became known when the Taoiseach put the 2011
estimates for his department before the relevant Oireachtas Committee in July 2011. The content of the commemoration being
planned will continue long after 2016 and will be co-ordinated by the Department of the Taoiseach. An inclusive all-Ireland
structure was to have representation from Northern Ireland (politicians and others) and from academics (to ensure accuracy).
The Oireachtas Consultative Group had its inaugural meeting in July, chaired by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the
Gaeltacht, the first draft of the programme to be prepared by officials for discussion by the Oireachtas Consultative Group. It
will be of interest to see how Renewing the Republic will be part of this commemoration together with the place of the Irish
language in the philosophic base for republicanism in todays Ireland.

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THE IRISH
LANGUAGE

A concise historical account of the Irish language was given in More Facts about Irish 2008.

THE PRESENT
LANGUAGE
COMMUNITY

This chapter is concerned with issues of competence, use and attitudes across the population, including the Gaeltacht,
in a changing society and environment. Mention is also made of language support initiatives and of legislation
affecting the Gaeltacht, arising from the 20-Year Strategy for Irish.

More Facts About Irish

TERRITORIALITY AND PERSONALITY


DEMOGRAPHIC ASPECTS
Changes are detailed below in the definition of Gaeltacht and, to some extent, in the definition of Gaeltacht to include urban
settings. How this will work out in practice is not yet clear although pilot schemes in the Gaeltacht were announced before
Easter 2012. Whether or how definition on community or network grounds will actually coincide eventually with definition
on territorial grounds remains to be worked out. Additionally, whether the Gaeltacht role of dars na Gaeltachta would
include the urban network type Gaeltacht was not initially clarified although the non-ministerial members of the new reduced
board of that agency are nominated by the County Councils which contain areas other than the traditional Gaeltacht regions.
In the event, responsibility for network Irish communities outside the Gaeltacht will be under the aegis of Foras na Gaeilge.
The Gaeltacht Bill of 2012 made then for interesting debate.
The Clr Tacaochta Teaghlaigh (Family Support Programme) which replaced Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge (Scheme for
Speaking Irish which had been confined to the Gaeltacht) is open to some extent to all families, not solely to Gaeltacht
families, raising their children with Irish as the home language, in a bid to increase the number of Irish speakers through
intergenerational transmission. It met with little enthusiasm in the initial stages.
The results of Census 2011, as giving the most recent account of the number, location and use patterns of Irish speakers,
are discussed in some detail in the following sections.

ABILITY IN IRISH
ABILITY AND SURVEYS
In advance of the publication of Census 2011 results, some surveys provided a possible source of (then) current information.

Survey conducted by Comhar na Minteoir Gaeilge (Teachers of Irish) and other language
organisations
A series of questions on Irish were asked in an Ipsos MRBI Omnipoll conducted between 6 and 15 July 2010. The sample
consisted of 1,000 respondents aged 15+, who were randomly chosen. Of the sample, 77% were not in secondary school
education at the time of the survey; 12% had a child or children in education at that level; 8% had siblings at that level; 4%
were themselves in secondary school education.
The general results on self-assessed ability to speak Irish were as follows. Of the total, 16% (including an even 16% of both males
and females) professed having no Irish while 4% did not know or refused. Lower ranges of ability are shown in the following table.

Ability to speak Irish: Lower ranges of ability (% of respondents)


Categories/Ability

The odd word

A few simple sentences

Parts of conversations

Male

26

31

17

Female

21

35

13

Age 15-24

22

31

15

Age 25-34

25

27

16

Age 35-44

18

42

13

Age 45-54

32

30

15

Age 55+

23

34

16

TOTAL

24%

33%

15%

Results on the higher ranges of ability are shown below.


89

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Ability to speak Irish: Higher ranges of ability (% of respondents)


Categories/Ability

Most conversations

Native speaker

Male

Female

Age 15-24

11

Age 25-34

Age 35-44

Age 45-54

Age 55+

TOTAL

7%

3%

Overall, 10% of respondents self-reported high ability levels, females and the age group 15-24 being highest as percentages of the
total. This trend is seen in other surveys also. The ability of 48% of respondents is at the self-reported level of parts of conversations
or a a few simple sentences. Ability levels of native speaker to parts of conversations constitutes 25% of respondents.
Attitudes towards Irish in education as professed by these respondents are given below in the section on Attitudes and are
repeated in Chapter 4: Acquisition Planning: Education.

Survey by iReach
An independent survey was conducted by the research company iReach for the travel agency www.lastminute.com. One
thousand respondents from the four provinces took part. Language skills were included. The results were published in time for
St. Patricks Day 2011.
The general results on the language items were as follows:

Ability in Irish: Can speak Irish (% of respondents)


Gender

Age group

Region

Females 53%

18-25 56%

Connacht/Ulster 54%

Males 38%

35-44 43%

Dublin 46%
Rest of Leinster 46%
Munster 45%

Use of Irish by those with competence (% of respondents)


This week

46%

Last month

21%

(including 56% of the age group 18-24)

With regard to a range of other modern languages presented, respondents chose among them mainly on criteria of practicality,
usefulness, being career-enhancing.
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CENSUSES 2006 (ROI) AND 2001 (NI): SOCIO-ECONOMIC CLASSES, OCCUPATIONAL GROUPS AND IRISH

Language and occupational status: Linguistic litism in the Irish labour market
This is the title of a study on certain aspects of census results, conducted by three academics from the universities of Ulster and
Limerick, which was published in the Economic and Social Review dated Winter 2009.
The material is based on the 2006 census in the Republic and the 2001 census for Northern Ireland and Wales in the UK;
it requires highly statistical skills to interpret the methodology. From the outset, the authors admit the difficulty of finding a
meaningful definition of Irish speaker as defined by census results. Basically, the authors contend that being Irish-speaking
confers a structural advantage on workers in the Irish labour market with regard to occupations in the professional/managerial/
technical (referred to as PMT) categories. When other factors related to labour market attributes were taken into account, it
appeared that language still remained the variable that made the difference between being in a higher occupation or not. The
findings for the Republic were as follows.

Irish speakers and occupational class


Occupation/Language

Irish speaking

Non-Irish speaking

PMT

42%

27%

Semi-skilled/unskilled

12%

19%

Irish speakers and economic status


Status/Language

Irish speaking

Non-Irish speaking

Unemployed

3%

6%

Unable to work (illness/disability)

2%

5%

Irish speakers and level of education


Education/Language

Irish speaking

Non-Irish speaking

Degree +

25%

14%

Primary or less

9%

22%

The findings given for Northern Ireland were broadly similar although not as inclusive.

Irish speakers and occupational class


Occupation/Language

Irish speaking

Non-Irish speaking

PMT

36%

23%

Irish speakers and level of education

91

Education/Language

Irish speaking

Non-Irish speaking

Degree +

27%

23%

Primary or less

25%

44%

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The authors conclude that ceteris paribus [all other things being equal] there is a bias in Irelands labour market which favours
Irish speakers over non-speakers. They attribute this advantage to three possible factors which are not altogether proven from
the data: the quality of education (citing gaelscoileanna and the disproportionate number of Irish-medium schools which are
feeder schools for third level institutions); the subjects chosen for study at third level (citing Education); the networks that
provide social capital for Irish speakers.
Not surprisingly, when speakers were divided into categories of use, the likelihood of more frequent users attaining PMT
occupations was higher than for less frequent users.
For Northern Ireland, from the various statistical analyses used, it was concluded that, although being Catholic was associated
with a certain level of disadvantage (in labour market terms) with regard to finding a job in PMT occupations, this was not
statistically significant. On the other hand, some knowledge of Irish was a significant advantage in the likelihood of resulting in
jobs in the PMT sectors. This was almost as high as in the Republic; NI 5.8 points higher; ROI 6.7 points higher advantage.
Overall then, the authors conclude that there was a small but undeniably significant advantage in being Irish-speaking in
terms of obtaining jobs in the PMT sectors. Unusually, they add that they appreciate that many might find their conclusions
difficult to accept. On the other hand, as documented in other sections of More Facts about Irish, knowledge of Irish generally
accompanies higher levels of education; higher levels of education invariably tend to lead to higher paid occupations.
Additionally, knowledge of Irish has a role in the choice of education as a career.
While the study and its conclusions do, as the authors stress, raise the issues above the merely anecdotal, it would be even
more useful, as a language planning tool, if it were possible to provide more definite links between (i) the source of ability
in Irish (e.g. Gaeltacht home; gaelscoil or Irish-medium school; English-medium school with strong Irish department) and
eventual occupation; (ii) the language in which the actual occupations operated, factors which census data could not supply.
Whether the examples of linguistic litism mentioned by the authors of this study, (e.g. Tsarist Russia and French), are in any
way comparable to the Irish situation is a moot point. The argument bears much further scrutiny in terms of social dominance
attaching to a select linguistic group. The census data does provide the possibility of cross-referencing between data on the Irish
language and other variables which led to this piece of research. One wonders, however, if similar census data were available
on proficiency in mathematics or English, would the same or other so-called lites emerge? There appears to be no actual
proof that Irish language proficiency solely provides the structural advantage in the labour market put forward by the authors,
however tempting the hypothesis.
In reporting this research, the media headings predictably linked Irish speakers with being a social and educational lite;
this may well have had two-edged outcomes with regard to image and attitudes. If possession of Irish is an advantage, its
acquisition being made widely and easily accessible to all would appear a possible policy option.
This census-based study echoed many factors already raised in earlier research based on questionnaire methodology with
sample populations.

CENSUS 2011: NUMBERS OF SPEAKERS


CONTEXT
As preparations for this census were under way, demographers were hoping that the Republic of Ireland in the current recession
would not follow the warnings coming from the new Coalition Government in the United Kingdom (UK) that the mode of
census taking is too expensive. In fact, advertisements for 440 home-based area supervisors, each to lead 10-12 enumerators,
for the conduct of Census 2011, were placed by the CSO; interviews were scheduled for November 2010.
The census of the population of Ireland was conducted on Sunday, 10 April 2011; censuses are held in Ireland (Republic)
every five years. It contained two additional questions: on health and home language(s), including sign language, other than
English and Irish. For the latter question, rating of ability in the English language was asked. The question on religion caused
some public debate in relation to atheism, which is not a religion. The census form was made available in Irish, English and 21
other languages. A new departure, with the input of the National Centre for Geocomputation (National University of Ireland
Maynooth), was the mapping of every dwelling in 20,000 small areas. This will provide detailed information on population
across a range of factors by regional areas from county down to the level of townland. Cross-referencing by the information
provided in response to census questions will no doubt prove very useful to policy makers.
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In relation to Irish, concerns were expressed that addresses of households were first issued in English but this was later
corrected by the CSO and instructions given to enumerators with regard to those requesting Irish. In fact, An Coimisinir
Teanga had intervened when complaints were made that local authorities were refusing to allow addresses in Irish on the revised
electoral list. The then Minister for the Environment (under whose remit local authorities come), although saying that local
authorities should not refuse names and addresses in Irish, nevertheless maintained that English-only versions could be used
outside the Gaeltacht, a point unacceptable under the Official Languages Act (and indeed international legal instruments).
In Northern Ireland, no Irish version of the census form was provided, although Welsh and Scottish Gaelic versions were
provided. An information sheet in Irish was apparently provided in Northern Ireland.
General demographic trends for 2009, a high EU birth rate of 16.8 per thousand and a low death rate of 6.6 per thousand,
ensured that Ireland had the highest natural growth in population in the EU at 10.2 per thousand. This despite the highest
outflow of people in the EU, due to the recession, many of whom were returning foreign migrants. In April 2010, the
estimated population stood at 4,470,700. The preliminary and provisional Census results (end June 2011) show a figure of
4.58 million (4,581,269), with more women than men, the reverse of Census 2006; it was reported as the highest level in
150 years. A report from the Trinity Immigration Initiative (Trinity College Dublin), entitled Current and Future Reality of
Irelands Multicultural Status, published in July 2010, concluded that Ireland will remain multicultural despite a decrease in
immigration but that State policies are far from reflecting this reality. It remains to be seen whether this augurs increase or
decrease in ability in Irish, given the precarious state of Gaeltacht regions. The actual Census 2011 results confirmed both of
these reported upward trends: in total population and in the number of non-nationals.
Publication online of the actual forms filled in for the 1901 and 1911 censuses proved extremely popular. It is hoped to
proceed with publication online of the next available census after 1911 which took place in 1926. Legislation to facilitate this
was required as the 100-year rule on privacy with regard to sensitive personal information would be breached (Statistics Act
1993). The Statistics (Heritage Amendment) Bill, No. 30 of 2011, was then introduced in the Seanad to amend the 1993 Act
in relation to the 1926 Census, the first taken after the establishment of the State, in order to give special heritage status to that
1926 census and release it to the public for research. Bill No 36 of 2010 on the same issue had lapsed.
The table below, extracted from Northern Ireland Census 2011 (NI Statistics and Research Agency, NISRA) shows
population patterns over the centuries in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland (keeping in mind that the political
entity of NI came about in 1921 as six counties of the nine counties of the historic province of Ulster).

Population of Ireland North (NI) and South (ROI)


Census

Population of Ireland

ROI as %

NI as %

1841 (Pre-Famine)

8,175,124

79.8%

20.2%

1861

5,798,967

75.9%

24.1%

1881

5,174,836

74.8%

25.2%

1926

4,228,553

70.3%

29.7%

1971

4,514,313

66%

34%

2011

6,399,115

71.7%

28.3%

Census 2011: Consequences of migration patterns


Two events during June 2010 are fairly indicative of the current consequences of migration. The new Minister of State for
Equality, Integration and Human Rights advertised in June 2010 for expressions of interest from migrants to a proposed
Ministerial Council on Integration, on a regional basis (Dublin; Rest of Leinster; Munster; Connacht/Ulster). In the same
month, the first Irish person to become a Muslim imam proposed plans for a mosque in Galway.
Current immigration and emigration patterns may already be affecting the overall numbers of speakers in the State
although these factors may well have changed again even as the 2011 census was being analysed. In the case of immigration
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More Facts About Irish

from the ten new EU states, a significant drop occurred in 2008 in the number of PPS (personal public service) numbers
issued, from 67,000 issued in 2007 to some 29,500 in 2008. In addition, over 50% of those who received PPS Numbers in the
year 2004 appear to have returned home since they are neither in work in Ireland nor in receipt of welfare, according to figures
from the Central Statistics Office issued in late 2009. Possibly due to new restrictions with regard to the issue of work permits
and a definite decline in the availability of jobs, it was reported that incoming workers from outside the EU fell by some 40%
during 2009, from 13,565 (2008) to 7,942 (2009). These workers came from India, South America, China, the USA and other
countries and tended to be employed in hospitals and IT companies. The number of asylum seekers fell by over 1,000 from
2008 (3,866) to 2009 (2,689).
Emigration by Irish citizens has increased with Australia the land of choice for a significant number just ahead of Canada.
For Australia, the number sought of both residence visas (2,521 granted in 2009) and work permits increased as well as the
number of working holiday visas (22,786 took these up). An Australian Information Day organised in Dublin in January 2009
proved very popular not only among single people but with families also. The majority were highly skilled people under 40.
This trend is a new and, in some senses, an unwelcome one.
Nevertheless, preliminary returns from (June 2011) from Census 2011 appeared to show that inward migration may have
been underestimated and emigration overestimated. A fairly unusual finding was reported in mid-July 2011: the population
of the State is at 4.58 million; however, 7.2 million PPS numbers appear to exist. An audit has been called for to explain the
discrepancy of 2.62 million.
Colourful citizenship ceremonies have now been introduced after a pilot formal ceremony in June 2011 proved popular
and successful. The newly admitted citizen takes an oath of fidelity to the nation and of loyalty to the State.
RESULTS

General
The March Census 2011 preliminary results were released within three months on 30 June 2011 showing population changes
by male/female for 3,440 areas of the State. On 29 March 2012 the former Principal Demographic Results were published in
a new general format entitled This is Ireland Highlights from Census 2011 Part 1 accompanied by an interactive website.
Part 2 followed on 28 June 2012 (formerly Principal Socio-Economic Results) while a range of thematic publications appeared
throughout 2011/2012. Among these were Small Area Population Statistics (SAPS, 31 July 2012) which included a SAPMAP
which could be used to find information on 15 themes relating to 10 geographic areas.
The general population continued to increase, standing at 4,588,252 persons which included 544,357 classified as nonnationals, also an increase on 2006. Females outnumbered males by some 43,000, a continuing pattern. Irish Travellers had
increased by 32% to 29,573. Religion results are discussed below in Chapter 5, Other faiths.
The new question on foreign languages elicited the information that 514,068 persons used a foreign language in the home
setting, Polish being top of the list, followed by French, Lithuanian and German.

Irish language
With regard to ability in the Irish language in the general population, the results were as follows.

Census 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the State

94

Total

Speakers

Non-speakers

Not stated

*Irish speakers as percentage of total

4,370,631

1,774,437

2,507,312

88,882

41.4% (40.6% if those not stating included)

More Facts About Irish

Census 2006 and 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the State: Comparison
Census

Total
population

Speakers

Non-speakers

Not stated *

Irish speakers
as % of total

2006

4,239,848

1,656,790

2,300,174

100,682

41.9% or
40.8% if nonstating included

2011

4,370,631

1,774,437

2,507,312

88,882

41.4% or
40.6% if nonstating included

*Those not stating have been excluded from the total in calculating the percentage 41.4% for 2011 and similarly for 2006.
The 2011 percentage shows a decrease of 0.5% on 2006 although the actual number of speakers has increased by 117,647 on
2006 when 1,656,790 respondents returned as having ability in Irish. The number not stating is lower in actual figures than
in 2006, when it was 100,682. Within those professing ability in 2011, the following factors from the Central Statistics Office
(CSO) publications are of note.
There was a striking difference between males and females: 37.9% of males in comparison with 44.9% of females.
As in other censuses, the highest percentages were in the school-going age cohorts from 5 to 19 years: 5-9 years:
63.6%; 10-14 years: 73.7%; 15-19: 64.2%.
Nevertheless, these figures for the cohort 5-19 years, while on the one hand giving an average 67.2% who profess
ability in Irish, also means that approximately one third of the cohort are non-Irish speakers in an educational
system which offers Irish to all students. The corollary appears to be that an attitudinal or ability or teaching/
learning problem exists.
There was a fall-off in the cohort 20-24 years at 44.2% that gradually reduced through the age groups to 33.5%
at age 65 and over with the exception of the age group 55-64 at 36.1%.
In all age groups the percentage of females with ability was higher than in males.
The crucial 3-4 age cohort showed an increase from 2006 (14,773 speakers; 13.7%) to 18,740 or 14.3% of the
cohort in 2011. Females predominated once more.

CENSUS 2011: ABILITY IN IRISH IN THE GAELTACHT


One of the more striking aspects of the 40-year celebrations of RnaG were the references, particularly by those broadcasters
involved in the early days, to the linguistic changes in the Gaeltacht community they served. In comparison with the past, the
community is now totally bilingual. These changes are borne out in the next group of tables which show the situation in the
official Gaeltacht as depicted through Census 2011 returns.

Census 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the Gaeltacht population

95

Total
population

Speakers

Nonspeakers

Not stated

Irish speakers as percentage of total


(non-stating excluded)

96,628

66,238

29,114

1,276

69.5%

More Facts About Irish

Census 2006 and 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the Gaeltacht: Comparison
Census

Total
population

Speakers

Nonspeakers

Not stated

Irish speakers as
percentage of total
(non-stating excluded)

2006

91,862

64,265

26,539

1,058

70.8%

2011

96,628

66,238

29,114

1,276

69.5%

Those not stating have again been excluded from the total in calculating the percentage. The Gaeltacht is here defined by the
various territorially based Areas Orders (1956-1982). The new Acht na Gaeltachta (2012) provides for definition on a range
of criteria as discussed further below. Some other salient factors with respect to the 2011 returns for the Gaeltacht population
include the following.
The total Gaeltacht population has increased by 4,766 persons.
As expected, the highest percentages professing ability even in the Gaeltacht were in the school-going age cohorts
from 5 to 19 years: 5-9 years: 83.6%; 10-14 years: 89.1%; 15-19: 83.5%.
There was a fall-off in the cohort 20-24 years at 69.2% that reduced to 58.7% at age 25-34 and 62.8% at age
35-44; the significance of these age groups is that they may be current or prospective parents, a fact which has
implications for intergenerational transmission of Irish. The following three older age groups (45-65 and over)
show increased levels of Irish speakers, an indication of community transmission in the past which appears to be
constantly decreasing as a result of many inter-related factors.
The crucial 3-4 age cohort shows an increase from 2006 (1,226 speakers; 51.4%) to 1,410 or 52.4% of the total
cohort of 2,801 in 2011.
Just below 70% of the Gaeltacht population profess ability in Irish. However, this varies from Area to Area as the figures
in the next table show.

Census 2011: Percentage of Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the Gaeltacht
population by Area (and total Area population)
Cork
County

Donegal
County

Galway
County

Galway
County

Kerry
County

Mayo
County

Meath
County

Waterford
County

80%

72.7%

49.8%

75.2%

74.5%

64.1%

63%

76.1%

(3,715)

(23,810)

(14,572)

(32,131)

(8,449)

(10,559)

(1,699)

(1,693)

Despite the increase in the Gaeltacht overall population in 2011, a continuing decline has been ongoing in the numbers
professing ability as shown below.

Censuses 1996-2011: Decline in percentage of Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the
Gaeltacht population

96

1996

2002

2006

2011

76.3%

72.6%

70.8%

69.5%

More Facts About Irish

SUMMARY ON ABILITY IN IRISH IN THE GENERAL POPULATION: CENSUSES 1851-2011


Given the reducing numbers in the Gaeltacht, the majority of current speakers are school-generated. While the 29.1% of
1851 reflected in general community-based speakers, the 41.4% of 2011 are differently constituted, only some now being
community-based.

Summary on ability by percentage of total population (3 years and over) 1851-2011


1851

1926

1961

1971

1981

1986

1991

1996

2002

2006

2011

29.1%

18.3%

27.2%

28.3%

31.6%

31.1%

32.5%

43.5%

42.8%

41.9%

41.4

CENSUS 2011: USE OF IRISH


Clearly passive ability will not a vibrant language community create. The next set of tables illustrate the levels of use of Irish in
the general population by the 41.4% professing knowledge of the language, daily use outside education probably being the best
indicator of a living language in use in intercommunal contexts, including the family. Almost a quarter of those with ability
never use Irish or apparently never find situations in which to use it. The two extremes are shown in the second table below.
To ensure accurate figures, provision is made in the tables following below for the addition of a separate category of 38,480
persons who use Irish daily in education and also outside education to varying degrees. They are not included in education daily
as this would mean including them twice. Education is then categorised as daily in education only.
Use of Irish outside education also by this separate category of 38,480 persons is:
Number

Daily

Weekly

Less often

*Never

38,480

21,631

7,510

5,776

3,563

*These additions have been made in tables further below on use of Irish. Some confusion appears to have occurred for the
3,563 respondents in 2011 who professed to using Irish outside education also and then ticked never. The same problem
occurred in 2006. This accounts for any discrepancy in tots in some tables further below.

Census 2011: Daily and No Use of Irish by those with ability


Total with ability

Daily use in
education only

Daily use outside


education

Never

Not stated

1,774,437

519,181(29.3%)

55,554+21,631
= 77,185 (4.35%)

435,219 +3,563
= 438,782 (24.7%)

15,411

This figure of 77,185 daily speakers is a long way yet from the 250,000 targeted in the 20-Year Strategy by 2030. It includes
the Gaeltacht and represents no more than 1.77% of the total population, immigrants included. Nevertheless, even given the
current lack of natural opportunities for use, there still remains a substantial number of potential daily speakers among those
who use their ability on a less than daily basis. A possible policy approach might be to target these more occasional speakers
through existing local Irish language committees and through the detailed small area statistics now available through the
Central Statistics Office (CSO) with a view to moving users upwards to the next level of use. The current total numbers of these
potential daily speakers are depicted in the next table. Together, they come to 723,878 persons, some of whom at least might
welcome interventions which would allow more focused occasions of use for their ability in Irish.

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Census 2011: Varying degrees of use of Irish outside the education system by those with ability
Total with ability

Weekly

Less often

1,774,437

103,132+7,510 = 110,642 (6.2%)

607,460+5,776 = 613,236 (34.6%)

The overall picture on use of Irish is shown in the next table. While it has improved to some extent in numbers from Census
2006 if not in percentage terms, due to the increase in the population generally, there still exists a substantial base on which
to build as shown below.

Census 2011: Frequency of use of Irish outside the education system by those with ability
Total with ability

Daily

Weekly

Less often

Never

1,774,437

77,185 (4.35%)

110,642 (6.2%)

613,236 (34.6%)

435,219 (24.5%)

To these percentages may be added the 519,181 speakers, the 29.3% who use Irish daily within the education system only.
Nevertheless, the ability figures for the cohort 5-19 years (above), while on the one hand giving an average 67.2% who
profess ability in Irish, also means that approximately one third of the cohort are non-Irish speakers although operating in
an educational system which offers Irish to all students. The corollary appears to be that an attitudinal or ability or teaching/
learning problem exists and at more levels than the students perhaps, given the Department of Education survey results
reported in Chapter 4 below.
There is certainly room for improvement in both ability and use among the school-going population, particularly with the
imminent increases at both primary and post-primary levels (Chapter 4 below). The immigrant population is hardly the cause.
With regard to the population who speak a language other than English or Irish at home, the numbers in the school-going age
cohorts who speak no English are not very numerous: age 5-12: 441; age 13-18: 134, or 575 overall. Not unusually, in the age
group 0-4, the figures are much higher at 7,862. It is presumed that the others in these age groups in the immigrant category
have sufficient English to function in the English-medium education system where Irish is offered as a subject. Anecdotal
evidence points to these already bilingual children as in general accepting Irish as another addition to their linguistic repertoire.
Some are in Irish-medium schools.
A view of the age groups returning as using Irish daily outside education is given below. The figures include the category of
persons who while using Irish daily in education, also use Irish outside education daily.

Censuses 2011: Daily use of Irish outside education (+ also outside education) by age
group in the total population (3 years and over)
Age group
outside
education

3-4

5-9

10-14

15-19

20-24

25-34

35-44

Total cohort

18,740

198,940 219,292 178,751 128,613 260,880 234,404 196,503 164,361 173,953

% Irish daily

1,334

1,801

1,774

2,476

3,682

8,282

11,190

8,347

7,038

9,630

+791

+5,301

+4,253

+2,995

+1,084

+1,973

+1,914

+1,612

+953

+755

=2,125

=7,102

=6,027

=5,471

=4,766

=10,255 =13,104 =9,959

=7,991

=10,385

11.34%

3.6%

2.7%

3.06%

3.7%

3.9%

4.9%

6%

5.6%

45-54

5.06%

55-64

65
and over

As in the table on daily use in the Gaeltacht further below, the preschool group are highest of the schoolgoing age cohorts.

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SUMMARY ON USE: CENSUSES 2006 AND 2011

Censuses 2006 and 2011: Frequency of use of Irish by those with ability: Comparison
Census

Total with
ability

Daily in
education
only

Daily
outside
education

Weekly
outside
education

Less often

Never

2006

1,656,790

453,207
7.35%

72,148
4.35%

102,861
6.208%

586,097
35.4%

415,479
25%

2011

1,774,437

519,181
29.3%

77,185
4.35%

110,642
6.235%

613,236
34.6%

435,219
24.5%

While numbers have increased, the intercensal period appears to have witnessed little significant percentage change except in
education. There has been a very slight decrease in the Never and Less often categories. The latter, however, has not led to
increases in the more frequent categories of use. The 10.5% of respondents who use Irish daily and weekly remains constant
but the 175,009 recorded in 2006 in these more frequent use categories has increased to 187,827 in 2011, a rise of 12,818.
Continuing increases could lead to the type of critical mass that might lead to a societal breakthrough.

USE OF IRISH IN THE GAELTACHT 2011


In Census 2011, of the total population of 96,628 (aged 3 years and over), there were 66,238 persons who returned themselves
as Irish speakers, 69.5% of the total. This was an increase of 1,973 on 2006 when 64,265 were returned out of a total of
91,862. As in the case of the rest of the population, the exact meaning of the term Irish speaker in the context of the census
is not clear. It may cover many degrees of fluency. However, in percentage terms, there has occurred a slight drop of 1.3% in
speakers (70.8% to 69.5%) and a corresponding rise in non-speakers (29.2% to 30.5%) in the Gaeltacht. The percentages
of those non-stating hovers between 1% and 2%. The number of those in the total Gaeltacht population who are speakers of
foreign languages is 7,066 (7.3%), a factor to be taken into account. Some may be in Gaeltacht schools. They are distributed
across the Gaeltacht Areas as given below.

Speakers of Foreign Languages in Gaeltacht Areas


Donegal

Cork

Galway

Kerry

Mayo

Meath

Waterford

751

275

4,890

608

385

69

88

The comparative table below gives the number of self-professed speakers of Irish across all the Gaeltacht Areas.

Census 2006 and 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the Gaeltacht: Comparison

99

Census

Total
population
(3 years and
more)

Speakers

Non-speakers

Not stated

Irish speakers
as percentage
of total
(non-stating
excluded)

2006

91,862

64,265

26,539 29.2%

1,058

70.8%

2011

96,628

66,238

29,114 30.5%

1,276

69.5%

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In the general population, opportunities for use are in many cases quite limited. Even in the weaker Gaeltacht regions,
however, it is often assumed that there could exist more opportunities for non-speakers to acquire Irish and for speakers to use
Irish. The next comparative table shows the situation with regard to use by those with competence in Irish in the Gaeltacht.

Censuses 2006 and 2011: Frequency of use of Irish by those with ability in the Gaeltacht
Census

Total with
ability

Daily in
education
only

Speaks
Irish also
outside
education

Daily
outside
education

Weekly
outside
education

Less often

Never

2006

64,265

13,982

5,179

17,687

6,564

15,150

4,313

21.75%

8.05%

27.5%

10.2%

23.6%

6.7%

14,518

5,666

17,955

6,531

16,115

4,647

21.9%

8.6%

27.1%

9.9%

24.3%

7.0%

2011

66,238

There were a number of non-stating respondents under this census question on frequency of use: 2006 (1,390 or 2.2%); 2011
(806 or 1.2%). They have not been subtracted from the total in calculating the percentages in the table on frequency of use
directly above. However, if the categories Non-stating and Never are put together, the result shows a combined figure of
8.9% for 2006 and 8.2% for 2011 of the population of the Gaeltacht that might be considered neutral or negative in relation
to the language.
While daily use of Irish outside education may be the most crucial indication of language vitality, the age groups speaking
the language on a daily basis have added significance, particularly the younger age groups.

Censuses 2011: Daily use of Irish outside education by age groups in the Gaeltacht
Age group
outside
education

3-4

5-9

10-14

15-19

20-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65 and
over

Total cohort

1,410

5,570

6,222

5,520

3,873

7,595

8,949

8,971

8,151

9,977

% Irish
daily outside
education by
% of cohort

370

524

538

700

986

2,101

2,948

3,097

2,869

3,822

26.2%

9.4%

8.6%

12.7%

25.5%

27.8%

33%

34.5%

35.2%

38.3%

To these may be added a total of 2,170 speakers across the age spectrum who also use Irish daily outside education. There is little
room for complacency in these figures except perhaps in the pre-school group at 26.2% which is two and a half times higher
than the average of the next three age groups comprising the cohorts age 5-19 which is no more than just over 10% (10.2%).

SUMMARY OF ABILITY AND DAILY USE IN THE GAELTACHT 2011


Both total population figures and ability in Irish as being self-professed may be taken as givens. However, there are various ways
of presenting the degrees of use of that ability, each of which gives a different perspective. Even accepting that the numbers
who daily use Irish outside education may be the best criterion of stability of the language in the Gaeltacht, whether that fact is
expressed as a percentage of the total population, or of the total population aged 3 years and over, or of the number professing
ability will all give a different assessment and a varying understanding of the vitality of the Irish-speaking communities and
regions. In addition, the question arises as to how best to deal with those non-stating or with those professing ability but who
never use it, whether when presenting information or as a problematic issue for policy.
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Summary of ability and daily use in the Gaeltacht 2011


Total population

Ability

Daily use outside education

96,628

66,238

17,955 + 2,170 = 20,125

(aged 3 years and over)

(68.5% or 69.5%

30.4% of those with ability

when excluding non-stating)

or 20.8% of total population


over 3 years of age

Since the total number of daily users for the State is 77,185 and the number for the Gaeltacht is 20,125 (26% of the total daily
speakers), then the figure for the country outside the Gaeltacht is 57,060.

The position varies from Gaeltacht to Gaeltacht as the next table shows.
Gaeltacht

Daily users
outside
education
(*including
also)

Daily users
as % of total
population
0-65 years and
over

Daily users
as % of
population
aged over 3

Daily users as
% of ability

Daily users as
% of all grades
of frequency of
use incl also
(and excluding
non-stating
and never)

Cork

673+309
=982

3,895 (25.2%)

3,715 (26.4%)

2,951 (33.3%)

2,209 (44.5%)

Donegal

5514 + 1,533
=7,047

24,744 (28.5%)

23,810 (29.6%)

17,132 (41.1%)

12,547 (56.2%)

Galway&
Galway City

8,392+2,329
=10,721

48,907 (22%)

46,703 (23%)

30,978 (34.6%)

20,684 (51.8%)

Kerry

1,875+626
= 2,501

8,729 (28.7%)

8,449 (29.6%)

6,185 (40.4%)

4,659 (53.7%)

Mayo

970+202
= 1,172

10,886 (10.8%)

10,559 (11.1%)

6,667 (17.6%)

4,557 (25.7%)

Meath

221 + 93
= 314

1,771 (17.7%)

1,676 (18.7%)

1,054 (29.8%)

669 (47%)

Waterford

310+128
= 438

1,784 (24.6%)

1,693 (25.9%)

1,271 (34.5%)

891 (49.2%)

Seven County
Gaeltacht Areas

23,175

100,716 (23%)

82,033 (28.3%)

66,238 (35%)

46,216 (50.14%)

*This category also are those who use Irish daily in education and also outside education to varying degrees including some who
use Irish daily.
In interpreting this table, the following points are made:
There appears to be 18,683 (100,716 82,033) children under 3 who are crucial to the future of the language in
the Gaeltacht and who would require sustained policy intervention. No more than 1,000 preschoolers are currently
in preschool provision and the new Scim Tacaochta Teaghlaigh (Family Support Scheme in place of the annual
Deontas or Grant Scheme) has not yet been requested by a large volume of parents and families. It may take time
for a department-initiated intervention to be replaced by a scheme where the initiative must come from the family.
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No more than 35% of those professing ability in Irish use it on a daily basis outside education.
Nevertheless, of the three categories of actual users daily, weekly, less than that just very slightly over half
(50.14%) use Irish on a daily basis outside education.
However, just 28.3% of the population from 3 years of age use Irish daily while less than a quarter (23%) of the
entire population do so.
There are differences between Gaeltachta:

of those with ability Mayo (17.6%) returns the lowest percentage of daily speakers and Donegal (41.1%)
the highest;

Mayo has no more than 11.1% as daily users in its quite large population of 10,559 over 3 years of age.

With regard to the highest level of frequency of use, that is daily outside education, Galways high figure
(51.8%) is due to the County while Donegal (56.2%) and Kerry (53.7%) are over the 50% mark. Mayo
is lowest at 25.7%. The smaller Gaeltachta do reasonably well on percentages but their actual numbers
are low in volume.

The overall assessment appears to be that little significant change in language terms has occurred since Census 2006
although the issue remains whether current figures are sufficient to maintain the Gaeltacht as a language community.
Deeper analysis by the expert Donncha hallaithe reported over several weeks (8/15/22 Lnasa/Augusth 2012) in the
Irish-language newspaper, Gaelscal, brought up some interesting findings. The research was conducted on the geographic
unit of District Electoral Divisions (DED) within the Gaeltacht as far as that was possible. Only parts of some DEDs are in
the Gaeltacht and demographic breakdown was not yet available at the period when the analysis was done. The categories of
Gaeltacht region (A, B, C according to daily use of Irish, within plus outwith the education system) as distinguished in the
research Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the Gaeltacht formed the basis for examination of linguistic trends. Conclusions
showed a mixed picture. On the one hand, there was a welcome upward trend in use in some of the stronger Gaeltacht areas.
Of 24 DEDs in Category A, the percentage change for daily use was upwards in 11 DEDs and down in 13, ranging from 7 in
Sailearna in Galway to +15.8 in Mrthain near Ballyferriter in Kerry. Overall, however, the pluses outnumbered the minuses by
14.1. The researcher is of the view that information at DED level would constitute a useful base for the (19) language planning
schemes outlined in the Gaeltacht Act. He also points to the current Gaeltacht boundaries being out of kilter with reality, since
in some towns outside the official Gaeltacht apparently more Irish is spoken than in towns within the Gaeltacht.

ABILITY AND USE IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN THE STATE 2011


It was observed in More Facts about Irish 2008 that ability and more especially use of that ability was higher in some areas than
others. It was surmised that this may have been due to local supportive institutions, e.g Irish-medium education, a third-level
institution, the Garda College. The following table examines change in some locations since 2006, a factor which appears to
belie the possible explanation formerly surmised. However, there also exists the possibility that, with the increasing public
profile of Irish in the intervening period, the census use of the term speaker may have been more rigorously understood by
those in contact with supportive institutions. As a result, some respondents may (or indeed may not) have self-reported ability
and use in less generous terms than formerly.

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Census 2006 and 2011: Ability and Use in Various Locations in the State Cities
Location/Census

Census 2006

Census 2011

CITY
Population over
3 years of age

Ability (%)
outside education
(national average:
4.354%)

*Daily use (%)


outside education
(national average:
4.349%)

Ability (%)

*Daily use (%)

Dublin
2011: 508,177

33.8%

4.0%

162,879 (32.05%)

6,497 (3.4%)

Cork
2011: 115,425

42.8%

3.5%

46,566 (40.34%)

1,584 (3.4%)

Galway
2011: 72,471

45.9%

7.4%

31,866 (43.97%)

2,372 (7.44%)

Limerick
2011: 54,831

39.8%

2.7%

21,101 (38.48%)

675 (3.2%)

Waterford
2011: 44,651

40.4%

2.1%

16,847 (37.73%)

423 (2.51%)

*Including use in education but outside education also.

Census 2011: Ability and Use in Various Locations in the State Towns
Location/Census/Support

Census 2011

TOWN Population over


3 years of age

Ability (%)
(national average: 41.4%)

*Daily use (%) outside education


(national average: 4.35%)

Carlow
21,763

8,275

264

38%

3.2%

Dundalk
35,973

12,538

358

Irish-medium education

34.9%

2.9%

Dungarvan
8,953

4,020

207

near Gaeltacht

44.9%

5.12%

Ennis
24,074

11,277

330

46.8%

2.9%

Maynooth
11,949

5,864

311

University; Irish-medium education

49%

5.3%

Irish-medium education and


community scheme

Irish community scheme; Irish-medium


education

103 More Facts About Irish

Census 2011: Ability and Use in Various Locations in the State Towns
Nenagh
7,984

3,423

131

Community scheme in the past;

42.9%

3.8%

Newcastle West
5,964

2,240

72

Irish-medium education

37.6%

3.2%

Portmarnock
8,890

4,053

117

Irish-medium education

45.6%

2.9%

Templemore
1,998

978

19

Garda College

48.9%

1.9%

Irish-medium education

*Including use in education but outside education also.


Towns are often more amenable to language planning where the effects locally are more easily seen and heard and may become
an accepted part of the landscape. With regard to ability in Irish, six of these nine towns are above the national average. All
have some additional supportive language institution as included in the table. Interestingly, the three remaining towns are not
without similar supports, given in italics.
However, translation of ability into daily use outside education gives another perspective. Only two of the six towns with
above average ability levels outdo the national average on this criterion of daily use outside education: Dungarvan (County
Waterford) and Maynooth (County Kildare). Of the remaining four towns, Ennis (County Clare) and Portmarnock (Fingal,
to the north of Dublin City) have similar higher than average ability levels but lower than average returns for daily use outside
education at 2.9%; Ennis has almost three times the population of Portmarnock. On the other hand, the use level for Dundalk
is the same as that for both Ennis and Portmarnock although Dundalk is well below average ability levels at 34.9%. Carlow
and Newcastle West (County Limerick) have similar ability (38%; 37.6%) and use levels (3.2%), yet Carlow has a population
over three times that of Newcastle West. Nenagh (County Tipperary) has a population and ability levels somewhat lower than
Portmarnock, yet has a higher daily use outside education rate of 3.8%. Templemore and Maynooth have similar above average
ability levels; both have third-level institutions for which entry levels require a high standard of education. Maynooth has six
times the population of Templemore, where daily use outside education is low at below 2%.
It is difficult then to pinpoint commonalities to account for higher than average ability and daily use results that might be
generally applicable to similar situations as a policy guideline.
The next set of tables examines ability and use at the higher geographic level of the provinces.

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Census 2011: Ability and Use in Various Locations in the State Provinces
Location/Census

Census 2011

PROVINCE Population over 3


years of age

Ability (%)
(national average: 41.4%)

*Daily use (%) outside education


(national average: 4.35%)

Connacht
518,459

239,493 (46.2%)

18,904 (7.9%)

Leinster
2,382,633

890,834 (37.4%)

29,378 (3.3%)

Munster
1,189,114

537,564 (45.2%)

18,573 (3.5%)

Ulster (3 counties)
280,425

106,546 (38%)

10,333 (9.7%)

*Including use in education but outside education also.


Connacht in the west, with its large Gaeltacht area, exceeds the national average in both ability and use levels. Munster (with
three smaller Gaeltachta) is high in ability but below average in use. Ulster with its large Donegal Gaeltacht is below average
in ability but has the highest use levels. The very populous Leinster which contains both the capital city and a small Gaeltacht
returns the lowest (and below average) figures for both ability and use. While Dublin city and many of the towns of Leinster
have supportive Irish-medium structures in education, the province also has a high immigrant population. The next table
considers a geographic level below province: two differing counties of the province of Leinster, the fairly recently established
Fingal to the north of Dublin city and the historic midlands county of Offaly.

Census 2011: Ability and Use in Various Locations in the State Counties
Location/Census

Census 2011

COUNTY Population over


3 years of age

Ability (%) (national average:


41.4%)

*Daily use (%) outside education


(national average: 4.35%)

Fingal
257,491

96,537 (37.5%)

3,137 (3.25%)

Offaly
72,893

28,178 (38.7%)

596 (2.1%)

To add to the information in this table, there were 54,123 speakers of foreign languages in Fingal, constituting 21% of the
population. Of these, 8,850 or 16.4% either did not speak English well or not at all. Offaly had 6,664 speakers of foreign
languages who constituted 9% of the population and 24.5% of these had little or no English (1,636 persons).
Nevertheless, while undoubtedly a contributory factor, the immigrant population is hardly the sole cause of the more or
less static position of the Irish language in percentage terms during the intercensal period, despite the Census 2011 finding
that those of non-Irish nationality (both sexes, all ages) increased by 29.7% (124,624 persons) from 2006 to 544,357 in 2011.
In respect of English language skills, of those from states excluding Ireland who speak a language other than Irish or English at
home, 59,686 persons do not speak English well while a further 8,193 have no English. Among those residents (of both sexes)
of nationality other than Irish who speak a language other than Irish or English at home, 60,594 do not speak English well and
412 not at all.

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With regard to those in the population from all countries but resident in Ireland who speak a language other than English
or Irish at home, the numbers in the school-going age cohorts who speak no English are not very numerous: age 5-12: 441;
age 13-18: 134, or 575 overall. Not unusually, in the age group 0-4, the figures are much higher at 7,862. It is presumed that
the others in these age groups in the immigrant category have sufficient English to function in the English-medium education
system where Irish is offered as a subject. Anecdotal evidence points to these already bilingual children as in general accepting
Irish as another addition to their linguistic repertoire. Some are in Irish-medium schools.
Overall, having regard to the several perspectives in geographic terms in the tables above, with regard to the Irish language
since Census 2006, as reported in More Facts about Irish 2008, little significant change has occurred either way at any geographic
level, despite changes in the population with upward increases in the number of people overall and in immigrants. The same
challenge remains as described in More Facts about Irish 2008, that of providing outlets for use of the ability that undoubtedly
exists. This challenge raises several questions. Would planning and policy at local rather than at the macro-level provide more
visible, measurable and impactful outcomes? Would scarce resources be better deployed at local rather than at national level?
Who would best implement policy at local level effectively? How should local policy be enmeshed in macro-policy? While the
change in percentage terms is minimal, the upward trend in actual numbers may gradually create a critical mass the strength
and impact of which might create its own positive momentum.

ATTITUDES: REPUBLIC OF IRELAND


THE IRISH LANGUAGE AND THE IRISH PEOPLE
This is the title of the third study by the sociologist Fr Michel Mac Gril into attitudes. Since the earlier works also included a
section on the Irish language, comparison is possible. The previous studies were Prejudice and Tolerance in Ireland (1977) and
Prejudice in Ireland Revisited (1996).
The field work for this most recent research by Mac Gril and Rhatigan, published in April 2009, was conducted by the
Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) between November 2007 and March 2008 with 1,015 respondents aged 18
or over. The questions replicated those used in the language section of the previous studies the future of Irish; competence in
Irish; frequency in the use of Irish but added three new questions on attitudes to use of Irish. These latter elicited once more the
social norms revealed in earlier studies. The fact that 15% of the sample proved not to be Irish-born is indicative of immigration
in the population at large. The results were further analysed according to personal variables which included age, gender, place of
rearing, marital status, area of birth, region of residence, educational level, occupational status, take-home income.
With regard to support for Irish, the patterns were not only similar between 2007/2008 and those of 1988/1989 but also
between the total sample (which included those born outside Ireland) and the Irish-born within the total sample. If those who
aspired to see Irish revived throughout the population (40.3%) are combined with those who wished to see it preserved (52.9%)
in the Irish-born sample (85% of respondents) surveyed, over 93.2% showed positive attitudes towards the language, while no
more than 6.7% would discard Irish no small base for linguistic planning. This compares with 40.9% and 52.5% in the
total sample which includes those born outside Ireland, or a cumulative total in favour of 93.4%, with 6.6% for discarding the
language. While the groups among the Irish-born most in favour of revival tended to be among the young, the well-educated,
males, those living in urban areas, and those in status occupations, the overall results have interest also. If the figures for revival
and preservation are combined, the figures are male 91.2% and female 95.2%; for discarding the language male 8.9% and
female 4.7%. Similarly, if 93.2% is the combined figure for the total sample, still 83.2% of those with primary education or less
are favourably disposed towards the language while 94.2% of the unskilled/semi-skilled are in favour. No more than 5.8% of
this latter group would discard Irish. For those earning 60,000 p.a., the combined figures are 95.5% in favour while for those
at the opposite end of the income scale, under 6,000 p.a., the figures are 96.6%. Within these two latter income groups, those
at the lower end are more in favour of revival (61.6%) while the top earners tend more towards preservation (51.1%).
Since school is the predominant source of Irish for the majority of Irish-born people, the change after school life to more
favourable attitudes, even among some sub-groups not proportionately high in support for Irish, proved another finding of
interest. These subgroups across personal variables included the middle-aged; males; third level educated; blue-collar workers;
not single. Females were significantly more positive towards Irish both when in school and after school. However, all subgroups,
across personal variables, recorded positive changes.
106 More Facts About Irish

Self-reported reasonable competence in Irish was slightly higher in the Irish-born (47%) than in the total sample (42%),
as might be expected; the total at 42% is close to the 1988/1989 national sample at 41%; the current Irish-born competence
levels at 47% are, however, 6% higher than the national sample of the late 1980s. Those in the highest professional occupations
reported the highest levels of competence: 23.6% fluent; 64% reasonable. Over 9% of this group reported having no
competence, a figure only half that of those in the unskilled/semi-skilled category of whom 18.8% reported as having no Irish.
Those with completed second level or third level education were, unsurprisingly, of higher competence levels. The Munster (as
place of rearing) subgroup was highest in reasonable competence which included highest in fluent and middling competence.
Overall, the patterns are similar to census returns and other surveys.
As might be expected from other surveys, it is in the actual use of that competence that figures fall, showing little
difference between the total and the Irish-born results, no more than 20% and 22.6% respectively reporting occasional or
more often use of Irish. Across the personal variables, the highest frequency of use is in the age group 18-40; among the
singles/never marrieds; in the province of Munster; among those with third level education; in high status occupations.
The occasions of use, which include passive and active use, show little upward change, keeping in mind, however, that the
comparison is total sample (1998/1989) with Irish-born (2007/2008). Radio and television still dominate (up from 50% to
53%) and reading remains the same (14%) as does the more active skill of communicating with officials (11%) and use at
work (18%). Home use has fallen slightly (from 45% to 42%) but use with Irish-speaking friends has increased by the same
amount (from 39% to 42%) as has using Irish at all possible opportunities (from 13% to 17%). Nevertheless, the responses
to the three new questions reveal social inhibitions to speaking Irish. While 60% of those with reasonable competence would
like to use Irish as much as possible, 63% would still hesitate to do so when non-speakers are present and 66% if uncertain
of an interlocuters ability in Irish.
The level of agreement with the statement that Irish could provide a good basis for Irish unity in the long term (in terms of
a common identity) was highest in the age groups 18-40; among those with incomplete second-level education; among the
unskilled or semi-skilled; in the subgroups separated/divorced or in permanent relationships; fairly evenly distributed across
the four provinces but much lower in Dublin. There were differences of note between 1988/1989 and 2007/2008 with regard
to the statement on Irish as a basis for unity. In the earlier period, 24% agreed and 57% disagreed, a difference of 33%; in the
more recent period in the total sample, agreement rose to 30% and disagreement fell to 33%, a difference of 3%.
The social status of Irish was shown to be very high across all the personal variables and unchanged since 1988/1989; Irish
speakers are a definite in-group in society.
The report was launched by the (then) Minister with responsibility for Irish, whose department funded the work. Some of
the recommendations with which the report ends (or varieties of them), found their way into the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish
Language 2010 - 2030.
EMANCIPATION OF THE TRAVELLING PEOPLE
Published in July 2010, and dealing with one aspect of prejudice and tolerance, this is the title of a study by the same
sociologist, Fr Mchel Mac Gril, into attitudes towards native travellers in Ireland over the last 35 years.
The results are to some extent contradictory. On the one hand there is an increase in the number who would deny
citizenship to Travellers. On the other hand, there is an increase in those who would welcome Travellers as a member of the
family, or accept Travellers on juries, or employ Travellers. Not unexpectedly, perhaps, those showing most tolerance towards
Travellers were in unskilled occupations and had least education. One of the recommendations of the study was the creation
for Travellers in Ireland of a unique ethnic status. A Bill is to be introduced by a Sinn Fin deputy on the question in early 2013
on the same lines as the recognition given to travellers in Britain.
This concept has been around for at least 20 years. It appears to have been initially sparked off by possibilities for increased
status for marginalised groups through Council of Europe recognition. It was supported by the previous Minister for State with
responsibility for issues of equality at the (then) Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs. But not apparently
supported by all members of the travelling community, some of whom prefer the traditional appellation of the trade of tinker,
despite the socially pejorative connotations tending to attach to that term in Ireland.

107 More Facts About Irish

CARLOW IRISH LANGUAGE RESEARCH GROUP (GRPA TAIGHDE AR AN NGAEILGE I GCEATHARLACH):


PEOPLES EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS ON THE IRISH LANGUAGE IN CARLOW 2010
The results of a survey conducted among a sample of 300 people during Summer 2010 in Carlow were very positive. Carlow
is a thriving county town of over 20,000 with a third- level Institute of Technology and an arts venue which was opened in
Autumn 2009 Visual (for contemporary art) and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre (seating 350). The multi-faceted festival
igse is run every June over nine days. A strong tradition of communal activity on behalf of Irish has developed over the years.
This has resulted in Irish-medium education as a choice and a place for Irish in most areas including the arts and media.
The response rate to the survey was 298 (over 99%) of whom just 9.4% self-reported as having no Irish; over half of
these had not been born in Ireland (5.5%). Of the remaining 90.6% who reported having some Irish, 50% reported being
competent in the language.
On attitudes, almost 80% considered Irish very important and almost 90% were in favour of events and activities to
promote the language particularly in terms of more visibility and use of the language in public (81%); over 83% would
welcome a cultural centre for Irish (Ionad Cultir Ghaeilge).
Interestingly, 18 voluntary workers were trained to carry out the survey by the director, a university lecturer. The positive
results are probably indicative of the continuing language promotion activity over the years among the community by the
voluntary group, Glr Cheatharlach. The research was funded by Foras na Gaeilge as is a Development Officer with the voluntary
organisation.
The surveys which follow arose largely out of concerns in relation to Fine Gael policy with regard to the Irish language in
education.
SURVEY ON IRISH IN EDUCATION CONDUCTED BY COMHAR NA MINTEOIR GAEILGE AND OTHER
LANGUAGE ORGANISATIONS (ORGANISATION FOR TEACHERS OF IRISH)
A series of questions on Irish were asked in an Ipsos MRBI Omnipoll conducted between 6 and 15 July 2010. The sample
consisted of 1,000 respondents aged 15+, who were randomly chosen. Of the sample, 77% were not in secondary school
education at the time of the survey; 12% had a child or children in education at that level; 8% had siblings at that level; 4%
were themselves in secondary school education. The attitudes revealed by respondents towards Irish in education could be a
useful tool for planners.
Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how important it was to them that children growing up in Ireland today
are taught the Irish language.
57% rated at the top of the scale (42% at 5; 14% at 4);
23% rated at the bottom of the scale (9% at 2; 14% at 1);
19% rated in the middle at 3.
Overall, it appears that Irish in education holds quite a degree of importance for respondents.
Respondents were then asked their opinion on the level of education to which children should be taught Irish. Given the
differing views of political parties on this issue, the results were again interesting for policy makers. Only 18% were of the
opinion that teaching Irish should be confined to the primary school with no more than a slight increase on that figure (20%)
who would end the teaching of Irish at Junior Certificate level. Over 50% (54%) of respondents, however, would continue
Irish to Leaving Certificate level.
To Leaving Certificate level

54%

To Junior Certificate level

20%

To Primary School level

18%

None of these

5%

Dont know/Refused

2%

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Using Irish as medium for teaching more subjects at primary level would encourage better usage of the Irish language was
the basis of a statement with which respondents could agree or not. Curriculum planning and teacher education are areas of
policy in which this is an issue of import.
Agree

65%

Disagree

32%

Dont know

2%

The respondents were also asked which of a list of subjects the Department of Education should require all students at
Leaving Certificate level to study. Replies were as follows.
Subject/%

English

Maths

Science

Geography

History

Irish

French

Religion

96%

95%

82%

75%

73%

61%

56%

34%

Keeping in mind that 57% rated the importance of Irish in education at the top of the scale; that 54% considered that
Irish should be taught to Leaving Certificate level and that 65% agreed that using Irish as medium for other subjects at Primary
level would aid usage of Irish, the figure of 61% for retention of Irish by the Department among subjects at Leaving Certificate
level is quite high. For respondents, the reasons why this is their response are basically two:
Irish is our native tongue

41%

The Irish language is central to our culture and heritage

39%

Two other replies received lesser importance:


Irish is an official language of the State

22%

Irish improves your chances of employment in Ireland and abroad

10%

On the other hand, the reasons given for the Department not to require students to study Irish at Leaving Certificate level
were quite varied and more difficult to weave into a single policy.
Students should be free to choose subjects after Junior Cert level

26%

Irish is irrelevant/no benefits/ not necessary

22%

Irish is too difficult/takes too much time from other subjects

19%

Dead/dying language/ no one uses it

14%

Its not important/of no use

10%

Cant use it outside Ireland

6%

Irish is badly taught in schools

4%

Other replies (from 4% to 2%) were either negative (no one likes it/not interested/waste of time and resources) or policyoriented (Irish policy has failed) or learner-oriented (Not everyone is good at languages).
Overall, there appears to have been a high level of interest in the survey on the part of respondents since the Refusals/
Dont knows were generally at 2/3% on the educational questions and 4% on the question of self-rating ability in speaking
Irish.

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SURVEY ON EDUCATION CONDUCTED BY DIL NA NG (YOUTH PARLIAMENT)


Comhairle na ng is the organisation of 34 local youth councils run by the 34 City and County Development Boards, often in
co-operation with local youth services, in order to give young people a voice in their own locality. Preparation of the National
Childrens Strategy 2000-2010 (published in 2000) included a comprehensive consultation process with over 2,500 children
and 300 adults. The Strategy itself gave rise then to the idea of Dil na ng (National Youth Parliament) for the age group 12
-18. Each local Comhairle na ng elects one representative to the Council of Dil na ng. The Dil is overseen and part-funded
by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The National Youth Council of Ireland (Comhairle Nisinta na ng, 1967)
has organised Dil na ng in cooperation with the Department since 2003. The issues of concern to the age group 12-18 are
debated and then lobbied for at official policy level. Many of the issues pertain to education. As the longstanding representative
body for voluntary youth work organisations on a national basis, the National Youth Council of Ireland is mentioned in the
Youth Work Act 2001 and had been recognised in social partnership arrangements. Comhairle and Dil together constitute a
strong advocacy body.

Arising from a recommendation by delegates at the Dil na ng meeting in March 2010, and from the ongoing consultation
process of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) on the Junior Cycle, a formal consultation occurred
in November 2010 in Dublin Castle. It was jointly organised by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
(of the previous administration), the NCCA, and the Council of Dil na ng. A total of 88 delegates, senior and junior
cycle students, from their local Comhairle na ng, attended the day long session. The resulting report on proceedings (Report
of a consultation with young people on reform of the Junior Cycle) was compiled by an independent social research consultant
and launched by both the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the Minister for Education and Skills (of the current
administration) on 11 July 2011.
The Minister for Education (Labour Party) said that the report would have an impact on policy decisions in education.
He went on to state views which he had consistently put forward on modes of active learning and continuous assessment. The
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Fine Gael) was reported to have described .the finding that the majority of young
people did not want Irish to be a compulsory subject as interesting. This observation drew some comment, particularly in
light of the number of participants involved (29 from Junior Cycle and 59 from Senior Cycle) and of the fact that the actual
report included many more comments on Irish. The four subjects considered compulsory by the students were Social, Personal
and Health Education (SPHE), Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE), English and maths.
Extracts from sections (given in italics) of the report giving the actual comments on Irish include the following.
Junior Cycle students
Other subjects most enjoyed learning in their whole lives
Irish in the Gaeltacht made learning fun by having to communicate in it all the time
What most enjoyed learning in primary school
Irish included in list because it is our national language and the first language of some
Other subjects most enjoy learning now
Irish because it is easy to learn
New subjects for Junior Certificate
New subjects and activities relating to Irish and world cultures
Compulsory subjects for Junior Certificate
English, maths, music, Social Personal Health Education (SPHE), Civic Social Political Education (CSPE), and Physical
Education (PE). However, there were differing opinions on Irish (and a list of subjects).
Improvement of current subjects
All schools have an Irish month to promote the spoken language (one participant).

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Learning a favourite activity or subject


Surroundings (from a list of motivational factors) such as learning Irish in the Gaeltacht. Those students who learned Irish in
the Gaeltacht or French in a language college agreed that learning languages in a practical and engaging manner made them
more enjoyable and easier to learn.
Easiest subjects to learn at school Junior Cycle
Irish included in a list of other subjects.
Senior Cycle students
Suggestions for change if Minister for Education (inter alia)
An Irish oral exam in the Junior Certificate examination.
Less focus on academic subjects and more on practical and social skills and sport; make languages optional; let students study
only what they are really interested in.
Subjects most enjoyed learning in their whole lives
Learning languages in a practical and engaging manner (e.g. through immersion in a French or Irish college; through games
and sports).
What most enjoyed learning in primary school
Irish was popular among participants because they had a good teacher, loved the language and, in a small number of cases,
Irish was spoken at home. Irish because I love the language.
Compulsory subjects for Junior Certificate
Almost all Senior Cycle students agreed that English, Mathematics, SPHE and CSPE should be compulsory subjects at JC
level (albeit with some changes n content etc). There was disagreement over whether or not Irish and other modern continental
languages should be compulsory for students. Most young people agreed that all other subjects should be optional.
Improvement of current subjects
Languages: more focus on spoken Irish and a wider choice of modern languages available at JC level.
Easiest subjects to learn at school Junior Cycle
List identified included Irish.
Like to learn best
Examples included learning through speaking a language.
SURVEY CONDUCTED BY MILLWARD BROWN LANSDOWNE FOR THE IRISH INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER
Given the widespread public comment on the differing policies of the political parties for the Irish language, particularly in
education, a poll was conducted by the Irish Independent newspaper and published on the eve of the General Election in
February 2011. The survey concentrated on the sole issue of Irish being made optional at Leaving Certificate level, the policy
of the Fine Gael party. The poll results showed some ambivalence.
Irish obligatory to Leaving Certificate level (LC)

53%

Irish not obligatory to Leaving Certificate level

44%

Dont know

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3%

As public sentiment showed less support for the Fine Gael policy in the weeks before the election, the party softened its
original policy to the more ambivalent version of promising consultation on the issue of obligatory Irish to LC level but with the
intention of implementing the policy in any case. The party also pointed to their policy of retaining Irish as obligatory to Junior
Certificate level, of curricular reform and of increasing the number of students sitting the higher-level examination in LC Irish.
It was the opinion of the party that the fact that no more than 4.4% of people are daily speakers of Irish (outside of
education) apparently results from the policy of compulsion. This argument was seen by many to seem to defy logic.
Compulsory Irish as a policy means in practice that State-funded schools must offer courses in Irish to LC level. Students may
choose not to sit the exam. Those who do so are not obliged to pass the exam in order to obtain the LC exam in toto.
IPSOS MRBI 50TH ANNIVERSARY SURVEY REPORT NOVEMBER 2012
Four questions on the Irish language were included in this comprehensive attitudes and values survey on Changing Ireland, two
on self-assessed ability and two on personal attitudes or views. The results were as follows:

Ability
Ability to speak Irish

Ability to understand Irish as heard on radio/television

Very well

Fairly well

Very little

Not at all

All of it

Most of it

Some of it

None of it

4%

16%

55%

24%

4%

14%

56%

26%

The percentages for passive (understanding spoken Irish on radio or television) and active (speaking) ability are very close.
Interestingly, while not strictly comparable, the 4% who professed high speaking ability is close to the 4.35% reporting as daily
speakers outside education in Census 2011 (above) while the 24% who profess no ability in this survey mirrors the 24.5% in
Census 2011 who never use Irish. Some 75% of the survey respondents self-report some ability to speak Irish and 74% report
ability to understand.
The Ipsos MRBI survey also revealed that the higher levels of ability were among students and those in the age cohort
18-34 and in the geographic regions Connacht/Ulster and Munster. The survey results by voters of political parties professing
ability in Irish were:
Fine Gael

86%

Fianna Fil

80%

Labour Party

76%

Sinn Fin

75%

Attitudes or views
Would you personally like to see the Irish language
used more widely in everyday life?

Would you like to see it revived


as the main language?

Yes

No

No opinion

Yes

No

No opinion

58%

31%

11%

27%

61%

12%

Operation or activation of the 20-Year Strategy for Irish would apparently have reasonable support in the population in
general. The most surprising response is perhaps the 27% who would like to see Irish revived as the main language. The
expression the main language does not clarify whether reference is to sole language or dominant language in a bilingual
situation. Nevertheless, use of the main language and not a main language and the 27% support for the former is striking.
112 More Facts About Irish

TAKE CHARGE OF CHANGE DECLARATION NOVEMBER 2012


Between May and November, the President of Ireland was responsible for the convening of four regional workshops of young
people aged 17-26 in Dublin, Cork, Monaghan and Galway to hear their views on being young and Irish in todays Ireland.
This process culminated in a bilingual seminar of 100 invited young people at ras an Uachtarin (the Presidents residence)
in November 2012 at which a report, Being Young in Ireland 2012, and a Declaration containing a series of proposals were
presented. Interestingly, the Irish language figured first and third in order of importance on the list of recommendations.
1. Adopt a dual approach to teaching Irish at Leaving Certificate level: the first (compulsory subject focused on
speaking, the second (optional) subject focused on literature [principally for gaelscoileanna].
3. Develop social opportunities for the Irish language.
If this may be taken as an indication of young peoples attitudes towards Irish, these attitudes appear to be positive.

AN GHAELTACHT
DECLINE AND REMEDY: SCIM LABHAIRT NA GAEILGE
The information given below for the years 2006 -2007 to 2009-2010 derives from the most recent statistics for Scim Labhairt
na Gaeilge, issued 14 September 2010. This scheme has now been replaced by Clr Tacaochta Teaghlaigh (Family Support
Programme). Results from the former scheme are given since they provide some degree of comparative information.

1. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge returns 2006-2007


Applicants

(a)Full Grant

(b)Partial Grant

Refused

Kerry

415

204

166

45

Cork

194

76

100

18

Donegal

1189

746

373

70

Mayo

283

61

134

88

Waterford

72

39

28

Galway

1386

1141

183

62

Meath

68

42

26

3607

2309

1010

288

64%

28%

8%

(a)+(b)

3319 (92%)

Gaeltacht

TOTAL

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2. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge returns 2007-2008


Applicants

(a)Full Grant

(b)Partial Grant

Refused

Kerry

376

190

152

34

Cork

175

74

77

24

Donegal

1202

735

362

105

Mayo

299

52

104

141

Waterford

67

36

28

Galway

1323

1075

173

75

Meath

76

40

17

18

*3518

2202

913

400

62.5%

26%

11.4%

(a)+(b)

3115 (88.5%)

Gaeltacht

TOTAL

*This figure is inclusive of 3 applications not yet examined for 2007-2008 according to statistics released in September 2010
(Mayo: 2; Meath: 1).

3. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge returns 2008-2009


Applicants

(a)Full Grant

(b)Partial Grant

Refused

Kerry

398

243

76

79

Cork

186

100

49

37

Donegal

1201

798

219

184

Mayo

260

68

61

127

99

56

24

19

Galway

1335

1065

147

120

Meath

63

34

22

*3542

2364

598

573

67%

17%

16%

(a)+(b)

2962 (84%)

Gaeltacht

Waterford

TOTAL

*This figure is inclusive of 7 applications not yet examined for 2008-2009 according to statistics released in September 2010
(Mayo: 4; Galway: 3).

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4. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge returns 2009-2010


Applicants

(a)Full Grant

(b)Partial Grant

Refused

Kerry

374

245

61

68

Cork

167

104

32

31

Donegal

1132

795

150

169

Mayo

236

35

60

130

Waterford

89

65

14

10

Galway

1292

1044

118

100

Meath

65

38

14

13

*3355

2326

449

521

69.3%

13.4%

15.5%

(a)+(b)

2775 (82.7%)

Gaeltacht

TOTAL

*This figure is inclusive of 59 applications not yet examined for 2009-2010 according to statistics released in September 2010
(Donegal: 18; Galway: 30; Mayo: 11).
The overall results for the four years reveal the following trends.

5. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge total returns 2006-2010


Year

Applicants

(a)Full Grant

(b)Partial
Grant

Refused

2006-2007

3607

2309

1010

288

64%

28%

8%

(a)+(b)

3319 (92%)

2202

913

400

62.5%

26%

11.4%

(a)+(b)

3115 (88.5%)

2364

598

573

67%

17%

16%

(a)+(b)

2962 (84%)

2326

449

*520

69.3%

13.4%

15.5%

2007-2008

2008-2009

2009 2010

*3518

*3542

*3355

(a)+(b)

Outstanding

*3

*7

*60

2775 (82.7%)

In the press release accompanying the overall figures, the composite table contained an adjustment of 1 for 2009 2010 under
the categories Refused and Outstanding (= not yet examined).

115 More Facts About Irish


While the number of applicants varies slightly and the percentage of full grants remains relatively stable, there is a significant
drop in the percentage of partial grants given with a corresponding rise in refusals. The overall trend in grant awarding is slight
but continuous decline. On issuing the figures available in September 2010, the Minister with responsibility for the language
remarked on the number of parents still raising their families through Irish in the Gaeltacht. He also explained the rationale of
the partial (or 50%) grant. The partial grant is awarded if the Department believes that the required standard may be reached
by the household within three years. If the household fails to do so, the grant is then refused. It is not clear whether the rise in
refusals was a consequence of the application of this condition. The percentage of all grants awarded has fallen by 10% from
92% to 82.7% between 2006-2007 and 2009-2010.
The Minister also signalled possible future redesign of this particular scheme to ensure articulation with the 20-Year
Strategy. This redesign became the Family Support Scheme.
Reports are given by those District Electoral Divisions (DED) fully or partially situated in each Gaeltacht area. Over
the four year period, the changing nature of the Gaeltacht today is clear as evidenced not only by the range of household
applications across DEDs but also by the continuing general decline in the upper ranges of applications.

6. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge, results by year by range of number of households


returning in Gaeltacht DEDs 2006-2010
Gaeltacht

No. of
DEDs

No. of DEDs with Applicants

2006-07
Kerry

Cork

Donegal

Mayo

Waterford

Galway

Meath

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26
26
26
26
10
10
10
10
38
36
38
38
23
23
23
15
3
3
3
3
36
34
35
35
6
6
6
6

2007-08

2008-09

Range of no. of applicant


households across DEDs
excluding zero
2009-2010

26
25
25
26
10
10
10
10
35
35
38
36
20
19
19
19
3
2
3
3
36
33
35
33
6
6
5
6

From - To
61 - 1
50 - 1
49 - 1
44 - 1
39 - 7
36 - 5
37 - 6
35 - 5
255 - 1
246 - 1
247 - 1
229 - 1
58 - 1
66 - 1
52 - 2
48 - 1
61 - 1
56 - 11
73 - 4
67 - 3
209 - 1
197 - 1
202 - 1
195 - 1
35 - 1
32 - 1
31 3
34 - 3

This table above presents information on applications only, not on the results of those applications. A more complete picture
emerges from figures issued by the Department in late 2010. These cover the continuous period from 1993/4 to 2009/10 in
detail. Some extracts are given in the tables below. They show continuing indication of a changing Gaeltacht community.
When all tables are taken in conjunction with each other, they appear to demonstrate that any change may upset the
delicate linguistic balance, causing movement upwards or downwards. These changes may include: population increase or
decrease in line with national demography; the changing ratio of English speakers; families moving in or out depending on
their dominant language; schools closing or amalgamating; available housing; a local language plan; availability of linguistic
supports. A DED with a single application in one year sometimes becomes a zero application in later years; this may occur if
the application is refused or if the conditions of a partial grant are not met within the required period of time.
Given the meaning of the term galltacht (English-speaking district; literally, district of the foreigner/stranger), it is notable
that five of the seven Gaeltacht areas in fact contain a DED of that name. The results for the DED thus named within the
five Gaeltacht regions are added to the data given below as an example of the isolation that may occur and the determination
required to maintain the home language in the face of severe odds.

7. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge, results across DEDs of highest and lowest applications in
1993-1994 and 2006-2010; results are given in brackets (Full + Partial + Refused)
The DED named Galltacht has also been added. A single zero outside a bracket signifies no applicants.
Gaeltacht/DED
KERRY
Among highest
Na Gleannta
Cill Chuin
An Daingean
Among lowest
Cnoc Branainn
Doire Fhonin
Galltacht

1993-1994

*2009-2010

76 (24+39+13)
35 (26+7+2)
31 (5+11+15)

44 (25+5+14)
39 (36+2+1)
38 (21+7+10)

4 (0+1+3)
1 (0+1+0)
9 (0+7+ 2)

9 (4+3+2)
4 (1+0+3)
1 (1+0+0)

CORK
Among highest
*Bal tha an Ghaorthaidh
38 (7+17+14)
Sliabh Riabhach
25 (4+10+11)
Gort na Tiobratan
24 (11+8+5)
Among lowest
Galltacht
3 (1+1+1)
* Results for two subdivisions added together.
DONEGAL
Among highest
Machaire an Chlochair
Gort an Choirce
Among lowest
Sidhe-chor
Gleann Gheis
Galltacht
MAYO
Among highest
An Geata Mr Theas
Dumhach ige
Among lowest
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37 (25+7+5)
35 (21+7+7)
31 (22+5+4)
N/A since 1999-2000

254 (228+22+4)
154 (136+15+3)

229 (210+11+6)
130 (121+6+3)

0
1 (0+0+1)
31 (2+20+9)

1 (1+0+0)
2 (2+0+0)
2 (0+0+2)

62 (10+42+10)
23 (4+8+11)

48 (9+17+18)
30 (4+11+15)

7. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge, results across DEDs of highest and lowest applications in
1993-1994 and 2006-2010; results are given in brackets (Full + Partial + Refused)
Na Muing
Baile Odhbha
Galltacht

4 ((0+1+3)
4 (1+2+1)
3 (0+2+1)

1 (0+0+1)
1 (0+0+1)
0

WATERFORD
Among highest
An Rinn
Baile Mhac Airt
Among lowest
Ard Mhr

36 (11+25+0)
12 (1+5+6)

67 (56+7+4)
19 (9+5+5)

3 (0+2+1)

226 (197+22+7)
134 (117+15+2)

195 (176+12+7)
136 (123+6+3)

2 (0+0+2)
2 (1+0+1)

1 (0+1+0)
1 (0+0+1)

17 (0+14+3)
15 (13+1+1)

12 (3+4+5)
34 (25+4+5)

2 (2+0+0)
0
3 (3+0+0)

12 (7+4+1)
4 (1+1+2)
0

GALWAY
Among highest
An Crampn
Garumna
Among lowest
Leitir Breacin
Muighros
Galltacht
MEATH
Among highest
Domhnach Pdraig
Among lowest
Cill Bhrde
Tailtn
Galltacht

A small number of applicants remained to be assessed for the year 2009-2010. In some instances, DEDs are Part of DED
only these have not been marked for purposes of this table.
Gaeltacht DEDs returning 5 or less applicant households can hardly be expected to sustain a vibrant community language. If these
are combined in any Gaeltacht region with DEDs returning zero applicant households, the possibility of sustainability is lessened
further as the table below shows. It decreases even more when it is taken into account, firstly, that not all of these applications
may necessarily succeed and, secondly, that the numbers in any household may vary. In addition, while the children of schoolgoing age examined by Department personnel may exhibit degrees of fluency, this does not necessarily indicate that Irish is the
language of the home. The issue of critical mass of speakers hardly becomes relevant in some instances since percentages, while
useful in detecting trends, are no indication of the actual number of speakers nor of their location in respect of community
proximity. More and more, in many respects, these DEDs bear more resemblance to the dispersed networks of urban speakers.
Nevertheless, the situation of the larger Gaeltacht areas is not directly comparable with that of the smaller regions.

118 More Facts About Irish

8. Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge, Gaeltacht DEDs having 5 or less or zero applicant


households in 1993-1994 and 2006-2010; percentages are given in brackets.
Total DEDs

Gaeltacht

Year

No. of DEDS
5 or less
applicants

No. of DEDs
zero applicants

% of Total
DEDs

26

KERRY

1993-1994

(10) 38%

2009-2010

12

(12) 46%

1993-1994

(2) 20%

2009-2010

0%

1993-1994

(13) 34%

2009-2010

12

(15) 39%

1993-1994

(12) 50%

2009-2010

(13) 56.5%

1993-1994

(1) 33%

2009-2010

(1) 33%

1993-1994

(15) 43%

2009-2010

(11) 31%

1993-1994

(4) 66%

2009-2010

(2) 33%

10

38

23

35

CORK

DONEGAL

MAYO

WATERFORD

GALWAY

MEATH

The smaller Gaeltachta, Cork, Waterford, Meath, appear to be healthier than some larger regions. However, an analysis
by a former researcher in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), which also points out this resurgence of a kind,
nevertheless finds the basic trends less reassuring. Part of this analysis of the Scim returns is based on an extrapolation from
the number of households with at least one child between the school-going years 5-19 in the 2006 census figures since these
would be eligible to apply for the grant. These number some 10,000. But no more than 3,500 households actually applied.
The inference is that, inter alia, the majority may have felt that their child/children had insufficient Irish to do so. It could
be further inferred from the actual results of the 3,500 applicant households that no more than 25% of the total number of
10,000 had sufficient fluency to merit the full grant and some 4.5% had reasonable competence. This led to the headline in
the newspaper, Gaelscal, stating that just 30% of Gaeltacht children had Irish. Not surprisingly, the Editorial argued that the
future of Irish in the Gaeltacht is a personal linguistic choice for the young and for families. It further argues that the loss of the
Gaeltacht need not necessarily affect those linguistic initiatives outside the Gaeltacht. In the readers survey on the Scim, 77%
felt that its benefits should be extended outside the Gaeltacht. In one Gaeltacht, Ubh Rthach (Iveragh), where an extensive
range of supports is available to families to enable them to maintain Irish as the home language, the local committee held
meetings to discuss the results for the region with the community. A columnist in Gaelscal was of the view that, instead of
grants to individual families, the funding might go towards some facility for the entire community. However, the relevant
Minister considered the most recent results quite hopeful.

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From Scim to Clr


Gaeltacht grants, including Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge, had been under discussion for some years and particularly since the
publication of the Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht (2007) with its emphasis on the critical role
of family transmission of the language. Within their terms of reference for cost cutting measures, the McCarthy Report (July
2009) had recommended the abolition of this and other support mechanisms for Irish. However, the actual linguistic effects of
this and other Gaeltacht schemes were also under scrutiny pending changes with the anticipated coming into operation of the
20-Year Strategy. In April 2011, under the new Coalition, the Minister of State announced the cessation, at the end of the school
year 2010-2011, of Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge, begun in 1933, in order to make way for a new approach which might better fulfil
the aims of the 20-Year Strategy for Irish. Submissions were requested from Gaeltacht groups towards this and meetings held by
Department representatives with the community. The representative Guth na Gaeltachta (Voice of the Gaeltacht) recommended
an inclusive approach across a range of supports directed at home speakers of Irish: Scim Cainteoir Baile.
In the event, a new scheme entitled Clr Tacaochta Teaghlaigh (CTT, Family Support Programme) was signalled for early
announcement in a media interview with the Minister in early March 2012. A budget of 500,000 had been set aside for
the new scheme; no allowances or grants would be paid but an array of support services would be available to families raising
their children with Irish as the home language. Interestingly, this new scheme to replace Scim Labhairt na Gaeilge (Scheme
for Speaking Irish), which had been confined to the Gaeltacht, is open to certain families outside the heartland, not solely
to Gaeltacht families, arising out of provisions in the 20-Year Strategy. The Family Language Support Programme was finally
announced on 26 April 2012.
The CTT comprises 12 specific measures directed towards supporting five groups as follows, generally families and parents
but also the community and organisations working towards the same ends. The target groups include:
Group 1: Gaeltacht families who are expecting a child and who wish to raise the child through Irish, as well as
Gaeltacht families who are raising pre-school children through Irish or who wish to raise their pre-school children
through Irish.
Group 2: Gaeltacht families who are raising primary school children through Irish, as well as Gaeltacht families who
wish to raise their primary school children through Irish.
Group 3: Gaeltacht teenagers.
Group 4: The Gaeltacht and Irish language community in general, as well as language-based organisations.
Group 5: Certain communities outside the Gaeltacht, i.e. parents raising their children through Irish or who wish to
raise their children through Irish.
An illustrated booklet was issued to explain the benefits of assisting children to acquire Irish as well as an advice kit. Other
publications may follow. The shift to parent and self-initiated requests for support to the Department resulted initially in
quite slow contact. Some Gaeltacht community organisations were funded to provide services: In September 2012, Muintearas
Teoranta and Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne received 762,378 between them for the provision of language support services in
Gaeltacht primary schools, thus providing assistance to parents also. This includes the former Scim Cntir Teanga (Language
Assistants Scheme). Muintearas were additionally granted 75,000 to provide gymnastics classes in primary schools in the
Connemara Gaeltacht.

The measures include:
-

a language awareness campaign; this began with the circulation of a leaflet through the Health Service Executive,
targeting parents and giving advice on the benefits of bilingualism;

a support pack for parents (booklet and CD);

two types of Summer Camps: for 3-6 year olds and for 7-14 year olds (instead of the current scheme for 4-7 year
olds);

assistance for local organisations to organise activities (e.g. mother and toddler groups);

development of the current Language Assistants Scheme for schools;

development of a portal website containing advice and resources.

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DECLINE AND REMEDY: EDUCATION

Preschool
A new Government initiative allowing children one year free preschool education led to an increase in attendance at all forms
of provision, including at provision through the medium of Irish. However, the umbrella organisation for Naonra in the
Gaeltacht drew attention to the lack of any linguistic condition accompanying this funding for Gaeltacht provision. There are
already no lack of examples of private provision which function mainly or exclusively through English only, particularly in
the weaker Gaeltacht areas or Breac-Ghaeltacht. Cessation of funding from the Department of Children and Youth for new
capital projects in early childhood provision was signalled in 2011. This factor, allied with the possible loss of assistance with
staffing through MFG (below) or other schemes, could have quite a negative effect on preschooling in the Gaeltacht. The
announcement in late January 2012 by the Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht of a grant of 38,000 towards
equipment for a childcare centre in Ceathr Rua (Carraroe) was then welcomed. Statistics and other relevant information on
provision through Irish are given below in Chapter 4: Education.

Primary school
The Council for Gaeltacht and Irish-medium Education (An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaochta; COGG,
2002) has ensured the production of much material since its inception, both in research and in resources. While all these
publications are useful to all schools, those with particular reference to education in the Gaeltacht are highlighted in the list below.
2003

An Ghaeilge sa Chras Oideachais Tr Leibhal (Irish in Third-Level Education)

2003

An tInnacs Taighde (Research Index)

2004

Solthar Minteoir do na Bunscoileanna Ln-Ghaeilge. (Teacher Supply in Primary Gaelscoileanna)

2004

Ts na Litheoireachta i scoileanna Gaeltachta agus ln-Ghaeilge (Beginning Reading)

2004

An Ghaeilge sna Colist Oideachais (Irish in the Colleges of Education)

2005

Tuairisc ar Shiden S (Report on Reading Materials Project)

2005

Staid Reatha na Scoileanna Gaeltachta (Current State of Gaeltacht Schools)

2005

Largas na Promhoid, na minteoir & na tuismitheoir (View of Principals, Teachers, Parents)

2006

Solthar Minteoir do na Bunscoileanna Ln-Ghaeilge (Teacher Supply Primary Gaelscoileanna)

2006

Oideachas agus forbairt ghairmiil leannach minteoir i scoileanna Gaeltachta agus Ln-Ghaeilge.
(Education and Continuing Professional Education for Teachers in the Irish-medium Sector)

2007

Struchtr Oideachais na Gaeltachta (An Education Structure for the Gaeltacht) + Achoimre (Summary)

2007

Cruinneas na Gaeilge scrofa sna hiar-bhunscoileanna ln-Ghaeilge i mBaile tha Cliath


(Accuracy of written Irish in Dublin second-level Irish-medium Schools)

2007

Leabhair Ghaeilge do Phist (Childrens books in Irish)

2009

An Scrd Cainte sa Ghaeilge (The Oral Examination in Irish)

2009

Learning to read in Irish and English

2010

I dTreo Lnbhainistocht Scoileanna Fraincise i dTimpeallacht Mhionlaigh (French Schools in Canada)

2010

Tacaocht Teanga i Scoileanna Gaeltachta (Language Support in Gaeltacht Schools)

One of the more recent studies supported by COGG, Taighde ar Dhea-chleachtais Bhunscoile, (Research on Primary Good
Practice, October, 2010) concerns good practice in Gaeltacht primary schools with regard to the acquisition, development,
and language socialisation of pupils for whom Irish is their first language. The authors remark on the linguistic mix among
pupils in primary schools in even the strongest Gaeltacht areas, the necessity for clear school policies within the international
understanding of immersion education, and the requirement for specific language work to support first language pupils given
that the communication language with the peer group tends to be largely English. They identify six examples of good practice:
121 More Facts About Irish

communication with parents and community on the language policy of the school and on their respective roles
in the maintenance of the language;
regular group work with pupils for whom Irish is their first language;
continuous emphasis on rich and accurate Irish with these pupils;
regular language-rich activities as drama and story-telling with pupils including visitors from the region;
a clear immersion policy in the context of literacy or bi-literacy this is taken to mean emphasis first on literacy
in Irish;
a campaign to encourage speaking Irish among pupils.
Statistics compiled by the Council and released towards the end of February 2011 show that of the 9,500 pupils in Gaeltacht
primary schools, no more than 1,000 (10.52%) are native speakers.
The policy of amalgamating small rural schools, signalled in the McCarthy Report (2009), could have devastating effects
in the Gaeltacht where 70% of primary schools have three or fewer teachers. Unless the language of instruction was to be a
determining factor, Gaeltacht schools operating through Irish could be obliterated over time. In October 2010, the previous
administration had initiated a value for money review of small primary schools. The then Minister for Education and Skills
(also Tnaiste; Deputy Prime Minister) had made her personal view clear both in the Dil on 23 September 2009 in the wake
of the McCarthy Report (July 2009) and later; as did her party, Fianna Fil, in their 2011 election manifesto: small schools
were not threatened. In January 2011, the Department initiated a value for money review across all areas of high expenditure,
the provision of small primary schools (less than 50 pupils) included, and a public consultation process ensued. The key
topics were expected demographic growth, scarcity of resources, efficiency, effectiveness, alternative organisational approaches.
In answer to a question, the Minister said in the Dil (23 March, 2011) that he did not have a predetermined view on the
outcome of the review which was expected by the end of the year. On 13 April, the Minister of State for Small Business is
reported to have told parents that the Coalition had no mandate to close rural schools. Nevertheless, in late 2011 the proposed
new pupil teacher ratio threatened many small schools, leading to concerted lobbying in early 2012.
In their submission to Government, Guth na Gaeltachta (Voice of the Gaeltacht) repeat arguments made when the
school in Dn Caoin, Kerry Gaeltacht, was threatened in 1970: a school is a community resource; in the Gaeltacht it is a
linguistic community resource and therefore central to policy in the operation of the 20-Year Strategy. The group makes
three recommendations: that plans for amalgamation of any school within the Gaeltacht should contain a Linguistic Impact
Statement; that the Council (COGG) should be given responsibility for assessing the efficacy of Gaeltacht education and
that no amalgamation should occur without the assent of the board of the Council; that the Council be tasked with
the preparation of a linguistic policy for all Gaeltacht primary schools to ensure as much uniformity as possible. In its
submission, the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) point out that no research supports the notion that bigger
schools are educationally better than small schools. The INTO also supports the rle of the small school in the Gaeltacht
where small group communication is important to language retention and development, as indeed is the case in the Irishmedium gaelscoil.
At the start of the school year 2011-2012, three primary schools in the Donegal Gaeltacht decided on an Irish language
immersion policy for Junior and Senior Infants classes at least. These schools, Scoil Dhoire Chonaire, Scoil Chaiseal na gCorr
and Scoil Rann na Feirste are situated in relatively strong areas linguistically. That such a policy was taken is an indication of the
difficulties of mixed intake in local schools. Reaction ranged from hopes that a similar approach might prevail in other areas as
a symbol of community desire to retain the language to questions concerning the retention of Gaeltacht status by areas where
such an immersion policy is absent. At the end of 2011, another Donegal Gaeltacht school, Mn na Manrach primary school,
where the Irish writer Samus Grianna had been a pupil, received notification of possible closure from the Department of
Education. It had shortly before celebrated its centenary but was finally down to seven pupils, all girls, and had to close its
doors after 100 years and more.
January 2012 saw a series of protests by Gaeltacht schools, parents and the organisation ESG (Eagraocht na Scoileanna
Gaeltachta Association of Gaeltacht Schools), locally and in Dublin, against the proposed measures on increased pupil teacher
ratio (already signalled in the Budget for 2012) which would affect all schools but particularly the smaller ones. Since pupil
capitation grants and teacher salaries would transfer to their next school, the savings appeared minimal to protesters and totally
at variance with State policy to sustain the Gaeltacht, since the smaller schools tended to be more Irish-medium and transferred
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pupils could find themselves in a different linguistic milieu entirely.


As in the case of the proposal to move the office of An Coimisinir Teanga into the office of the Ombudsman even as a
public consultation was underway on the Official Languages Act (Chapter 3), similarly the decision on the pupil teacher ratio
in all schools was put into practice for 2012-2013 before a report on small schools currently in preparation was available to the
Minister.
Some further discussion on this issue appears below, Chapter 4: Education.
As the local school in the case of children, the local rural post office is also a social and linguistic amenity for older people
particularly. The community association of Bal tha an Ghaorthaidh (Ballingeary) in the small County Cork Gaeltacht began
a campaign in early January to retain full services in their local post office.

Colist Samhraidh (Summer Colleges)


A press release issued on behalf of the previous Minister for the Gaeltacht on 7 December 2010 described Scim na
bhFoghlaimeoir Gaeilge (Scheme for Learners of Irish) as one of the most successful language schemes administered by his
Department. This scheme grant-aids Gaeltacht Mn T (housewives) to provide accommodation for students attending Colist
Samhraidh (Summer Colleges). The linguistic and economic benefits of the system are significant. This was borne out in
January 2012 as a result of the online teacher training college, Hibernia, transferring its summer courses from the south Kerry
Gaeltacht of Ubh Rthach (Iveragh) to the nearby relatively stronger Gaeltacht of Corca Dhuibhne. The south Kerry region was
endeavouring to implement a stronger linguistic policy in their area. Recognition was a major aid towards this apart from the
loss of some 1 million in economic terms.
For 2011, the grant for Mn T was reduced by 5%. It was also announced that overall responsibility for the Colist had
been transferred at that time from Education to the Department with responsibility for the language.
Research on the general scheme of Colist Samhraidh Gaeilge (Irish Summer Colleges) and the associated grant scheme
of the Department with responsibility for the language, Scim na bhFoghlaimeoir Gaeilge (SFG, Scheme for Learners of Irish)
was put out to tender by COGG in late 2010. It is now underway and the results expected by late 2012.
A report based on a survey of the students benefiting from the Scim (which supplanted two existing schemes in 1972)
was carried out by the Department with responsibility for the language and published in November 2010; a debate also took
place in Seanad ireann on 2 November 2010. The recommendations on language and community were, in general, reflected
in the 20-Year Strategy for Irish. The numbers attending the Colist are cited in the Context and Impact Indicators attaching to
the Key Outputs of the new style Revised Estimates 2012 of the Department.
The discontinuance of the State grant for trainee student primary teachers in respect of the Gaeltacht course they undergo
(announced early 2012) will have no small effects on those Colist which organise these courses, on the households which
provide accommodation, and on the local economy.

Adult education
In the field of adult literacy, a survey in the Gaeltacht is being supported by the agency Breacadh (Dawn) through a doctorate
to be conducted at the National University of Ireland, Galway (Acadamh). It is the first to be held in the Irish language
community. The agency already runs literacy classes for Irish in the Gaeltacht and produces resources for the sector. It works
with the Vocational Education sector in Gaeltacht areas.
In the Republic, it is reported that 25% of the population have literacy problems while in the city of London, a million
adults cannot read and a third of under-11s in State primary schools cannot read or write properly.
DECLINE AND REMEDY: THE FAMILY
Given the figures cited above, it is of little surprise that transmission of Irish in the Gaeltacht family has declined. Some
families, however, have decided on remedial action and have established a support organisation for Gaeltacht parents,
Tuismitheoir na Gaeltachta. This organisation is found in both the Munster and Connacht Gaeltacht. In Connacht, it
currently comprises some 80 families endeavouring to bring up their children through Irish and to provide some aspects
of community support for them. Its work is conducted solely through Irish. It provides out-of-school activities to enable
children socialise and play through Irish as much as possible and liaises with local schools. Ironically, its endeavours in the
Gaeltacht setting mirror those of parents in the Galltacht (or English-speaking areas) over many years, where services had to
be fought for from officialdom.
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DECLINE AND REMEDY: YOUTH


It was reported (June 2010) that young people in Spiddal in the Galway Gaeltacht were of the view that Irish as a community
language would be gone in 20 years. This was certainly the prognosis of the Linguistic Study (2007), but only if no corrective
measures were taken. It is sometimes difficult to find the mean between stating possible or probable outcomes and having them
accepted as unalterable fact.
For 2011, dars na Gaeltachta supported some 62 youth clubs and drop-in centres having up to 2,000 members.
DECLINE AND REMEDY: LANGUAGE PLANNING AND THE COMMUNITY
Language planning community meetings were held during 2010 in several areas, some to discuss the findings of the
Comprehensive Linguistic Study (2007). In the Cork Gaeltacht area of Mscra (Muskerry), under the aegis of Comharchumann
Forbartha Mhscra, the initiative is unambiguously titled, r dTeanga, r bPlean (Our Language, Our Plan). The new (May
2010) development manager of Comhlacht Forbartha na nDise (Decies Development Company) in Waterford planned a
community consultation approach also. Guth na Gaeltachta (Voice of the Gaeltacht) continued its comprehensive advocacy
and community work in Gaoth Dobhair (Gweedore) in Donegal and in other regions also. There is also now a local community
newspaper in Irish, Goitse, in the area and school pupils have been introduced to the stark findings of the Linguistic Study.
In Kerry, four groups came together to form Corca Dhuibhne ag Caint (Corca Dhuibhne Talking) to ensure use of Irish in
shops and other centres catering to the public: Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne (Corca Dhuibhne Heritage), Cumann Lucht Gn
agus Trdla an Daingin (Society of Business and Trade of Dingle town), dars na Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Authority) and the
agency to promote training and employment, FS (Foras iseanna Saothair 1988, Agency for Work Facilitation) FS usefully
translates also as growth.
Comprehensive community proposals were put forward in a Language Plan for the Moycullen (Maigh Cuilinn) area of
Galway, prepared by the Department of Irish (Roinn na Gaeilge) of the National University of Ireland, Galway, for the local
branch of the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge) and published in early 2010. A language support centre was proposed
containing a language services centre having its own manager. The entire plan may be accessed online.
A most comprehensive plan was launched in November 2010 by Comhlacht Forbartha an Spidil Teoranta (Development
Company Limited) in Spiddal, County Galway, to increase the number of daily speakers from the current 67% to 70% within
five years, in line with the objectives of the 20-Year Strategy for Irish. The cost is estimated at under 70,000 p.a. to support a
development office and staff. This plan may be found at www.anspideal.ie.
The 75 year celebration took place in May 2010 of the resettlement of 27 Connemara families in County Meath that
became a new Gaeltacht. By August 2010, the new shadow spokesperson on the Gaeltacht for the Fine Gael party had launched
the concept of turning Clare Island (just over 160 islanders), County Mayo, (Cliara not to be confused with Oilen Clire
off the west Cork coast) back into a Gaeltacht with the aid of the local development committee, by 2030. The first goal was
a movement to create a gaelscoil from the local school. This, of course, is a matter for parents. While 90% of the islands
population supported the initial re-gaelicisation plan, matters were still at that stage in 2012. Clare Islands last speakers were
alive in the 1930s but the tradition is still strong. Another Mayo island, Achill, is partially Gaeltacht although Plean Gaeilge
Acla 2008-2011 is open to the entire community. The next phase is now being developed through specific focus groups in
the context of the 20-Year Strategy with emphasis on not only maintaining but extending Gaeltacht status. The initial public
planning meeting in November 2010 was held in bilingual format. In South West County Donegal the Gaeltacht around
Teileann is in the C category with a low number of daily speakers (37%). At the 2010 public igse (Festival) on its future,
some views were more pessimistic than others. It was hoped that the discussion might spark more determined action. In
County Clare, a group from the Carrigaholt (Carraig an Chabhaltaigh) area are working to regain their Gaeltacht status which
was fairly recently lost. A Coiste (Committee) is working on a Linguistic Plan to 2016 with the aim of seeking Gaeltacht status
for all or some of the countys inhabitants. It is notable that the emphasis is on people not on territory. A community group
in another former Breac-Ghaeltacht area, Newcastle in south Tipperary, were planning a festival for July 2011 to kickstart a
linguistic revival. A community development group (Coiste Forbartha Charn Tchair and Glr na nGael) in Carntogher in
Northern Ireland have allowed 50 years, two generations, to reach their goal of regaining their past linguistic heritage.
The 2012 Gaeltacht Act, changes in both the definition of Gaeltacht and in Gaeltacht support programmes, and the emphases
of the 20-Year Strategy increased the impetus for genuine community planning, particularly the documents issued by the
Department on 26 April 2012, Priseas Pleanla Teanga (Language Planning Process), of which the content is outlined below.
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A new study of the decline of Irish as vernacular was published in February 2011, Contests and Contexts: the Irish Language
and Irelands Socio-Economic Development, by Dr John Walsh of the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). Its thesis
is that the language shift in the 19th century was detrimental to both society and economy resulting in not only language loss,
but additionally in loss of self-confidence and of economic creativity. In September 2011, a work in Irish, Meon Gaelach, Aigne
Nulaoch (Gaelic Disposition, Creative/Inventive Mind), by Professor Fionnbarra Brolchin (Professor Finbarr Bradley),
came out; it discusses the advantages of a native language in developing an innovative and smart economy.
DECLINE AND REMEDY: COMMUNITY AND OFFICIAL INITIATIVES
In addition to local language plans as noted above, other community-oriented development initiatives are noted below.

Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta (MFG, Gaeltacht Development Working Group)


MFG was established in 1991 as a grassroots voluntary organisation, representing a partnership between all relevant local
interests, in order to implement the EU LEADER programme (now the National Rural Development Programme, NRDP) in
Gaeltacht regions. It had regional offices in the Gaeltachta. Over the years the range of its activities grew in response to local
demand and in implementation of its aim:
Community development through the enhancement of social, cultural and economic opportunities in the Gaeltacht.
Possibly in response to economic demands for streamlining, rationalisation and cost cutting, but ostensibly in the context of a possible
change in legislation for dars na Gaeltachta in view of the proposed 20-Year Strategy, the then Minister for the Gaeltacht announced
in the Dil (Lower House) on 29 April 2009 that the powers of MFG were to be transferred to dars na Gaeltachta. A single
body would in future be responsible for all employment and community schemes in Gaeltacht areas and the remit of the voluntary
organisation would be reduced, with consequent changes for personnel employed by MFG. These changes had been discussed on
23 April 2009 at a meeting between the Minister and An tdars. By July 2010, it was reported that discussions were still ongoing
on the proposed merger. In August 2010, the post of chief executive for MFG was advertised in the press on the retirement of the
incumbent. By November the new appointee was announced to begin work in early December. A brief news release from dars na
Gaeltachta, dated 14 December 2010, gave details of a meeting between both organisations at which agreement was reached on the
necessity for high levels of cooperation between the two organisations, given that both have staff, offices and development schemes
across all the Gaeltacht regions. Another meeting was planned for 2011 to finalise a joint scheme of operations.
MFG had been the conduit for both EU and Government funding as well as some specifically Gaeltacht funding. The
agency delivered the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme in the Gaeltacht . Answering questions in the Dil on
1July2010, the previous Minister had given the following information: the overall allocation for MFG for delivery of the
Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 was then 17.3 million of which 1.68 million was designated for business
creation and development. (In addition, Comhar na nOilen, the partnership company for island communities of which most
are in the Gaeltacht had been allocated a total budget of 4.6 million under the EU Leader programme). The budget for the
MFG programme was apparently later cut from 800,000 to 500,000 by the previous administration. In late February 2011,
the media reported what was the first industrial strike in the Galway Gaeltacht for 30 years. Ways to continue employment
within the constraints of reduced funding were sought by the union involved.
However, in early September 2011, following an independent report commissioned by the official funding body, Pobal
(Community), the Board of MFG announced the immediate closure of the agency on financial grounds. Liquidators were
appointed. Overall, it was reported that some 134 jobs were lost (100 part-time) and communities were left with unfinished
projects and without services locally. Talks had been initiated between representatives of MFG (chair and CEO) and the
Department of the Environment together with Pobal. (community development programmes had formerly been administered
by the Department of Community, Rural [later Equality] and Gaeltacht Affairs). In November 2011, it was reported that
Pobal, in consultation with the Department of the Environment, [was] identifying possible mechanisms to implement
the programmes previously implemented by MFG in Gaeltacht areas. In early January 2012, the previous Minister of the
previous Department of Community, Rural/Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs put several questions to the current Minister for the
Environment, under whose remit Pobal and community funding now come. The response was that the EU Leader programmes
would soon be organised and that the requirements of the Official Languages Act would be fulfilled in Gaeltacht areas in
relation to these programmes. Gradually, implementation of the programmes was being arranged with existing community
development groups and companies under new arrangements to include the Gaeltacht in their area of operations.
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However, by October 2012, debate in the Seanad led to media reports which indicated that the new plans were not yet
fully operational, due in part to legacy issues of outstanding projects. Some feared that EU funds through the LEADER
Programme might have to be returned arising out of delays.
PHYSICAL PLANNING IN THE GAELTACHT
Public documents pertaining to the Department of the Gaeltacht and Gaeltacht planning, released under the 30 year rule,
show that ministerial discussion on the issue goes back even further although without satisfactory resolution, despite the best
efforts of dars na Gaeltachta, until the Planning and Development Act 2000 finally gave recognition to the special case of the
Gaeltacht regions in planning matters. The results of physical planning on the Gaeltacht as a language community are crucial
to the linguistic integrity of the region.
By mid 2010 up to 1,900 houses were for sale in Gaeltacht areas, the majority of them holiday homes and almost one third
of them in Donegal, where the causes were reported to lie in the economic problems of Northern Ireland and a new wave of
emigration with the loss of jobs, coupled with the new second home annual tax of 200 introduced by the Dublin Government
in 2009. Added to this was the service charge of 15,000 of the County Council on building a holiday home. The linguistic
balance of the community keeps changing.
As one example, the current six-year County Development Plan for Donegal runs to 2012. As part of the review process,
public consultation meetings were held across the county during September 2010 and the target date for individual or group
submissions was extended to 8 October. Economic, social, and language circumstances have changed since 2006.
Physical planning was not, however, mentioned in the Gaeltacht Act 2012. As yet, none of the proposals of the 20-Year
Strategy (below) have been realised. As some Council plans are currently to be renewed, including plans for Gaeltacht areas,
movement on the issue may be called for. Local plans must be submitted to the Department of the Environment to ensure
that they do not contravene any State regulations. In addition, some changes concerning designation of some lands (ceantar
fuarlaigh) have been introduced in recent years by the Office of Public Works.
DECLINE AND REMEDY: PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030

Context
The proposals made in the Strategy derive from the principles regarding the Gaeltacht outlined in the Government Statement
of December 2006 and on the broad thrust of the 2007 commissioned work, Report on the Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish
in the Gaeltacht.
Some changes were subsequently made to the Draft Strategy; these are reflected in the Gaeltacht Bill 2012.

The school
The suite of measures described below under Chapter 4: Education have validity also for education in the Gaeltacht. Specific
additional proposals are also made in the Strategy. In the first instance, the opportunity for all Gaeltacht students to have
access to their education through the medium of Irish is clearly stated (D/CRGA and D/ES to implement suitable provision,
given differing contexts in Gaeltacht regions). A review of post-primary provision in gaelscoileanna and in the Gaeltacht will be
carried out. Designated inspectors will still be deployed by the Department of Education and Science (D/ES).
Structural proposals are of three kinds:
at primary level, a new language acquisition unit to be developed in the three main Gaeltachta;
dedicated arrangements to be developed for second level Irish-medium education throughout the State, to
include competent staff and a comprehensive integrated support service for which funding will be provided, in
any future review of Vocational Education Committee (VEC) structures;
the long-proposed language education resource centre in Baile Bhuirne (Ballyvourney, County Cork Gaeltacht
region) to be progressed;
other resource supports to comprise courses, schemes and scholarships;
intensive out-of-school courses in Irish for post-primary students requiring linguistic support;
maintenance and strengthening of current D/CRGA schemes such as language assistants in schools and home visits;
a more coherent approach to Gaeltacht Summer Colleges.
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Language planning and the community


The importance of community language planning from the bottom up is considered central to the Strategy envisaged to
ensure the future of the language in its heartland. Such planning will constitute a major part of being designated a Gaeltacht
region through the new Gaeltacht Act. Plans must integrate a variety of aspects of community life from a linguistic perspective:
education; family support services; services for youth, children with special needs, the elderly; local government services
and local/physical planning; community development including religious services, health services, sport and local business
development and tourism (cultural/educational). While funding would be available for the planning exercise, and for the
proposed State support for Irish-speaking families in the Gaeltacht, it is made clear in the Strategy that future State expenditure
will focus on the linguistic impact of all ventures, particularly on families and on youth.
The aim of planning will be to strengthen the community language in strong areas and the language networks in areas with
a lesser number of speakers, the focus being on the varying linguistic needs in different areas.

Definition of Gaeltacht boundaries


Towards criteria
In line with some of the recommendations of the 2007 Linguistic Study, the Government would introduce a new Gaeltacht
Act to define Gaeltacht status on linguistic rather than on solely geographic criteria. Communities that encounter difficulty
reaching full compliance with these criteria will have two years to develop plans to ensure their status. Otherwise, Gaeltacht
status will be lost. All plans would, in any event, be reviewed every seven years. New areas may be added if they satisfy the
linguistic criteria. The proposed content of such plans is found above, under Local planning and the community and below
under Content of the Gaeltacht Bill (when it was finally published by the subsequent administration).

Physical planning in the Gaeltacht


The Strategy has three specific proposals in relation to physical planning in the Gaeltacht, all of which answer previous concerns
raised:
planning guidelines for the Gaeltacht will be prepared by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local
Government for local authorities;
collaboration between the various departments and interests involved will ensure shared services and expertise;
Gaeltacht plans will have the same status as town plans and will be approved by the new dars na Gaeilge [a
concept which was later abandoned].
In addition, every county which has a designated Gaeltacht area will be required to prepare and implement County Language
Plans. These plans will consist of specific targeted initiatives aimed at increasing on a yearly basis the percentage and number
of daily Irish speakers. The various stakeholders will be the service deliverers, advised by language planners. Two further items
of interest are also mentioned: this approach may be extended to other counties if evaluation warrants such extension; the
designated Gaeltacht areas include the network Gaeltacht areas. The term network Gaeltacht as used in the Strategy has two
references:
Gaeltacht areas with few speakers; the new Category D urban areas. [This latter term was not later used in the
Gaeltacht Act].
The Fiontar report had recommended that An Bord Pleanla, under the Department of the Environment, should have a specific
Gaeltacht planning unit to act on planning decisions of those County Councils which have specific Gaeltacht obligations under
the Planning and Development Act 2000.
COALITION 2011 (FINE GAEL/LABOUR): CHANGES TO THE DRAFT STRATEGY
At a Cabinet meeting of 31 May 2011, the content was agreed of the legislation required to implement sections of the Strategy.
These final Government decisions were announced on 3 June 2011 by the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs. Preparation
of the heads of the Bill could now proceed although the time frame for drafting and debate had not yet been clarified. Extracts
from the official announcement are given below.

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New definition of the Gaeltacht


This section of the statement concerning the Gaeltacht contained no material change from the original version of the Strategy.
Provision will be made in the Gaeltacht Bill for a new statutory definition of the Gaeltacht, which will be based on
linguistic criteria rather than on geographical areas, as is currently the case.
Provision will be made under the legislation for a language planning process in order to prepare language plans
at community level for each Gaeltacht area and for the Minister to approve and review those plans periodically.
Statutory status will be given to a new type of network Gaeltacht area outside the existing statutory Gaeltacht
areas. These will be areas, predominantly in urban communities, that will have a basic critical mass of community
and State support for the Irish language.
Gaeltacht Service Towns, i.e. towns which service Gaeltacht areas, will also be given statutory status.
BILLE GAELTACHTA 2012 (GAELTACHT BILL)

General Context
New legislation for the Gaeltacht and its boundaries had been mooted for years. The eventual Gaeltacht Bill of 2012 had
its immediate genesis, however, in two facts. One lay in the ominous findings of the Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the
Gaeltacht (2007) together with its recommendations on Categories of Gaeltacht, A, B, C, in respect of the percentage of daily
speakers, and the possibility of a Category D to cover urban areas outside the Gaeltacht. The second were the various provisions
contained in the 20-Year Strategy for Irish regarding the Gaeltacht, the development agency, dars na Gaeltachta, and a
general increase in the number of daily Irish speakers throughout the country.
With regard to the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy in the Gaeltacht, it was officially decided on 31 May 2011 that
dars na Gaeltachta would perform that function. In the event, the decision in June 2011 to leave dars na Gaeltachta solely
as a Gaeltacht agency permitted the use of a single piece of legislation to cover both matters arising out of the 20-Year Strategy
for the Irish Language. A Government decision of 7 February 2012 followed: to have a Bill in respect of the Gaeltacht drafted
as a matter of priority. The objectives of the Bill comprised:
a new definition for the Gaeltacht on linguistic rather than geographic criteria, based on community language
planning and which may include areas outside the traditional Gaeltacht;
a statutory role for dars na Gaeltachta in the implementation of the Strategy in the Gaeltacht;
changes to the board of An tdars: reduced membership and no elections.

On the interesting concept of network Gaeltacht, the Minister stated in late February 2012 that:
after the enactment of the Bill, any community with a strong Irish language presence, in the Gaeltacht or outside,
may prepare their language development plan for consideration;
in the meantime, the Department is considering pilot schemes in certain areas outside the Gaeltacht where Irish
has a strong community presence; the scheme may be announced before Easter.

Several such areas had hopes of inclusion in these pilot schemes, including Ballymun (Dublin), Clondalkin (Dublin), Ennis
(County Clare). However, in the event these pilots were confined to the Gaeltacht as discussed below.

Priseas Pleanla Teanga (Language Planning Process)


Clarification followed eventually on 26 April 2012 with the issue by the Department of Priseas Pleanla Teanga (Language
Planning Process), a compendium of short documents on the process, made public during the actual drafting process of the Bill
and in advance of its publication, which gave some of the content of the Bill, another unusual step. The documents comprised
a Nta Eolais (Information Note) on such planning in the Gaeltacht accompanied by a list as Appendix which divided the
existing Gaeltacht into19 Language Planning Areas, six of which were given priority to begin the planning process. A planning
template (area/domain; target; objectives; actions within specific timeframe) was provided for the proposed Language Plan for
those six areas in which Irish was still a strong community language. All sections of this template had been already completed by
the issuing Department except the proposed actions. Non-speakers were among the domains for action. The biggest challenge
facing the organisations chosen to lead the planning, e.g. Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne in West Kerry, was the variety of the
linguistic communities within the delineated areas.
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A Plphipar (Discussion Paper) on Grasin Ghaeilge (Irish Language Networks) was also part of the compendium of
documents. These were part of the 20-Year Strategy, having been put forward as a proposal in the Comprehensive Linguistic
Study of 2007. They are described as communities largely in urban areas where a basic critical mass exists of community
and State support for the language. No specific areas were pinpointed unlike the Gaeltacht list. However, there is no small
significance in the statement that these too were destined to have a statutory basis in future, as is the case already with the
existing Gaeltacht regions. A list (but not a template) of possible language planning criteria for these Networks is included; they
are close to those in use by the Glr na nGael competition, covering the critical domains and target groups, as is the proposed
representative local committee. The base line for daily speakers is 10% including in education and a footnote reminds that
30% was the baseline for the weakest Gaeltacht of Category C given in the Linguistic Study. However, these Networks are no
longer characterised as Category D or as Gaeltacht.
In the Discussion Paper, given the seismic changes (Chapter 3, Funding, below) envisaged by Foras na Gaeilge for the
sections of the voluntary sector it core funds, some interesting proposals appear in relation to the operation of such a system
of urban language planning:
in this case, preparation of a language planning template is envisaged as a joint task for the Department and Foras
na Gaeilge;
assistance to a group or community seeking statutory recognition as a Network is to be provided by Foras na
Gaeilge *i gcomhar le in co-operation or in partnership with the organisations funded by Foras na Gaeilge, such
assistance to be provided primarily in the form of human resources.
It is to be noted that, separate from the funded organisations, Foras na Gaeilge itself funds staffing in selected Scimeanna
Pobail (Community Schemes), some or all of which in the Republic might be in a position to apply for statutory recognition
as Networks.
Once the plan for the Network has been devised, the process is more or less as later described in the Act: submission to the
Minister for approval; statutory designation as Network to follow acceptance of plan; regular review of implementation of the plan.
Both the Discussion Paper with regard to the Networks and the Information Note with regard to the 19 Gaeltacht Areas
make similar references to funded organisations.
Information Note (extract in translation)
An tdars (Gaeltacht Authority) currently funds community-based organisations such as co-operatives and
development groups. It is agreed [presumably by the Department and the Authority] that one lead organisation will
direct language planning in each LP Area and that other organisations in the same Area will operate under that lead
organisation insofar as language planning is concerned. Since these organisations are funded by the Authority, it is
a matter for that agency, in co-operation *(partnership) with the organisations, to take the required steps to develop
and operate this approach.
Discussion Paper (extract in translation)
Assistance to a group or community seeking statutory recognition as a Network to be provided by Foras na Gaeilge *i
gcomhar le in co-operation or in partnership with the organisations funded by Foras na Gaeilge, such assistance to be
provided primarily in the form of human resources.
*The Irish i gcomhar le carries an interesting element of mutuality between the parties involved. At the time of publication
of Priseas Pleanla Teanga some time before the publication of Acht na Gaeltachta 2012, the 19 core-funded organisations
were still engaged in a fairly intense engagement with Foras na Gaeilge on the New Funding Model which had been proposed
(Chapter 3, Funding, below). It can hardly have escaped their attention that the system proposed for the funding agency in
the Gaeltacht, dars na Gaeltachta, of using lead organisations with other organisations in a more auxiliary role might well
be that to be proposed also in the case of Foras na Gaeilge and the voluntary core-funded sector.
All these documents of Priseas Pleanla Teanga place the language planning set out in the sole context of the 20-Year
Strategy. The need for training in language planning is recognised for the Gaeltacht organisations. It is to be organised by
dars na Gaeltachta in co-operation with Acadamh na hOllscolaochta Gaeilge at National University of Ireland Galway
(NUIG). The Network groups are not specifically mentioned in this regard but neither are they excluded. But the processes in
both Gaeltacht and Networks, while sharing some characteristics, nevertheless differ in many respects.
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Political context
This priority Gaeltacht Bill was eventually published on 19 June 2012 and initiated in the Seanad (Upper House). Much of
the content had already been mooted. However, political agreement and meticulous drafting apparently take time. Its bumpy
passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas took, or was allowed, a lot less time. It was the first major piece of legislation on
the Gaeltacht since 1956 and presaged major change. It was also the first time for 30 years that cross-party agreement on the
language was not forthcoming. Of 166 amendments proposed, the Minister accepted not one. The Oireachtas Committee on
the Gaeltacht did not discuss the Bill. In fact, the Opposition walked out en masse. It may also have been the first time that so
much passionate debate in both Irish and English took place on matters linguistic. Despite the late publication, passage before
the Summer recess appeared to be the priority. The Bill was through both Houses, passed in the absence of the Opposition,
and signed into law by 25 July 2012, within a month of publication.
Subsequent orders or regulations made under the Act must be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
Views previously expressed when the Official Languages Bill 2003 was being debated may be apposite also in this instance,
e.g. any legislation is better than no legislation, amendments are possible later when problems of implementation become
clearer; legislation can grow cold through over-debate and be shelved.

Content of the Gaeltacht Act 2012


Apart from the required references to other Acts or Statutory Instruments and amendments, repeals or revocations, there
are two substantive PARTS in the Act: PART 2 on Language Planning and PART 3 on the Amendment of the dars na
Gaeltachta Act 1979. Since the content of the former was fairly well known in advance through the publication of Priseas
Pleanla Teanga (Language Planning Process) by the Department, it was the latter section, PART 3, which drew most debate.
The Language Planning section deals with such planning under three different categories or geographic levels: Gaeltacht
Language Planning Areas; Gaeltacht Service Towns; Irish Language Networks. Language planning criteria and implementation
are also included. Such specific reference in legislation to language planning per se was another first. However, the actual
planning is left largely to local organisations.
The dars na Gaeltachta section is basically a set of amendments which set the agency in a whole new set of circumstances.
The content is set out briefly below.

Language planning criteria


Criteria may include the following as set down in PART 2 (12) of the Act:
the proportion of the population which speaks the Irish language;
the availability of education in Irish;
the availability of childcare and family support services in the Irish language;
the extent of the use of the Irish language in commerce and industry;
the extent of the use of the Irish language socially and recreationally;
the use of the Irish language in the provision of public services.
Ability in the population appears to be the main criterion. This presumably, in census terms, includes education. The extent
of the use by individuals of this ability is not a criterion. The other five criteria are services of one kind or another, two of
which are (or should be) provided by the State: education and public services in Irish. Education, however, tends to be largely
the result of continuous voluntary sector lobbying, even in the face of some State planning. The remaining three services are
to date provided by voluntary organisations (even if State-aided although that aid is now under threat) and by individuals or
companies (particularly in commerce and industry, even if availing of Foras na Gaeilge schemes).
While acceptable as possible criteria in a language planning exercise, the onus appears to be largely on the community
to ensure these criteria are met, irrespective of the larger multi-layered context in which that community must operate as a
community.

Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas


With regard to PART 2 and the process to be followed in local language planning, an organisation based in or adjacent to the
Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas (already designated) applies to dars na Gaeltachta for selection as the language planning
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lead agent in a given Area. The chosen organisation then sets about producing the Area plan according to the set criteria
and within a specified timeframe (initially 2 years) with facilitation from dars na Gaeltachta if required. Final approval of
the plan submitted is the prerogative of the Minister. If approved, the same organisation which drew up the plan remains
responsible for its implementation.
A time extension may be allowed for completion of the plan. However, if no plan is submitted within the original or
extended timeframe, the Minister may request dars na Gaeltachta to select another of the initial applicant organisations to
prepare the Area Plan. However, if no such organisation has applied, the Minister may then declare thatthe area concerned
is no longer a Gaeltacht area and the date after which it shall not be a Gaeltacht area. The same fate awaits an area where a plan
submitted is returned for amendment but is still found wanting, and no other applicant organisation is available from among
the initial applicants to prepare another plan. However, even if such orders are made, these shall not prevent the Minister from
exercising his or her powers.
The same type of provisions governs implementation by the successful organisation of any plan approved by the Minister.
Progress will be reviewed by the Minister and, if not adequate, deficiencies and a timeframe (which may be extended)
for remedying them will be communicated to the organisation. If a successful outcome does not ensue revocation of the
designation as a Gaeltacht Area may occur. In all cases, dars na Gaeltachta will be consulted by the Minister on whether there
is a reasonable prospect of success.

Gaeltacht Service Towns


The concept of these Service Towns did not form part of the Priseas Pleanla Teanga (above) published by the Department.
However, the idea had long been around that towns such as Dingle and Cahirsiveen in Kerry; Galway City; Letterkenny in
Donegal (or indeed the City of Derry in Northern Ireland); Dungarvan in Waterford or Athy in Meath had a particular role to
play in the maintenance of the language in the Gaeltacht. For purposes of the Act, a Gaeltacht Service Town:
is situated in or adjacent to a Gaeltacht Language Planning Area;
has available both public services for the Gaeltacht Language Planning Area and social, recreational and commercial
facilities that are of benefit to the Language Planning Gaeltacht Area.
In the case of such towns, it is the Minister who will make the designation of the town as a Gaeltacht Service Town and will
publish notice of that intention together with reference to the provision of an Irish Language Plan. The ensuing process is
the same as that described above under Gaeltacht Areas. In this instance, however, depending on the geographic location of
the town, inside or outside the Gaeltacht, the facilitating agency will be either dars na Gaeltachta or Foras na Gaeilge. If a
submitted plan from the town is approved by the Minister, an official order follows.

Irish Language Networks


The process for Networks follows the same outline as described above: designation by the Minister, nomination by Foras na
Gaeilge of an representative organisation and assistance from that body in drawing up a Plan which goes through the same steps
as outlined in the other two cases above. If the Plan is not accepted, revocation of the designation may follow.
Definition of a Network refers to a community (other than a Gaeltacht community) which:
supports the use of the Irish language, and
has agreed to the implementation of an Irish language plan.
In this instance, no reference is made to the Minister exercising his/her own powers.

dars na Gaeltachta
In summary, the section of the Act on the Gaeltacht is a sequence of amendments to the Principal Act (1979) which include
the following, and to references to elections to dars na Gaeltachta which will no longer take place:
Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas instead of Gaeltacht;
an end to regional committee;
membership now reduced to 12 persons, six ordinary members nominated by the Minister plus the chair;
four persons nominated by the four County Councils with larger Gaeltacht communities (Galway, Donegal,
Mayo, Kerry) plus three persons, one person each from Cork, Meath and Waterford Councils, who will rotate
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membership; no person to serve more than two terms; all persons being persons of capacity;
the provision of assistance to organisations in language planning as well as continuing with its own projects.
Persons wishing to be nominated by the Minister were required to make an expression of interest. This process began with a
public notice posted on 30 July immediately after the Bill became an Act. By the target date of 25 September, 68 persons made
application for the seats available for nomination. The applications were assessed but individuals were not interviewed. The
Minister was not obliged to appoint any of the applicants. The County Council nominations were 3 Fine Gael councillors from
Mayo, Galway and Kerry and 1 Fianna Fil councillor nominated by Donegal County Council. For the rotating membership,
an Independent was put forward by Meath County Council. However, it led to criticism that by mid-November 2012, neither
chairperson nor ministerial appointees had been sanctioned with the result that no meeting had been held of the new board
of An tdars.
At its 20 July 2012 meeting, the outgoing Board had noted that officials from the Department and staff of An tdars
would be collaborating on an operational plan for the language planning process laid out in the Act. The Board also emphasised
the need for adequate resources and funding for its twin roles of enterprise and full community development. In fact, an
additional sum was granted in the 2013 Budget for the language planning responsibilities arising out of the Priseas Pleanla
Teanga (Language Planning Process).
Two additions to the Gaeltacht Act are of note with respect to dars na Gaeltachta:
the possibility, with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, of
Antdars delivering services on behalf of other State bodies in the Gaeltacht;
that the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Minister
for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, give directions in writing to An tdars to promote the development of
particular industrial and employment sectors.
In relation to delivering services for other State bodies, a provision of the 20-Year Strategy, neither education nor physical
planning are specifically mentioned. However, the hope probably is that whichever services are, or may be delegated, there is
more likelihood of delivery in Irish through dars na Gaeltachta.

Points of criticism
As already indicated, no fewer than 160 amendments were introduced and rejected by the Minister during debate on the Bill.
Only 5 were debated. The Irish language lobby was very active throughout the short process of passage through the Houses of
the Oireachtas and issued statements of disappointment when the Bill was passed due to the Government (Coalition) majority
despite a walkout by the Opposition.
In general, criticism to be heard and read across the media including magazines (Irish and English) was directed towards:
the Bill being rushed through without sufficient time for debate;
official decisions being made on the basis of saving money (abolition of the election to, and of regional meetings
of, An tdars);
the powers given to the Minister and subsequent perceived lack of independent scrutiny [the role of approving
and especially of monitoring the progress of language plans was seen as proper to An Coimisinir Teanga];
the possible intervention powers given to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in relation to dars
na Gaeltachta;
the lack of specific reference and statutory direction in relation to public bodies in language plans including the Courts;
lack of reference to resources for implementation of plans by organisations.
The changes to dars na Gaeltachta came in for sustained criticism on the basis of democratic deficit and severing the link
with local democracy through removal of the franchise from the Gaeltacht community with the abolition of elections [although
most successful candidates in the past had been political party members]. Members of the last elected board remained in office
until 30 September 2012.
The onus placed on local organisations to devise and implement language plans was viewed as unacceptable given the
existence of three State bodies whose prime responsibility this was: the Department, dars na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeltachta.
In the case of the Gaeltacht, this was viewed in some quarters almost as faulting the community where the language was not
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being maintained; official quarters viewed the move as giving the community power over its own destiny. This latter view was
greeted with some doubt as being a useful political philosophy in times of recession. Nevertheless, the relationship between
State and community appears to have moved over the years some distance from the concept of an enabling State.
The rle of State agencies in anglicising the Gaeltacht over the years did not appear to have been addressed. At the end of
October 2012, An Coimisinir Teanga explained, in relation to lack of service through Irish in a Gaeltacht Social Welfare office, that
no provision exists in the Official Languages Act itself to ensure that State bodies employ persons competent in Irish to Gaeltacht
offices. If bodies include this stipulation in their Language Schemes, the rle of An Coimisinir may then come into play.
One magazine columnist commented that while there had been many plans over time for the Gaeltacht, in this instance
the plan was the plan.
Criticism reached the point where the Opposition are apparently now preparing an alternative revised Bill, with the aid of
some in the Irish language voluntary sector, to be introduced at some point in the future. It stands little chance of becoming
an Act, given the Government majority, but may provide time for the debate that was perceived to have been curtailed in the
case of Acht na Gaeltachta 2012.

Points welcomed
While criticism, whether valid or not, usually dominates media space, some areas of the Gaeltacht Act were welcomed. Among
these were:
language planning was now statutorily recognised;
elements of the 20-Year Strategy were being implemented;
Gaeltacht Service Towns were an innovative addition to the process;
Some longstanding issues of the Gaeltacht were being addressed in some fashion;
additional funding to An tdars and 1 million to Acadamh na hOllscolaochta Gaeilge (NUIG) to assist in
administration and training in the implementation of the Language Planning Process.
In relation to the latter, the number of Gaeltacht Planning Areas reached 25 of which 3 were prioritised to begin planning. The
Language Planning Unit of An tAcadamh, however, saw two of its experienced staff deployed elsewhere within the university.
Both had been co-authors of the Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht (2007).
DECISIONS ON PLANNING AREAS AND CRITERIA
It was noted that, despite the haste with which the Gaeltacht Act 2012 was put through, implementation with regard to the
new Gaeltacht planning areas was decidedly slow. The first notices under section 7(3) of the Act were not published until
20December 2013. These three included Ciarra Thiar (West Kerry); Cois Fharraige (Galway); Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste,
Anagaire, Loch an Iir (Donegal). In addition, the Minister of State hoped to publish notices for ten more areas in 2013 and
the rest thereafter. Language planning guidelines were promised for 16 January 2014; two months from this date were given
to allow Gaeltacht organisations apply to dars na Gaeltachta to be considered for selection to lead the planning process in
the different areas. This selection process bore some resemblance to that conducted by Foras na Gaeilge on organisations in the
voluntary sector as described below. In accordance with the Act, two years were allowed to the chosen organisations to prepare
and submit an area language plan; this to be followed by 7 years of implementation of accepted plans with the assistance of
Antdars and including periodic review of progress by the Department.
The choice of planning areas had, in fact, been subjected to some change since the passage of the Act. This arose from
proposals from dars na Gaeltachta which better reflected the sociolinguistic composition of adjacent areas as well as the
inability of the original 6 areas invited to begin since the guidelines were not yet available.

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SUMMARY ON COMPETENCE AND USE


ABILITY

In the State
With regard to ability in the Irish language in the general population, the results were as follows.

Census 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the State


Total

Speakers

Non-speakers

Not stated

*Irish speakers as percentage of total

4,370,631

1,774,437

2,507,312

88,882

41.4% (40.6% if those not stating included)

Census 2006 and 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the State: Comparison
Census

Total
population

Speakers

Nonspeakers

Not stated

*Irish speakers
as % of total

2006

4,239,848

1,656,790

2,300,174

100,682

41.9% or 40.8%
if non-stating included

2011

4,370,631

1,774,437

2,507,312

88,882

41.4% or 40.6%
if non-stating included

In the Gaeltacht

Census 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the Gaeltacht population
Total
population

Speakers

Nonspeakers

Not stated

Irish speakers as percentage of total


(non-stating excluded)

96,628

66,238

29,114

1,276

69.5%

Census 2006 and 2011: Irish Speakers (3 years and over) in the Gaeltacht: Comparison
Census

Total
population

Speakers

Nonspeakers

Not stated

Irish speakers as
percentage of total
(non-stating excluded)

2006

91,862

64,265

26,539

1,058

70.8%

2011

96,628

66,238

29,114

1,276

69.5%

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USE

In the State

Census 2011: Frequency of use of Irish outside the education system by those with ability
Total with ability

Daily

Weekly

Less often

Never

1,774,437

77,185 (4.35%)

110,642 (6.2%)

613,236 (34.6%)

435,219 (24.5%)

In the Gaeltacht

Census 2011: Daily use outside education


Total population
96,628
(aged 3 years and over)

Ability

Daily use outside education

66,238
(68.5% or 69.5% when excluding
non-stating)

17,955 + 2,170 = 20,125


30.4% of those with ability
or
20.8% of total population
over 3 years of age

Censuses 2006 and 2011: Frequency of use of Irish by those with ability in the Gaeltacht
Census

Total with
ability

Daily in
education
only

Speaks
Irish also
outside
education

Daily
outside
education

Weekly
outside
education

Less often

Never

2006

64,265

13,982

5,179

17,687

6,564

15,150

4,313

21.75%

8.05%

27.5%

10.2%

23.6%

6.7%

14,518

5,666

17,955

6,531

16,115

4,647

21.9%

8.6%

27.1%

9.9%

24.3%

7.0%

2011

66,238

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CONSTITUTIONAL,
LEGAL, AND
ADMINISTRATIVE
PROVISION
FORIRISH

This chapter looks at the many changes that have occurred in recent years over a range of official matters pertaining to
the Irish language, some positive, others less so. The overall political, administrative and statutory context is also sketched.

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POLICIES OF REVERSAL
CONSTITUTION
Given the constitutional status of the Irish language, any political references to constitutional affairs or to possible changes
tend to be of interest to Irish speakers.

Referenda
Among the priorities of the Coalition which took office in March 2011 were several specific issues which it intended to put to
referendum or in legislation:
Abolition of the Seanad.
Enabling Oireachtas committees to carry out full investigations.
Protecting the right of citizens to communicate in confidence with public representatives.
Strengthening childrens rights.
Cutting the salaries of judges as part of general public service cuts.
Two amendments to the Constitution went to referendum in October 2011 in tandem with the presidential election: on
reductions in judicial salaries (although the judiciary would prefer an independent report to a referendum), on the outcome of
the Abbeylara judgement which limited the investigative powers of Oireachtas Commitees. The people accepted the former and
rejected the latter. A referendum on childrens rights (which had reached a form of wording through the work of a committee
set up by the previous administration) was postponed until November 2012. On Tuesday, 5 July 2011, in response to a
parliamentary question, the Minister for Finance said that the commitment in the Programme for Government to legislation
to protect whistle-blowers would be expedited as overarching legislation providing for good faith reporting and protected
disclosure on a uniform basis for all sectors of the economy. The Seanad referendum has apparently been postponed although
mentioned from time to time. The abolition of the Seanad appeared on Section C, (Bills in respect of which heads have yet to
be approved by Government), of the legislation list for 2012 when publication of the Bill was expected, as was the Amendment
to the Constitution (Childrens Referendum) Bill, which had been promised as a standalone referendum. However, precedence
timewise was given at that time to the referendum on the new EU fiscal treaty, as required in the opinion of the AttorneyGeneral. The Childrens Referendum followed.

Constitutional Convention
The agreed Programme for Government of the Coalition contained the following commitment:
Building on the well-established and tested Constitution of Ireland, and decades of judicial determination of rights
under that constitution, we will establish a process to ensure that our Constitution meets the challenges of the 21st
century, by addressing a number of specific urgent issues as well as establishing a Constitutional Convention to
undertake a wider review.
The Constitutional Convention was intended to examine a range of issues including reduction of the voting age, amendment
of the clause on women in the home, blasphemy, the presidential term, same-sex marriage, and review of the Dil electoral
system. In response to questions in the Dil on 3 May 2011, the Taoiseach informed deputies that the Government and
Attorney-General were working on the matter; the Convention would report within a year of its establishment. Until the terms
of reference were available, it was not clear whether Article 8 (Language) would be for discussion also. In October 2011, the
Minister for the Environment gave the following information when speaking at a discussion organised by the Political Studies
Association of Ireland. The Constitutional Convention was to be announced within weeks and a Citizens Assembly (drawn
from the electoral register) would form part of the Convention which would look at issues such as the role of women in the
home, same-sex marriage and the abolition of the Seanad. Article 8 (Language) was not specifically mentioned.
In late February 2012, draft proposals on the Convention were eventually promised by the Government; consultations
with the Opposition on the composition of the proposed Convention were intended. Since matters of the Constitution are
matters for the people, a draft structure for the Convention was being proposed of one third politicians, two thirds persons
chosen at random from the electorate. The initial list of topics to be discussed were two: reducing the voting age to 17 and the
term of office of the President to five years were to be considered by the Convention with proposals within a specified period.
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The Convention may also be asked to later examine the issues of electoral reform, the role of women in the home, blasphemy,
giving Irish citizens abroad the right to vote in presidential elections and same-sex marriage.
Eventually, 66 representative members of the public who remain anonymous (together with another secondary 66 to act
if those in the first list became unavailable) were randomly chosen, 33 politicians (including NI) were appointed by September
2012. A web portal was promised and webcasts of proceedings but this was quite slow in being mounted on www.constitution.ie.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties and The Wheel (representing some 900 voluntary organisations) set up the campaign
Hear Our Voices, the Civil Society Charter for the Constitutional Convention. From nominations of the many groups, a list
of 12 advisory experts across a range of constitutional topics was submitted to the secretary of the Convention and agreement
reached that submissions would be received from civil society. In late October, one of the signatories to the Charter, the CEO
of the development organisation, Concern Worldwide, was appointed Chair of the Convention by the Taoiseach and the
Tnaiste. It appeared that work could finally begin before the end of 2012. In advance of a formal start to proceedings the Chair
met with organisational representatives of civil society.
In general, the Convention was considered to have been given symbolic rather than any political importance since its
advice need not necessarily be taken.

The existing Article 8 on Language has not yet been proposed in any public statements for consideration by the Convention.
In an interesting comment on language and the Constitution, the current speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, when
on a visit to Dublin in March 2010, apparently considered the provisions of Article 8 of the Irish constitution as a mistake
which his country would not emulate. The Ukraine would have only one state language, Ukrainian, and Russian would not be
given the status which English has in Ireland, although the rights of Russian speakers would be protected. He compared the
situation of the two dominant languages in both countries and how they tend to dominate in the media and in social prestige,
moving the native language to a peripheral position. The populations of both countries are markedly different; the Ukraine
(46 million) has approximately 11 times the population of Ireland. Two years later, in May 2012, a draft law proposed by the
ruling Regions Party to enhance the official status of the Russian language (spoken in parts of the country) led to unruly scenes
in parliament and demonstrations outside it. For many people, use of Ukrainian is the symbol of sovereignty and a sign of the
waning influence of Russia. The view of demonstrators was that Ukrainian is the threatened language while there is no attack
intended on Russian speakers whose language and rights are safe.
LEGISLATION AND TRANSLATION
An Coimisinir Teanga pointed out in an address in late November 2010 (Tralee Institute of Technology) that the Irish language
is mentioned in some 140 Acts of the Oireachtas; more references were to follow in the years 2011-2012, particularly in relation
to the issue of translation of legislation, primary and secondary.

Court rulings on the translation of legislation and associated documents


In April 2001, the Supreme Court had upheld the demand of a citizen ( Beolin) to relevant legislation being provided in
Irish, that is Acts of the Oireachtas and the Regulations of the District Court. In October 2001 a solicitor, Pl Murch, had
been granted judicial review proceedings in the matter of Acts of the Oireachtas, Statutory Instruments (SIs, which give effect
to new legislation) arising, and all Rules of Court being made simultaneously available in Irish since their unavailability was
constraining his ability to serve his clients. The case was taken on constitutional grounds. A High Court judgment in 2004
found it a constitutional duty of Government departments to provide translations of SIs. At the time, the lack of suitably
qualified translators had formed part of the States defence. In February 2009, the State itself appealed the High Court
judgment to the Supreme Court. On 6 May 2010, the Supreme Court decision set aside the High Court judgment and Orders
of the High Court. However, a declaration was also made that there was a constitutional obligation to provide the respondent,
in his capacity as solicitor, all Rules of Courtin an Irish language version of the same, so soon as may be practicable after they
are published in English. The lengthy judgment, which was delivered in Gaeilge (as stated on the Courts website) appeared to
make a distinction on the basis of constitutional obligation on the one hand and, on the other, the issue of any and all legislation
rather than those portions directly applicable to particular instances, including specific SIs.
In relation to legislation and packaging in the case of medicinal drugs, an Irish speaker took a case to the High Court on
the basis that there was an onus on drug companies to provide bilingual packaging on their products sold in Ireland since an
existing EU directive provided for packaging in the official language or languages of member states. However, the wording
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of the directive was changed to include unless the member state decrees otherwise. The change was accepted by the EU
institutions. The Irish state argued in the High Court that bilingual packaging would add to the cost of drugs. The cost of drugs
does not appear to be uniform across the EU. No regulation in domestic legislation has yet been made by the Irish government.

Government response to Court rulings


An Bille um an Dl Sibhialta (Forlacha Ilghnitheacha), Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions)
Bill, 2011
In June 2011, a Bill was introduced entitled An Bille um an Dl Sibhialta (Forlacha Ilghnitheacha), Civil Law (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Bill, 2011. Part 15 of this Bill, entitled Miscellaneous, contained six sections. The fifth, Section 38 of the Bill,
is an amendment to Section 7 of the Official Languages Act 2003, (which came into effect July 2007), which provided for
simultaneous printing and publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in both official languages. This amendment, described as
technical, in the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum, allows for electronic publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in
advance of official translation which could take weeks or even longer. The professed aim of the amendment is to help avoid
the risk of a constitutional challenge from somebody whose rights are affected by a piece of legislation which is not readily
accessible. The Memorandum goes on to say that the constitutional obligation to publish in both languages is not affected.
The timescale, however, is not clarified.
It is a reasonable assumption that the electronic version will be in English only. Interestingly, however, a possible
constitutional challenge from an Irish speaker whose rights might be affected by a piece of legislation which is not readily
accessible do not appear to have been considered. The existence at the time of two official translation facilities should, in
theory, have obviated the need for any delay in providing an Irish version of new legislation. Irish language organisations drew
attention to the fact that such matters ought to be considered in the upcoming review of the Official Languages Act.
The proposed amendment was seen as a further attempt at weakening of that Act and Orders under it by the new
Coalition, as in the case of the Placenames Order (below). Speaking in the Dil at the Second Stage of debate on the legislation
on12 July 2011, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence explained:
I have included the amendments in the Bill at the request of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D.
We had some heated discussion on this matter in the Seanad. But I would like to reiterate that this amendment is technical
in nature and would simply allow publication in electronic form of legislation as soon as it has been signed by the President
in order that there is instant accessibility to what the legislation contains. Deputies can be assured that does not in any
way prevent publication in both languages. Formal publication will thereafter have to take place in both languages.
I should mention that the previous Government had made a decision that it was necessary to introduce this provision in
the law and it was being prepared to be included in the somewhat smaller Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill that my
predecessor published in 2010. The proposal has also benefited from the advice of the Attorney General and the previous
Attorney General, neither of whom believed there was a constitutional difficulty of any nature.
An interesting insight into the issue was provided at Claremorris (County Mayo) District Court even as this Bill was going
forward in July 2011. Charges concerning after hours drinking were dismissed on the basis that the relevant legislation was
not yet available in Irish, although enacted in 2000. Other similar cases existed.
The immediate results of the amendment to the Official Languages Act were pointed out by An Coimisinir at Tstal na
Gaeilge 2012. From 14 July 2006, when the Act came into effect, until 2 August 2011, all Acts were published simultaneously
except that setting up NAMA (National Assets Management Agency) when a special arrangement was made. From August
2011 to 14 January 2012, despite the passage of legislation, none had been published simultaneously in both languages.
The introduction of the household charge (a fairly unpopular tax) by the Department of the Environment saw another
turn in this particular legislative change. On foot of a case brought before it by an Irish speaker, the High Court, on 15 March
2012, granted leave to challenge the charge on the grounds that the necessary legislation had not been published in Irish. The
legislation in both languages was made available within a week, as it happened. In a radio interview, An Coimisinir describeded
the legislative change which allowed publication of the legislation in English only on the internet as a temporary measure.
Towards the end of March 2012 just before the final date of 31 March, a bilingual card was distributed to households: Muirear
Teaghlaigh, Meabhrchn Deiridh (Household Charge, Final Reminder). There had been many complaints from the public
regarding lack of information on this particular charge.
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Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill 2012


September 2012 saw the introduction in the Seanad of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill 2012.
The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission was formally established on 1 January 2004 (arising out of Act 2003) in order to:
To provide for the running of the Houses of the Oireachtas, to act as governing body of the Service, to consider and
determine policy in relation to the Service, and to oversee the implementation of that policy by the Secretary General
[also Clerk of the Dil].
The Service currently comprises some 380 staff, civil servants, for the 226 members of the two Houses of the Oireachtas and
their staff (including party staff and advisors); for the media, and for visitors from the public. Among the specific functions of
the Commission listed in the legislation is:
Providing translation services from one official language into the other in respect of Acts of the Oireachtas.
The purpose of the Amendment Bill 2012 is twofold, as stated in the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum:
- expansion of the role of the Commission to include both primary and secondary legislation;
- to provide for the periodic review of An Caighden Oifigiil (Official Standard for Irish).
It was in fact consolidation of the role of the Commission and of its staff in An Ranng Aistrichin as being statutorily
responsible for both these functions (Lr-Aonad Aistrichin, Central Translation Unit below).
The Memorandum explains the background in terms of the Supreme Court judgement ( Murch, 2010) and its
interpretation that:
The Constitution does not require simultaneous translation of Acts of the Oireachtas but does require translation within a
reasonable period of time, although there is no general constitutional obligation to translate every statutory instrument made
on foot of an Act of the Oireachtas.
The Memorandum also sets out other provisions of the Bill:
Translation
- translation of SIs by the Commission on request although Ministers are free to make other arrangements also in
the case of SIs;
- discretion to the Commission to seek the assistance of persons other than staff in the matter of SIs;
- discretion to seek fees for translation on demand of SIs, whether current or historical.
Caighden (Standard)
- publication and periodic review of the Standard not less than once every seven years in consultation (required)
with the Ministers for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Education and Skills, Justice and Equality, other
interested parties and the public in general;
- appointment of external experts to committees established on the Standard.
Two other items of interest in the Memorandum are:
- the Act comes into operation at a time appointed by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform;
- the cost of translating the annual output of SIs is estimated at 325,000;
- the translation cost of extant SIs over 10 years is estimated at circa 3.3 million.
The opportunity was taken by three Senators at Committee Stage of debate on this Bill (16 October 2012) to raise a series of
amendments in bilingual format. They included:
- What might be taken as an indirect reference to the fact that no steps had been taken to replace the training
agency Gaeleagras [below] through the wording of a proposed new section to be added to the Bill:
The Government shall ensure that the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas, and of the Civil Service at large, has the capacity to
conduct their business through the medium of the Irish language, and will consequently ensure that the adequate free training
and support is provided for their staff, to build their capacity in that regard.
- Deletion of section 62 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011; the amendment to Section 7
of the Official Languages Act 2003 allowing for electronic publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in advance of
official translation instead of the simultaneous printing and publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in both official
languages as in the Official Languages Act since 2007.
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- Translation of Bills in advance of debate.


- External translations to go to Commission for approval.
- All staff responsible for translation in all departments to be re-assigned to the Commission; a complement
of Commission staff to be competent in Irish to ensure service in Irish; the Commission to be provided
with the resources to assist members of the Oireachtas with regard to service through Irish in the matters
of: correspondence, translation or contribution to debate; that staff not be prohibited from wearing badges
indicating proficiency in Irish or ability to work through Irish.
- The timeframe for completion of translation of outstanding legislation to be 2014 and that resources and staff
be provided to the Commission to fulfil that timeframe.
The Bill was eventually put before the Dil just before Christmas 2012 without debate and with the purpose of ensuring the
proposed budget (324m over 3 years or 108m annually) for the Commission by 1 January 2013. The Opposition mounted
sustained criticism at the lack of debate on both the high costs in times of austerity and on the operation of the Oireachtas itself.
However, the Bill was enacted as Act 50 of 2012 on 26 December 2012.

Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2011: Logainmneacha (Placenames)


Another change to the Official Languages Act was made by the incoming Coalition in the matter of placenames (Logainmneacha
below). In response to the case of An Daingean/Daingean U Chis/Dingle, in mid-July 2011, having already signalled the
matter before the Seanad (Upper House) in June, the Fine Gael Minister for the Environment brought forward an amendment
to the Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2011. The amendment proposed was a more general approach instead of
response to one particular issue: local government law (in relation to placenames change) will supersede an order under the
Official Languages Act (2003). Under the proposed legislation, a local authority seeking change is required to specify the
desired name in Irish only or in English and in Irish. The proposed legislation will additionally require both a secret ballot in
the case of a plebiscite and adoption of a resolution by half of the members of the local authority in question. The amendment
was approved on 21 July 2011 in the Dil and the Bill became law on 2 August 2011.
The provisions on placenames in the final section of this Act 20 of 2011, PART 18, cover eight pages and two sections.
Some regard superseding of orders under the Official Languages Act as a weakening of the language legislation. Placenames
orders are usually put out for public consultation in advance of an order being made.

Other legal matters


A legal challenge of another kind was brought in the High Court in late 2010 by a civil servant on the basis that she did not
receive the 6% bonus marks for Irish when applying for a post in Brussels. Her case was upheld and she was awarded over
28,000. Both a significant clarification and precedent were thus ensured.
Almost continuously, the reports of An Coimisinir Teanga point to the lack of staff in State bodies of sufficient competence
to offer services to Irish speakers. This had largely come about due to a change in Government policy in the 1970s. In
response to a specific reference from An Coimisinir with regard to his concern on the non-application of the bonus marks
for competence in Irish in competitions for Civil Service posts, the Department of Finance had held that the bonus was at
the discretion of individual departments to apply or not. These two differing interpretations no longer hold. The practice of
35 years within some of the States departments not to follow the law has been declared wrong; application of the 6% bonus
for Irish should be applied in future or other court appeals from could be taken. It was reported soon after this High Court
judgment of 29 October 2010 that the State was contemplating an appeal to the Supreme Court.
In offering a positive solution to the dearth of people in the Civil Service able to offer service in Irish, An Coimisinir
suggested, in the context of the 20-Year Strategy, that a system of positive discrimination should apply for a number of years
in an effort to reach some equilibrium. A similar system was suggested (Patten Report) with regard to the Police Service of
Northern Ireland (PSNI), to ensure candidates from both the unionist and nationalist communities.
Both the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga and the Official Languages Act may now be in the process of change (below). In
late 2011 also the use of Irish became an issue in a case before the Special Criminal Court. It was clarified that the State may use
its choice of language in this court, independent of the language chosen by the accused person. Nevertheless, this may be affected
by a new directive from the EU with regard to language use in criminal proceedings, unless the Irish State succeeds in changing
it as was the case with labelling of drugs as reported below. The directive on criminal proceedings, which had been in discussion
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for several years previously, came into force in all member states in late 2013 and was a new departure for the union. It gives the
right to interpretation in their own language in all courts in the union for EU citizens arrested or accused of a crime; this ruling
applies throughout criminal proceedings including when receiving legal advice.
In another aspect of language use in the courts, it was reported in February 2014 that an individual lost his request to the
Supreme Court to have a bilingual jury try his case. He had wished to forego the services of an interpreter, opting for a jury
drawn from a specific Gaeltacht area where most people speak Irish. One of the Justices commented on the lack of legislation
with regard to jurors and their competence in either Irish or English. In his view, this was an extraordinary state of affairs which
required urgent legislative action.
The European Union issued a directive to Member States to the effect that the directions on certain drugs be given in the
official languages of each State.
During 2011, an Irish citizen sought a judicial review to ensure that the Irish State, through the Department of Health,
would comply with this directive. This case was discontinued in January 2013 on the grounds that the original directive had
been amended. In fact, it appeared that the Irish State, through the Department of Health, had proposed this amendment which
changed the original wording of the EU directive from official languages to one of the official languages.

Bille Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Bill)


Arising out of the changes announced in early June 2011 (on Government decisions of 31 May 2011) to the 20-Year Strategy for
the Irish Language, a subsequent Government decision was taken on 7 February 2012 to have a Bill in respect of the Gaeltacht
drafted as a matter of priority. The elements of such a Bill were given in November 2011 in the Departments Implementation
Plan for the 20-Year Strategy for 2011. The objectives of the Bill comprise:
- a new definition for the Gaeltacht on linguistic rather than geographic criteria, based on community language
planning and which will include areas outside the traditional Gaeltacht;
- a statutory role for dars na Gaeltachta in the implementation of the Strategy in the Gaeltacht;
- changes to the board of An tdars: reduced membership and no elections.
The latter received much criticism on the basis of severing the link with local democracy and depriving a section of the
population of their voting rights. Of the previous 20 members, 17 had been elected and 3 (including the chair) appointed by
the Minister. The proposed board of some 10 to 17 members will have some appointed members and the rest nominated by
the seven County Councils which contain Gaeltacht regions. No amendments were accepted, however, following debate in the
Houses of the Oireachtas.
The passage of this Gaeltacht Bill which was enacted on 25 July 2012 has been fully discussed above at the end of Chapter 2.

Other legislation proposed for 2012


Other Bills which may have implications for language and which appeared among those on the legislative list for 2012 were:
Department

Bill

Publication
expected

Environment,
Community & Local
Government

Local Government Services Corporate


Bodies (Amendment) (To facilitate re-organisation, merger, abolition
of State agencies as recommended)

2012

Arts, Heritage &


Gaeltacht

Monuments
(Protection & regulation of the heritage)

Late 2012

Gaeltacht
(Redefinition of Gaeltacht; reduce board of dars na Gaeltachta;
dispense with dars elections)

2012

Education & Training Boards


(33 Vocational Education Committees to 16)

Mid 2012

Education & Skills

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Further Education & Training (SOLAS) (Integration of sector;


dissolution of FS)

2012

*Education (Amendment) Bill 2012

On Seanad
Order Paper

(Amendment to Education Act 1998 to ensure rationalisation of


support services, speech therapy etc.; amendment to Teaching
Council Act 2001 re teachers registration and employment; repeal of
defunct bodies)

Order for 2nd


Stage

*Qualifications & Quality Assurance (Education & Training) Bill


2011 (Rationalisation of agencies)

Committee
Stage

Not all the above proposed Bills were at the same stage of progression at the time of publication of the 2012 list. *These latter
two Bills were already going through the Houses of the Oireachtas. The heads of others had been agreed and the text was being
drafted (e.g. Gaeltacht Bill; Education & Training Boards). For others, the heads may not yet have been agreed by Government.
Since there exists a precedent of adding other items to Bills under the title Miscellaneous, as occurred in the case of An Bille
um an Dl Sibhialta (Forlacha Ilghnitheacha), Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2011 (above), now enacted, all
published Bills require scrutiny in relation to language issues.

Lr-Aonad Aistrichin (Central Translation Unit)


A High Court judgment in 2004 found it a constitutional duty of Government departments to provide translations of SIs. At
the time, the lack of suitably qualified translators had formed part of the States defence.
In November 2008, a Government policy decision was taken to ensure translation into Irish of the many statutory
instruments and regulations arising out of the various legal acts. No specific policy had existed on the issue of secondary
legislation as was the case with regard to translation of Acts. In addition, court cases might be taken by legal practitioners or
by citizens on the lack of such translated secondary legislation proving a hindrance to them or of thwarting their rights under
the law. To give effect to this November 2008 policy, a Central Translations Unit was established during 2009, in the (then)
Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to implement a strategy for the translation of Statutory Instruments
[SIs] in line with constitutional requirements. This Unit reported in an affidavit to the court (in an instance requiring such
information) that overall some 60,000 pages remained (from the period 1993-2004) to be translated since the vast majority
of departments did not provide translations of SIs emanating from them. It was 2010, however, before a staff of translators
was employed for the new Unit. Translation then began on the statutory instruments of the host department and of all other
departments on request. Translation for other departments was on a commercial basis. The Minister also gave responsibility
at the time for examining the existing Language Standard (Caighden) to this new Aonad (Unit). The existing long established
(1922) Ranng an Aistrichin (Translation Section) was, of course, still part of the apparatus of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
In February 2009, the State itself appealed the High Court judgment of 2004 to the Supreme Court. On 6 May 2010, the
Supreme Court decision set aside the High Court judgment and Orders of the High Court. However, a declaration was also
made that there was a constitutional obligation to provide the respondent, in his capacity as solicitor, all Rules of Courtin
an Irish language version of the same, so soon as may be practicable after they are published in English. The lengthy judgment,
which was delivered in Gaeilge (as stated on the Courts website) appeared to make a distinction on the basis of constitutional
obligation on the one hand and, on the other, the issue of any and all legislation rather than those portions directly applicable
to particular instances, including specific SIs.
Changes, both legislative and structural, to accommodate this legal judgment were made or planned following new
arrangements by the incoming administration (March 2011). Firstly, in June 2011, a Bill was introduced entitled An Bille
um an Dl Sibhialta (Forlacha Ilghnitheacha), Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2011. Part 15 of this Bill, entitled
Miscellaneous, contains six sections. The fifth, Section 38 of the Bill, is an amendment to Section 7 of the Official Languages Act
2003, (which came into effect July 2007), which provided for simultaneous printing and publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in
both official languages. This amendment, described as technical, in the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum, allows for
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electronic publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in advance of official translation which could take weeks or even longer. The
professed aim of the amendment is to help avoid the risk of a constitutional challenge from somebody whose rights are affected
by a piece of legislation which is not readily accessible. The Memorandum goes on to say that the constitutional obligation to
publish in both languages is not affected. The timescale, however, is not clarified.
Secondly, the submission of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to the Comprehensive Review of
Expenditure, which was requested of all departments in advance of Budget 2012 and Plan 2012-2013, made the following
reference (page 47):
Furthermore, [section blacked out, presumably reference to Government/official decision] provides for the integration of the
States translation services into the Houses of the Oireachtas. Amending legislation will be required.
This, in fact, signalled the end of the new Central Translation Unit within the Department with responsibility for the language
and transfer of staff to Ranng an Aistrichin which would, by legislation, then have responsibility for translation of both
primary and secondary legislation as well as any review of the Official Standard for Irish.
The Implementation Plan 2011 of the D/AHG for the 20-Year Strategy, published on 2 November 2011, states:
The Departmentwill take the relevant steps to draft legislation which will consolidate the States translation services. This bill
will amend the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003 in order to transfer the functions and staff of the Departments
Central Translation Unit to the Translation Section in the Houses of the Oireachtas for the translation of Statutory Instruments
[work the Unit had been set up to do].
Progressing the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill appeared among the targets for 2012 in the
Revised Estimates (23 February 2012) of the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht. The Bill also appears in Section A
(Bills expected to be published from the start of the Dil Session to the beginning of the next Session) of the list of intended
legislation for 2012, described thus:
To amend the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Acts 2003-2009 in relation to the rationalisation of the States translation
services and An Caighden Oifigiil (Official Standard), responsibility for which are to be transferred to the Houses of the
Oireachtas.
The Bill was finally published and initiated in the Seanad on 18 September 2012, in which house it had reached Committee
Stage by 16 October (Legislation and Translation above).

Translation to Irish from legislation initiated in English appears to be almost always the issue. Once legislation is introduced
in English (whether in Dil or Seanad), all debate and amendments are consequently in English also. Until this changes, the
use of Irish in the Houses of the Oireachtas is unlikely to improve.

Publications
Two useful publications are available on matters relating to the law. For practitioners, the wide-ranging Sil ar an Dl (An Eye
on the Law), launched by An Coimisinir in March 2010, constitutes an invaluable professional tool. The bilingual leaflet, An
Ghaeilge sa Chirt (Irish in Court), issued by the office of An Coimisinir, sets out clearly the rights of those who wish to use
Irish in court, as set out in the Official Languages Act 2003. It also refers to the Irish language rights of the citizen if arrested.

Interpretation
In relation to the courts and interpretation/translation in general for those with little or no English, concerns have been raised
both by some judges and by the Irish Translators and Interpreters Association. This body called for auditing of contracts
or some form of quality control. A system of accreditation for court interpreters through tested minimal requirements and
membership of a national register is internationally accepted as a requirement for a reliable service in the case of governments
and public service providers.
There are now up to 158 accredited translators from the scheme initiated by Foras na Gaeilge. Others have emerged
from other courses. However, court interpretation and translation of legal documents are two quite different levels of specific
expertise.
REVIEW OF THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT 2003
In relation to the Official Languages Act 2003 it was recommended in the McCarthy Report (An Bord Snip Nua) that the
translation requirement should be amended and reduced to a more limited range of cases (see Funding at the end of this
chapter).
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In his Annual Report for 2008, An Coimisinir Teanga had suggested a review of the Official Languages Act for 2013, ten
years after its enactment. Such a review was explicitly mentioned in the following terms in the section entitled An Ghaeilge
agus an Ghaeltacht (Irish and the Gaeltacht) of the programme for Government of the new Fine Gael/Labour Party Coalition:
Towards Recovery: Programme for a National Government 2011-2016.
Review of the Official Languages Act to ensure expenditure on the language is best targeted towards the development
of the language and that obligations are imposed appropriately in response to demand from citizens.
Some commentators saw this either as an opportunity to engage in further cost cutting or in weakening the provisions of
the Act or in preventing independent scrutiny of the operation of the Act across the State apparatus. The onus for the provision
of services appears to be placed more on citizens demands than on confidence in State obligations. The term appropriately is
capable of many interpretations.
On 5 July 2010 An Coimisinir published, in accordance with section 29 of the Act, what was described as a commentary
on the practical application and operation of provisions of the Act. Some specific amendments to the legislation were also
suggested. In adddition, in his 15-page English version of the report, An Coimisinir reiterated the case for linguistic legislation
on the use of Irish in the public domain.
provision should be made, in an organised and integrated manner, for the use of the language in the public life
of the country by those people who wish to use the language and who have acquired it either as native speakers or
through the education system.
His hope was that the outcome of the proposed review would be an Act fit for purpose: serving the wishes of the Irish
language community and giving meaning to the constitutional provisions for Irish, that is the first official language by virtue
of its being the national language.
He lists the areas of the Act that were working effectively at that time in State-related bodies in relation to use of Irish:
Communications, signage and stationery.
The courts and Houses of the Oireachtas.
Official placenames.
A system of monitoring compliance with provisions of the Act.
A structure for investigating and resolving complaints.
While he also considers it timely to carry out a review of other elements [italics not in original] of the legislation, the purpose
of this should be to ensure improvement, a sentiment with which Irish speakers concurred.
Among these other elements were the following amendments he suggested:
The level of service through Irish to arise from a classification (A, B, C) of public bodies in accordance with their
functions and level of interaction with the public in general (Irish speakers and Gaeltacht included). [The support
network facilitated by the Office of An Coimisinir already had three sectors (Annual Report 2008): Government
departments and offices; local authorities; other bodies].
Public bodies to be statutorily required to provide services in Irish in the Gaeltacht of an equal standard as in English.
Statutory provision for the right to use name and address in the language of choice with public bodies. [These would
seem fairly minimum requirements if custom and practice had not often proved otherwise].
Implementation of language schemes to be on a more strategic and consistent basis. [An Coimisinir suggested as a
possible alternative the standards system being considered for Welsh schemes, based on existing regulations. Welsh
experts, however, distinguish between the proposed right to access services and the preferred more definitive wording
of the right to receive services].
Priority to be given to publications in Irish for which there is greatest demand.

The most fundamental difficulty is, of course, lack of competent bilingual staff.
The problem of staff to be addressed whenever the recruitment embargo is relaxed.

The issue of staffing had two aspects. Firstly, the lack of competent bilinguals to carry out State policy. An Coimisinir argues
that while compulsory Irish is not being suggested, some type of system must be set in place to ensure that English is not
compulsory for the public. He also points out that having bilingual staff will reduce costs, of translation in particular. To
145 More Facts About Irish

remedy the existing situation, he suggests that:


bilingual competence be recognised at the point of recruitment;
inservice require subsequent use of competence acquired;
Irish-competent staff be assigned to the Gaeltacht.
Secondly, a comparison is made between the Office of An Coimisinir, in 2010 down to 5 of the 8 sanctioned, and the 18 staff
in a similar type unit in Wales.

An Coimisir was of the view that the various amendments put forward should be at the least cost-neutral. Irish organisations
in general welcomed his proposals. By October 2011, no official review of the Act had as yet taken place. By November
2011, public consultation was announced by means of a questionnaire on the website of the Department of the Gaeltacht;
it would run until 31 January 2012. The wording of this questionnaire was considered biased in its intent by Irish language
organisations.
In January 2012, two important public discussions were organised by the Irish language sector in order to inform the
public. The speakers on the first occasion, Tstal na Gaeilge on 14 January organised by Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge,
included An Coimisinir, a representative from the Department, two experts on language legislation from abroad and a series
of experts from Ireland, speakers representing various interests, public sector Irish language Officers and clients of services. The
Department accepted that the expert from Wales (with long experience of a similar situation) would be consulted in the review
of the Act. He is known to favour retention of the Office of An Coimisinir as an independent entity.

The second event was organised in Trinity College Dublin by the branch of Conradh na Gaeilge representing law practitioners.
The Department and An Coimisinir again participated as did law experts. Both events were well attended and served to clarify
many issues around the proposed amendment of the Official Languages Act 2003. Content was made available on the web.
Reminders that amendments had already been made which seemed to the majority to weaken rather than to strengthen the legal
position of Irish may have accounted for the volume of replies received on foot of the consultation process: 1,400 completed
survey forms and 240 submissions. The two existing amendments made during 2011 by the incoming administration were:
changes to the simultaneous publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in both languages and to the section dealing with Placenames.
They are discussed above, Legislation & Translation, and below, An Daingean and related issues. Both occurred prior to the
initiation of the consultation on the same Act to which the Oireachtas had already made these amendments.
Official response to the results of the consultation process was expected by end March 2013. Publication of the proposed
amendments was recently announced for before summer 2014. In the meantime, an unofficial draft document was circulated in
early March 2014. The proposed Heads of Bill are regarded as a significantly weakening of the Official Languages Act of 2003.
Amendments to the Act may follow. The Office of An Coimisinir is an integral part of the Official Languages Act. Changes
to this were announced on 31 October 2012 as discussed in the next section but later reversed.

Changes to the Office of An Coimisinir


The McCarthy Report, while making reference to the issue of translation, had made no recommendation in relation to the
Office of An Coimisinir itself. However, included in the list of proposals on reducing the number of public bodies announced
by the Government on 17 November 2011 was the surprising transfer of the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga to the Office of
the Ombudsman (together with the Office of the Data Commissioner and some functions of the Office of the Ombudsman
for Children). Some move had been signalled in the September 2011 submission from the Department of Arts, Heritage and
the Gaeltacht to the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure (CRE) requested of each department by the (new) Department of
Public Expenditure and Reform.
In the context of the review of the Official Languages Actoptions for the future of the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga
will be considered. Its possible relocation to the Departments offices in Co. Galway will also be assessed. (Page 51)
The eventual Report of the CRE stated (page 66):
The Office of the Ombudsman is now preparing to implement a range of streamlining/amalgamation measures
announced by Government on foot of the CRE, involving the functions of the Data Protection Commissioner, An
Coimisinir Teanga and certain aspects of the Office of the Ombudsman for Children.
Interestingly, the public advertisements for Director General of the Office of the Ombudsman and Office of the Information
Commissioner which were published on 10 February 2012 did not seek competence in Irish as a criterion nor refer to any
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such functions of An Coimisinir Teanga. The advertisement carried the usual statements at the bottom: commitment to equal
opportunity and encouragement of applications under all nine grounds of the Employment Equality Act (these grounds do not
include Irish); welcome for correspondence in Irish (Cuirfear filte roimh chomhfhreagras i nGaeilge).
Irish language organisations mounted protests at the proposed move outside the Houses of the Oireachtas and in Galway.
No savings would accrue from such a move but rather probable costs for staff transfers from Galway Gaeltacht offices to Dublin
might. It was generally regarded as another blow to the Irish language support structure.
While the move was generally seen as part of the ongoing cost cutting exercise, the official argument centred on the radical
re-organisation of the public sector being undertaken. In July 2012, it was admitted that moving the Office would carry little
savings to the State. Both the Irish lobby together with Irish and international experts in linguistic legislation viewed the move,
inter alia, as undermining the independence of the Office of An Coimisinir and diluting the rights of Irish speakers. Kerry
County Council accepted a resolution supporting the independence of the Office and rejecting the merger. The proposal may
also have stimulated the level of response to the consultation on the Official Languages Act. Making the announcement during
the consultation process meant, of course, that respondents had the opportunity to make their views known. As is fairly usual
in such public consultations, advice and help was available, from the Irish lobby in this case, to individuals wishing to respond.
On 30 January 2012 in the Dil, the Minister of State opined that two Ombudsmen working in collaboration might be
quite effective; for his part, the position of Coimisinir would remain and the language would have the same protection as
formerly. The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht held two meetings on 8 and
28 February 2012 where this issue was on the agenda, inter alia. At the first meeting evidence was given by the group Aontas
Phobal na Gaeilge (APG, Irish Community Union); at the second by Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge and Foras na Gaeilge. The
support of the Committee was sought to ensure that the Office would remain an independent statutory Office. An additional
argument for retention of the Office was made referring to the unanimous re-appointment by the Oireachtas of An Coimisinir
in 2011 under the existing regulations as an independent officeholder. His contract as independent Coimisinir, signed by the
President, runs until 1916. Legal issues might then arise from the planned amalgamation. On the other hand, legislation is on
the agenda from the Department of the Environment which could copperfasten Government decisions, although after debate
in the Houses of the Oireachtas:
Department

Bill

Publication
expected

Environment,
Community & Local
Government

Local Government Services Corporate Bodies (Amendment)


(To facilitate re-organisation, merger, abolition of State agencies as
recommended)

2012

A report in The Irish Times (28 July 2012) stated that no formal consultation with the Office of the Ombudsman took
place before the announcement of the merger in November 2011. In fact, the Ombudsmans Office had been attempting to
update its own Irish Language Scheme with the Department since January 2008.
By September 2012, Ministerial statements had not given hope that a policy change might occur in relation to moving the
Office of An Coimisinir, even if the results of the public consultation process demanded this; the Government decision stood
although it was reported that proposals were in preparation. These were eventually announced formally on 31 October 2012
(presumably as part of the departmental drive to find cuts in advance of Budget 2013). In relation to An Coimisinir Teanga,
the decision entailed:
The Office of An Coimisinir Teanga is to merge with the Office of the Ombudsman.
The statutory powers and functions of An Coimisinir Teanga under the Official Languages Act 2003 will transfer to
the Ombudsman and will be delegated to An Coimisinir Teanga under the amending legislation.
An Coimisinir Teanga will continue to be statutorily appointed and exercise independent powers under the Official
Languages Act 2003 and will also continue to be based in the Gaeltacht.
It had been already established that no cost savings would accrue from any merger involving the Office of An Coimisinir
Teanga. No mention is made of moving administrative services to the department (as in the case of arrangements for some of
the cultural institutions also announced by the same department on 31 October 2012); this could, of course, interfere with the
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independence of the Office. While An Coimisinir will continue to be statutorily appointed, the legal position of the rest of staff
is less clear. Clarification may result from debate on the amending legislation to the Official Languages Act, if seen to be required.
Looked at in the round, this Government decision appears to accomplish little more than an attempt to offer some form of
merger (since no savings are involved) to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. This would be a more acceptable
explanation than the possible suspicion that the Coalition Government is gradually dismantling and eroding the legal support
system of the language. An effort to deceive the public was the reported response of Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge to the
decision. Interestingly, this controversial decision was reversed almost 18 months later, in early April 2014, after the resignation
of the first Coimisinir and the appointment of his successor. It was remarked that this occurred in advance of May local and
European elections. In addition, it gave cause for concern that other changes to the Official Languages Act might now be more
extensive even than feared.
Whether other more positive amendments to the Official Languages Act may come is unknown, particularly with regard
to state officials in the Gaeltacht unable to conduct business with citizens through Irish.

With regard to two issues arising from the Official Languages Act (as at November 2012), some clarifications were reported
during 2012. On the issue of costs to departments for services in Irish, questions are posed from time to time by deputies. The
official responses supplied by 12 of 15 departments for the year 2011 provided an overall total spend of 365, 241 on
the linguistic rights of Irish speakers. Percentages of departmental budgets varied from 0.007% (Finance) through 0.002%
(Education and Skills) to 0.0006% (Social Protection). An Coimisinir viewed these figures as verification of his Offices
contention that the cost of services for Irish speakers was relatively small. By August 2012, over 20 language schemes (first and
second) were still outstanding for approval from the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.
NON-LANGUAGE SPECIFIC LEGISLATION
Language, or at least provisions relating to the Irish language, are present in many pieces of legislation, particularly those
pertaining to services to, or for, the public. An Coimisinir Teanga referred to some 140 Acts which give recognition to the
language when speaking in Tralee Institute of Technology in late November 2010.
For example, under the provisions of the Garda Schna Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner must ensure, as far as
possible, that members of the force in Gaeltacht areas should be competent to carry out their duties in Irish, a condition found
lacking in one Gaeltacht area in very recent times (Annual Report 2011, An Coimisinir Teanga, below). Other references
are found under the appropriate headings elsewhere in this work.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT


REPORTS OF AN COIMISINIR TEANGA

Annual Reports 2008 2010


The tables below give some indication of the application of provisions of the Official Languages Act 2003 and the scope of the
workload of the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga.
While all material from the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga may be accessed in either Irish or English, annual reports
clearly state that the Irish language version is the original text. The period 2008 2010 was one of tight restraint in public
spending. The Office of An Coimisinir also showed savings in line with State policy but had staff vacancies in addition (8 posts
are sanctioned for the Office).
Year

Budget

Drawn down

Staff

2008

1,040,000

830,000

2009

960,000

864,438

2010

796,000

743,966

Advice on controlling costs from the Office to public bodies included: provision of bilingual material in electronic format;
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online services as much as possible; cooperation between related organisations; recruitment of bilingual staff. The Office
facilitates a support network for public bodies with confirmed schemes; it serves three sections government departments
and offices; local authorities; other bodies. These three divisions were again seen in the proposals on review of the Act (above).
During 2009, with an embargo on new posts in effect, discussion in the network centred on coping with the moratorium and
an increased workload. The Office of An Coimisinir itself was clearly coming under increasing pressure.
Another form of support lies in the information and advice available from the Office. During 2008, some 3,500 copies
were downloaded of the Guide to the Act, two thirds in English. The remodelled website drew 635,000 hits. By the following
year, 30,000 copies were downloaded and the website received one million hits. New Regulations on signage and stationery
published on 1 October 2008, came into effect on 1 March 2009. Subsequently, on this and other matters, the Office received
377 requests seeking advice. These regulations, (Statutory Instrument No 391 of 2008), arise from section 9 of the Act in
relation to the use of Irish or Irish and English. Advertising and live oral announcements remain to be clarified.
An Coimisinir presents two gold medals annually: to the students with highest marks in the thesis or research essay as part
of the course on Bilingual Practice at Fiontar, Dublin City University (DCU), and on the Sociolinguistics course at National
University of Ireland Galway (NUIG).
A bilingual educational resource for second level schools was prepared and tested in several school types during the first
term of the 2010-2011 school year. Encompassing language rights and Irish, within a human rights context, it was intended to
be used with the Civic, Social & Political Education course, once funding for distribution became available. It was eventually
launched, in multi-media format, on 27 September 2011.
Given the recurring arguments from some quarters with regard to the cost of translation incurred by official bodies due
to the provisions of the Official Languages Act in relation to policy documents of public interest, a significant item is found
in the 2010 Annual Report. In the case of Clare County Councils development plan 2011 2017, the body had pleaded lack
of resources when informing the Office of An Coimisinir of not supplying the draft plan simultaneously in Irish. In fact, the
overall cost of the plan turned out to be 361,868 of which the Irish translation, which was carried out during the official
investigation, cost 10,112 or 2.7%.
An Coimisinir sees his Office as performing three distinct roles: as independent ombudsman service; as compliance
agency; as advisory body on statutory language rights and duties. He has shown absolute impartiality and independence in all
aspects of his work, whether in following his powers to the letter, or in speaking publicly about Irish in the education system
or about the impossibility of operating language schemes in the absence of Irish-competent staff or about the crisis in the
Gaeltacht, exacerbated when official services are not available in the community language or, in relation to the 20-Year Strategy,
that it would be better abandoned if not fully implemented efficiently and speedily. Having been appointed by the President
in March 2004, his first 6-year term ended in 2010. He was unanimously accepted by resolution of the Oireachtas on the
recommendation of the Government and duly re-appointed by the President for another six years in early 2010. The relevant
Joint Oireachtas Committee debated and endorsed re-appointment on 17 February 2010.

Complaints

New Complaints from the Public 2008-2010


Year

Number

Gaeltacht

Outside Gaeltacht

Dublin region

2008

600

32%

68%

majority

2009

687

24%

76%

incl. 38%

2010

700

18%

82%

incl. 41%

All complaints may not necessarily be completed in the year in which they are made. 18 from 2008 were added to the 687
new complaints of 2009. Of this 705 total, advice was given in the case of 409 complaints and 255 more were examined
and resolved. At year end 2009, the remaining 41 were brought forward to 2010. Similarly, at year end 2010, 48 complaints
remained open.
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The focus of complaints over the period dealt in general with lack of service in Irish. They ranged from replies in English
only to correspondence in Irish with officialdom; from lack of official documentation to lack of personal service (especially in
the Gaeltacht); lack of inspection services to lacks in health services in Irish; from websites to removing length marks on names
in Irish before inputting to computers. Problems with road and directional signs also featured.
In relation to lack of either information or personal health services, An Coimisinir pointed to the Ipsos Mori survey
commissioned by the Health Service Executive (HSE) itself in 2007 which revealed that 84% of the community in the main
Gaeltacht areas would choose to obtain services in Irish, if on equal terms and of similar standard as services in English.
An indication of the sources of complaints made by the public were given in the 2008 report.

Sources of Complaints
Year/Body

2006

2007

2008

Government departments/offices

27%

23%

26%

Local authorities

28%

27%

19%

Health authorities

6%

9%

7%

Other State organisations

39%

41%

48%

By 2009 and 2010, local authorities were the source of the largest number of complaints reported: 2009: 36%; 2010: 46.5%.

Compliance Monitoring and Audits


From 2006 to 2010, 148 audits covering 256 bodies were completed. 42 formal audits of the operation of schemes at different
stages were undertaken in 2008. In the final audit of fifteen schemes which were three years in operation, all commitments
made were implemented in six; time scales for improved implementation were agreed with seven; agreement was not reached
with the remaining two and statutory investigations ensued. In 2009, 39 schemes were audited: 21 at the end of the first year of
their scheme and 18 at the end of their third year, that is at the end of their first scheme. Only 22% had properly implemented
the commitments they had promised and agreement had to found with the remaining high number of 78%. During 2010
audits took place of 33 schemes: 9 at the end of the first year of the initial scheme and 24 at the end of 3rd year. Of the latter
24, 17 had problems of implementation; with 15 of these a satisfactory outcome was reached but the remaining 2 went the
route of formal investigation. In the case of 3 others, the Office could not verify if they were fully operational.
Several other examples of specific compliance monitoring took place during 2009 and 2010 as detailed below.

Monitoring of telephone service


Based on commitments in schemes agreed in 2005 and 2006 with some thirty public bodies, testing of their basic telephone
service to the public took place during November/December 2010. Basic service means the company name and greeting and
transfer to an Irish speaker to deal with customer or client queries. While the bodies were informed of impending tests, timing
of the tests was not disclosed. Full compliance was found in 43% of cases; 29% were in partial compliance while 28% were in
breach of their own commitments. These results were hardly satisfactory, given that the schemes were in place for at least four
years. Proposals were made for improvement during 2011.

Monitoring of recommendations of investigations


Recommendations made by An Coimisinir are an integral part of the findings of formal investigations. These cannot be
ignored. In any case, without implementation of recommendations, the original problem is likely to continue. Investigations
relate to a specific issue, not to the general approach of bodies to their linguistic obligations.
As part of the business plan for the Office for 2009, the process of monitoring the implementation of recommendations in the case
of investigations from 2007 and 2008 was begun. All proved satisfactory but two, both from 2008: Iarnrd ireann in relation to a rail
ticket under Transport Act 1950, Section 57 (2) which led to ongoing discussion; Department of Education and Science in the matter of
the issue of Guidelines for Teachers, in accordance with the Education Act 1998, Section 7 (2) (d), which also led to ongoing discussion.
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Monitoring took place during 2010 of recommendations made on investigations conducted during the previous year,
2009. Again the results were, in general, satisfactory. One public body, however, continued to prove non-compliant with regard
to two reports made: the Health Service Executive both in the case of their Language Scheme for the Western Region and also
in the public information campaign conducted for the swine flu. In this instance, An Coimisinir considered that he had no
choice but to act on section 26 (5) of the Official Languages Act and to present a report to each of the Houses of the Oireachtas
on the case. This was the first time such a step was required.

Monitoring of compliance with the regulations issued on stationery


These regulations, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 391 of 2008 under section 9 of the Official Languages Act, although signed
by the Minister on 1 October 2008, did not come into effect until 1 March 2009. An audit was conducted in the same year
of 25 Government Departments and Offices. By year end, 21 had replied. Of these, 17 had new stationery after 1 March
but no more than 7 of these were in complete compliance although attention had been paid to the regulations by the other
respondents. This monitoring was continued in 2010.

Monitoring of the draft development plans and development plans of local authorities
The obligations of local authorities in respect of development plans are governed by two Acts: the Planning and Development
Act 2000, Section 9 (1 & 2) which requires authorities to prepare plans every 6 years; the Official Languages Act 2003, Section
10 (a), and accompanying Commencement Order SI No. 32 of 2004, which requires simultaneous publication in both
languages of policy documents of public interest.
Of all 33 authorities audited by means of a letter, 27 replies were received by end 2009: 6 had published no draft plans; 7
did have development plans but the draft plans were exempt as having been published before the Commencement Order of 1
May 2004. Of those publishing plans, the results were as follows: 90% had published their development plan in both languages
but less than 50% had done so in the case of the draft plan; however, simultaneous publishing in both languages (as statutorily
required) was present in barely 50% of cases, whether of the draft plan or of the development plan. In those authorities with
Gaeltacht regions, 50% had published their draft plans simultaneously; this went up to 80% in the case of the development
plans.
When this process is complete, it is intended to issue a note on best practice.

Monitoring of annual reports and audited accounts/financial statements of bodies


For those public bodies listed in the schedules attached to the Official Languages Act 2003, simultaneous publication in both
languages of any annual reports or financial accounts issued is an obligation. By means of a questionnaire the Office audited
in 2009 the 31 third level institutions listed in relation to this requirement. By year end, 23 replies had been received. Of
these, 6 had issued no annual report and 7 no financial statement in the period since 2003; 16 had issued bilingual reports
simultaneously and 15 financial statements similarly.

Investigations
Formal investigations refer to very specific instances and not to the overall conduct of public bodies in their linguistic
obligations.
In 2008, the Office undertook an increased list of formal investigations: seventeen which included two brought forward.
Breaches of statutory obligations were found in fifteen examples.
Nineteen formal investigations were in hand during 2009, two from the previous year; eleven had arisen from complaints
and the remainder from compliance monitoring by the Office. Of sixteen completed by year end, thirteen were in breach but
three were not; two more were discounted and one was brought forward to 2010.
Eleven new investigations were conducted during 2010 and one brought forward. All were concluded except one.

Language Schemes
Since some 600 public bodies are on the schedule accompanying the Act, it is possible to understand the concern of An
Coimisinir that both momentum and confidence might be lost as a consequence of any delay by the relevant department, the
Department of the Gaeltacht, in confirming schemes submitted or in requesting first schemes from designated bodies (Annual
Report 2008). Nevertheless, in the years under review here, staff shortages were prevalent and personnel in the said department
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were much engaged with the preparation of the 20-Year Strategy and with publicising the provisions of the Act. Departmental
overview on some 80 schemes (both first and second schemes) was still outstanding in mid-2012.
The table shows the number of all schemes in operation at the end of the year 2010. The Minister with responsibility for
the language directs a public body to prepare a draft scheme for examination by his department. Confirmation follows once
the scheme is satisfactorily agreed. The role of An Coimisinir Teanga then comes into play. There are two significant aspects
of publicisation with schemes: public notices requesting submissions at the point of preparation; once the scheme has been
confirmed, actively publicising its existence and content both internally and externally. For example, a public notice requesting
submissions on the proposed scheme appeared for Seirbhs Thithe an Oireachtais in April 2010. The voluntary Comhdhil
Nisinta na Gaeilge provides a useful coordination service for submissions based on a template of requirements under the Act.

Language Schemes
Year

Schemes

Number of Public Bodies

2004

01

01

2005

22

35

2006

18

36

2007

29

55

2008

15

28

2009

15

26

2010

05

10

Total

105

191

Speaking at Tstal 2012 (14 January), An Coimisinir provided information for 2011: one new scheme and zero second
schemes had been ratified by the Minister during the year with the result that 66 schemes had not been renewed, these being 22
months on average non-functional. While commitments made in a first scheme continue to hold, the aim of the consecutive
schemes process was to build gradually on the previous scheme rather than to allow matters slow down and revert to little
of significance being achieved. The year 2011 was, of course, a year of no small change for the Government department in
question as detailed below. It was then towards the end of 2011 that the process of drafting its own first scheme (as a new
department with varying functions) was set in train.
The First Scheme of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Official Languages Act 2003
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is in the process of drafting its first Irish language Scheme in
accordance with Section 11 of the Official Languages Act 2003. The primary objective of the Act is to ensure better
availability and a higher standard of public services through Irish.
The Department has invited submissions in relation to the preparation of the Scheme from interested parties. The
closing date for the receipt of these was 19 January 2012.

Reports to the Houses of the Oireachtas


Ensuring compliance by public bodies with relevant legislation and with language schemes is one of the chief functions of
An Coimisinir Teanga. This is conducted through advice, support, audits and investigations. Recommendations are issued
in reports and the implementation of recommendations audited after a reasonable period. Otherwise no progress would be
achieved in providing public services through Irish. In general, whether issued in informal or formal manner, public bodies
endeavour to implement the recommendations issued. Public bodies may appeal any recommendations made on foot of an
investigation to the High Court if they so wish. Once all the processes available have been followed, but implementation has
152 More Facts About Irish

still not taken place, and An Coimisinir cannot take any additional measures, he may lay a report on the case before the Houses
of the Oireachtas to take whichever measures deemed appropriate by them. Such a step is considered of high import and, over
the years, An Coimisinir had not found it necessary to take such a step until July 2011.
Monitoring took place during 2010 of recommendations made on investigations conducted during the previous year,
2009. While the results were, in general, satisfactory, one public body continued to prove non-compliant with regard to two
reports made. This concerned the Health Service Executive both in the case of their Language Scheme for the Western Region
and also in the public information campaign conducted in the case of the swine flu. In this instance, An Coimisinir considered
that he had no choice but to act on section 26 (5) of the Official Languages Act and to present a report to each of the Houses
of the Oireachtas on the case. He noted that this was the first time such a step was required. The report was so laid in July 2011
accompanied by a second on another public body.
The National Museum of Ireland is required under the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997 to have sufficient staff
to provide services in Irish. On foot of a complaint received in November 2008 in the case of a calendar of events available
solely in English, An Coimisinir initially began an informal investigation. This having failed, a formal investigation followed
and a report issued in May 2009. Despite repeated contacts and correspondence in the interim, an English only version was
published once again in January 2011. The recommendations of the report having not been implemented, and the body being
in breach of its obligations under subsections 30 (1) and 11 (2) l of the 1997 Act, An Coimisinir laid a report, the second of
his tenure, on this case before the Houses of the Oireachtas in July 2011.
In the case of the National Museum, he noted that since the coming into effect of the Official Languages Act in May 2004, the
Museum had advertised 103 vacancies. Knowledge of Irish was not sought. In only 17 was knowledge of Irish deemed desirable.
In neither case did these two public bodies make recourse to the High Court.

Annual Report 2011


An Coimisinir addressed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions on 2 May 2012 in the
wake of the publication of his report for 2011 in late April. Much had occurred over the previous year and An Coimisinir
took the opportunity to refer to those events. The overall picture presented would inspire little confidence in political or
Government intentions towards language promotion. The tone of what was to follow was set from the beginning.

Context
As part of the context of his address on the Annual Report of his Office for 2011, An Coimisinir alluded to the positive signs
in relation to the use of Irish: increases of 7% on the numbers who know Irish and among those who use Irish on a daily basis
outside education (increase of 3% in the Gaeltacht). However, in his view:
The statistics would be even better if the state delivered on its promise in providing support for the languagethere is a
considerable gap between the wishes of the public in relation to the language and the efforts of the state on the issue.
The status of the language is confirmed in the constitution and in the law but there is a failure to acknowledge that status
appropriately when words arent matched by deeds. The status of Irish as a community language in the Gaeltacht was never as
vulnerable as it is now; on the other hand, the last native speaker of the language in the Gaeltacht has not yet been born.
It is an accepted fact that Irish will not survive as the community language of choice in the Gaeltacht if the language lacks
status or usage and is not used in every aspect of the life of the country, for example, here in the Houses of the Oireachtas, in
the courts, in the daily work of the public service, in business, religion and sport. And the language will not survive in those
spheres if it doesnt remain as a living community language in the Gaeltacht. These two issues are inseparably intertwined and
one is dependent on the other.
While education as a means to acquire fluency, opportunities to use that fluency, and protection for Irish in the Gaeltacht were
essential requirements, in the view of An Coimisinir so was:
To provide leadership and set the example.

Investigations
On the issue of investigations, he spoke of the two previous examples of non-compliance (Health Service Executive Western
Region and National Museum) laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas in July 2011. To these he added a third based on two
investigations during 2011 concerning the Department of Social Protection and non-compliance with awarding bonus marks
for language proficiency in internal promotion competitions. An Coimisinir remarked that:
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If bonus marks are not awarded for proficiency in the two official languages in internal promotion competitions at a
time when little recruitment is taking place in the Public Service and at a time when the work of Gaeleagras, the Irish
language training body for the Public Service has been all but terminated, it is very difficult to see how the quantity
and quality of state services through Irish could be improved.
He also addressed the seriousness of a situation where three public bodies, which did not appeal his findings to the High Court,
chose instead to ignore what were statutory obligations. These three exceptions to the more usual system of good cooperation
appeared to An Coimisinir:
To challenge the rights of members of the Houses of the Oireachtas to enact legislation, if state bodies can simply
disregard or ignore provisions.

Complaints
The number of complaints in relation to citizen access to services from public bodies had risen to 734, the highest annual
number since the establishment of the Office and a rise of 5% on the previous year.
During 2011, the number of formal statutory investigations commenced was 15 and one carried on from 2010. One
concerned lack of Garda (Police) service through Irish in a Gaeltacht area, leading An Coimisinir to remark:
Only one out of nine Garda assigned to Gaoth Dobhair had Irish. The State can hardly expect the Irish language
to survive as a community language in the Gaeltacht if it continues to force people in those areas to carry out their
business with the State through English. This does not apply to An Garda Sochna alone but to every state institution
and organisation which provides services to Gaeltacht communities.

Language Schemes
The gravity of the fact that three public bodies chose to ignore statutory obligations in relation to Irish was surpassed by what
An Coimisinir described as the crisis arising out of delay by the department involved in confirming language schemes. At that
date (2 May 2012), that department itself (established 1 June 2011) had no confirmed scheme. He is led to conclude:
The statistics paint a stark picture. There can be but one conclusion: this important element of the language legislation
has been set adrift and is now, for all intents and purposes, in crisis. The fault lies not with the language schemes
themselves and many have been proven successful. The system of confirming language schemes has failed and I
regret to say that it is practically impossible now to recreate confidence in it. It is a systematic failure and gives rise to
questions concerning the institutional infrastructure which allows that statutory provisions are not implemented as
envisaged by the authors of the legislation, the members of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Merger
An Coimisinir alluded briefly to the merger proposed in November 2011:
During 2011 the Government announced that, as part of its programme of Public Service reform, it had decided to
merge the functions of our Office with the Ombudsmans Office and that this arrangement would be implemented
during 2012 in the context of the review of the [Official Languages] Act. I was not consulted on the matter in advance
of the decision nor have I been since and I have no further information on the Governments intentions in this regard.
PROGRESS OR NOT?
An Coimisinir supplied a list of possible causes for the rather disappointing findings in 2009 that 78% of public bodies were
not fully implementing the schemes they had themselves prepared. The list included:
lack of initial analysis of all factors and implications;
lack of ownership by senior management;
lack of an implementation and report structure;
lack of an implementation plan and associated resources;
lack of an appropriate monitoring system;
lack of context, scheme not embedded in the public bodys structure and provision of services.

In other comments, it was clear that not only was information on the existence of the scheme lacking within the

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organisational structure but that, as a result, responsibility for implementation was either unclear, diluted or diffused. The
lack of bilingual staff he understandably considers alarming particularly in view of the minuscule 1.5% of administrative staff
available to deliver services in Irish in the Department of Education and Skills.
Nevertheless, An Coimisinir is of the view (Annual Report 2010), as are some commentators, that gradual progress is
being made in the provision of State services through Irish and that the level of awareness especially is on the rise, both among
public bodies and in public perception and increasing confidence. While stating that:
There may be those who believe that too much focus is placed on those instances where public bodies have failed to
properly fulfil their statutory duties, with too little recognition or credit given in the many instances where public
bodies excel in providing services through Irish,

An Coimisinir also cites several examples of voluntary good practice. Ensuring compliance with, or investigating, seemingly
minor infringements are not seen as unimportant by the Irish language community. Since many public bodies are beginning
from a relatively low base of service in Irish, every small step is a step forward and every deviation is a retrograde step, leading
inevitably to lack of service.
Normalisation is, apparently, albeit slowly, becoming a more accepted feature of what he has described (Report 2010) as
creating a new space for the language in the public administration system of the countryas one element of the States language
policy which complements the language in education, in the arts, in Gaeltacht life and in Irish life generally. Nevertheless,
problems occur. In May 2010, in the Supreme Court, the Central Applications Office (CAO) Limited finally won its legal
challenge against the Ministers designation of it as public body falling within the meaning of the Official Languages Act. The
High Court had dismissed its challenge but the Supreme Court allowed the appeal of the CAO against that ruling. While the
CAO acts on behalf of over 40 third level institutions, it is itself constituted as a limited company. On the other hand, the
National Transport Authority (dars Nisinta Iompair), through a company, in January 2012 replaced, with monolingual
English cards, bilingual information cards for passengers previously issued to taxis on the argument that such information
cards did not fall within the rubric of stationery and signs, a rubric to which the Authority adhered. The advice that an Irishlanguage version could be downloaded by any taxi user seeking same was also provided. During 2011, electronic timetables
were supplied at some bus stops in Dublin city which gave expected arrival times for certain buses. These were erected by
Dublin City Council on behalf of the National Transport Company. A campaign was mounted seeking that the signs (giving
placeneames) be bilingual as were the signs on the buses. This was finally achieved in December 2011.While quibbling over
what may appear minor infringements is not perhaps regarded as helpful, what is really at issue is the political will and
institutional attitude towards the active and willing provision of an enhancing environment for Irish and its speakers.
During the period 2007-2011, it was not the role of An Coimisinir, but rather the role of the Department of the Gaeltacht
which appears to have been lacking particularly in the later years since it is the Minister who directs public bodies to prepare
schemes (first or following schemes) and then ratifies them for implementation after any required amendments. Unfortunately,
this process had more or less ground to a halt in recent years to the point where it may prove impossible to renew the
original impetus or confidence. However, the consultation process on the Act may result in an improved approach and several
recommendations are already available. In addition, the Department is examining the current ratification process, a process
which is probably a time-consuming exercise. Weaknesses had already been identified in a previous assessment conducted by
the Department in 2008.
For all these reasons, the actions of the current Fine Gael/Labour Party Government will have huge significance for the
future, whether in relation to the review of the Official Languages Act, to the active operation of the 20-Year Strategy, to Irish
in education or in the arts. A financial recession gives pause for thought: to ascertain the possible impact of any actions and to
lay the correct foundation for the future without losing the impetus as is now apparent. So far, from March to December 2011,
the omens have not been encouraging to the Irish language lobby. Two amendments were sanctioned to the Official Languages
Act even before public consultation took place on the review signalled in the Programme for Government. Consultation was
eventually announced on 3 November; two weeks later on 17 November, the (new) Department of Public Expenditure and
Reform announced as part of its Public Service Reform Plan a merger of the functions of Language Commissioner with the
Ombudsmans Office and this to be processed in the context of the ongoing review of the Official Languages Act 2003.
Joined-up strategic intent appeared lacking, in the view of commentators.

The address of An Coimisinir to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on 2 May 2012 was uncompromising: political leadership
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and example is required in a totally avoidable situation where three public bodies, including a government department, can
choose to ignore statutory obligations; where the responsible department has allowed, through delay, a situation to develop
where confidence has ebbed in the system of language schemes, the heart of the Official Languages Act; where public bodies
as close to the community as An Garda Sochna cannot serve the Gaeltacht through Irish; where his own Office is threatened
without the courtesy of consultation.
The year 2013, however, witnessed even worse news. The public event known as Tstal na Gaeilge, hosted by Comhdhil
Nisinta na Gaeilge, was held on 16 February and attended by An Coimisinir. The effects of continued State inaction were
demonstrated in a range of addresses given by academics, journalists, activists and ordinary citizens, from all regions of the
country. A conference on language rights on the theme of sharing best practice was jointly organized by the Office of An
Coimisinir, Fiontar at DCU and the Language Policy, Planning and Research Unit at the University of Cardiff and held in
Dublin on 23-24 May 2013. It was well attended by Language Commissioners from around the world and it was agreed to
set up an International Association of Language Commissioners. The address given by An Coimisinir pointed once more to
the crisis in the official implementation of the core element of the Official Languages Act, the system of languages schemes
across official bodies. On 13 September, An Coimisinir marked the inauguration of Coliste na hireann (formerly the training
agency, Gaelchultr) with another trenchant address, which traced the history of State failure to ensure bilingual competence
in those serving the public, especially in the Gaeltacht.
On 4 December 2013, in his address to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions,
An Coimisinir announced that he would be resigning on 23 February 2014 on the completion of 10 years in the post of
Coimisinir, citing official failure to implement language legislation designed to ensure the rights of citizens to use Irish with
organs of State. He pointed to the fact that three-quarters of statutory language schemes had expired without renewal by the
end of 2012 leading to what he described as a situation of compulsory English. The second editorial of The Irish Times of
9December 2013 on the matter was headed Fudge, farce, falsehood. He gave his final address to the Oireachtas Sub-Committee
on the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language on 23 January 2014. In reference to his decision to step down from his role, he
had this to say:
The choice I had was to stand aside from my appointment as Coimisinir Teanga on principle to draw attention to these
matters or to continue in my role and, consequently, to participate in a pretence.
On his resignation, expression of interest in the post were duly sought by the Department in January with an early closing
date of 30 January 2014. It was reported that 21 replies were received. On 11 February 2014, the Minister of State announced
that Rnn Domhnaill (38) from An Cheathr Rua, had accepted the nomination from the Government. He was well known
to Irish speakers in his post as political correspondent with Nuacht RTE/TG4. He will have much to do to ensure some forward
progress on the issues identified by his predecessor.
On 5 March 2014, the President held a reception for the outgoing Coimisinir which was attended by representatives
of the Irish community and voluntary sector. The President took the opportunity to express his personal disappointment
and concern at the difficulties which were proving a barrier to citizens being able to interact with the State through Irish and
commented on the need for careful consideration of them.

THE LEGISLATURE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION


HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS AND GOVERNMENT
On 26 May 2011, the Dil had an all-day session of statements on the Irish language. A similar event was held in the Seanad
on 9 June. Both concerned progress on the 20-Year Strategy for Irish. This was a pattern that continued into 2012. Occasional,
and sometimes more extended, use of Irish in both the 30th and 31st Dil appear to occur more frequently and spontaneously
than previously. This may be due to several causes: more competence among deputies; more visibility and easier acceptance
of such occasional natural use of Irish in the community in general; the effects of the Official Languages Act 2003; language
classes organised by Gaeleagras, the State agency, or by other providers, and undertaken by politicians; example given from the
top down in some cases; and, perhaps, taking advantage of political opportunity. Such debates on language are often bilingual.
It is traditional to hold parliamentary debate in Irish around St. Patricks Day, during the annual Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish
Week now much longer than a week of Irish events but retaining the traditional title).
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In relation to classes for politicians, Gaeleagras na Seirbise Poibl (below) had been involved in this work until it was
wound down. As part of its campaign, Is leor beirt (Twos Enough), Conradh na Gaeilge began the academic year 2011-2012
by offering breakfast sessions to politicians and a panel of volunteers willing to work one-to-one with any politician wishing to
re-activate their skills in Irish. Perhaps, however, the over-riding reason for increased use of Irish in parliament lay in ongoing
developments during the period 2008-2012 concerning the language, both positive and negative. On one hand, the 20-Year
Strategy, the Gaeltacht and dars na Gaeltachta; on the other changes in broadcasting, in Irish syllabuses and in funding for
Irish language organisations as well as possible absorption of COGG into the Department of Education. Indeed, the number
of interventions through Irish in both Houses (some arising from parliamentary questions), and of meetings of deputations
with Oireachtas Committees through Irish was notable in particular during 2010 and 2011.Nevertheless, one columnist,
writing in Irish, gave a list of the recurring clichs used by deputies during such debates. They included: welcome for debate on
Irish language affairs accompanied by regret that it does not occur more frequently; learning Irish in school as a disagreeable
experience; reference to whichever personality has recently mastered the language as having done more for it than anybody
else; condemnation of compulsory Irish and fanatics on behalf of the language; praise for Irish-medium radio, television and
education.
An article in Irish, of January 2011, based on official documents released under the 30-year rule, gave an interesting insight
on attitudes to Irish in the Houses of the Oireachtas at the end of the 1970s. The State board, Bord na Gaeilge, put forward
to Government a proposal on furthering the use of Irish at political level, to encourage more use of the language in other
public domains. It was intended to launch the approach at a media event during Easter week. A cross-party committee was
established. Tensions arose, however, particularly in relation to answers to parliamentary questions being given in Irish only
from the Minister with responsibility for the language and on the issue of the proposed press event. Agreement could not be
reached between the Fianna Fil Government stance and the objections of Fine Gael in opposition. The matter gradually lost
impetus.
The independent body, the Referendum Commission, was set up by the Referendum Act 1998. It issues impartial
information together with the wording of any proposed addition to the Constitution, or change to an existing provision. As is
usual, such a booklet was issued to every household, in bilingual format, in advance of the vote on two proposals for change to
be voted on 27 October 2011 and on the childrens referendum of 10 November 2012.
GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR LANGUAGE AFFAIRS

Context
No change occurred in the title of the independent department established in 1956, Roinn na Gaeltachta, and little in the main
functions of that department, until the 1990s. It had from time to time been under the aegis of the Department of Finance
or the Department of the Taoiseach. In 1993, new functions were added and the entity was renamed the Department of Arts,
Culture and the Gaeltacht; given the range of functions this department had both a Minister and a Minister of State were
appointed, a state which is still current (2011-2012). In 1997, the new title was Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and
the Islands, again with two ministers. By 2002, it was the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
During the latter part of the life of the 30th Dil, the departmental title changed once more in March 2010, following
a Cabinet reshuffle of ministerial responsibilities arising out of the resignation of two ministers, for differing reasons. In the
pre-shuffle media commentary and post-Bord Snip (McCarthy Report on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes)
suggestion that the ministry with responsibility for language affairs be abolished, various fates were proposed for the department.
During this period, the main opposition party (Fine Gael) promised a senior minister for language affairs if they were in power.
In the event, very little change occurred to the language ministry at the time but the former department of community, rural
and Gaeltacht affairs, which had responsibility for the language, became the renamed Department of Community, Equality and
Gaeltacht Affairs. A new minister and minister for state were appointed. This department was intended to have responsibility
also for two further policy areas: social inclusion and family policy which moved from the former department of social and
family affairs; equality, disability, integration and human rights which moved from the Department of Justice, [Equality] and
Law Reform. The additional policy areas were under the aegis of a minister for State (a member of the Green Party).
When the 30th Dil met on the morning 20 January 2011, aware of the resignations of five ministers, neither the Green
Party nor the Taoiseach were present. Given the uproar that ensued, the House was suspended until the Taoiseach arrived.
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Instead of another reshuffle, he announced the reassignment of the five ministries now vacant to existing ministers: Transport
was then added to Community, Equality and Gaeltacht. On Monday 24 January 2011, the Green Party left the Coalition
(as had been intimated in December 2010) citing lack of communication on important political matters. This left two other
ministries vacant. These too were reassigned: Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to Community, Equality and
Gaeltacht Affairs plus Transport. This lasted until the new 31st Dil convened on 9 March 2011. With regard to language
matters, the former Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport was renamed as the Department of Arts, Heritage and the
Gaeltacht. The new department was formally allocated responsibility, inter alia, for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and
the Islands, the National Famine Commemoration, Waterways Ireland (cross border body). This newest configuration of
functions, entitled Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, had a senior minister (Fine Gael), as formerly promised by Fine Gael
when in opposition. A Fine Gael Minister of State, from the Gaeltacht, was also appointed to Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Heritage functions were transferred with effect from 1 May 2011. In all, this department now includes: built and natural
heritage; arts, film, music, cultural institutions; Irish language, Gaeltacht schemes and offshore islands. The department works
then with the various agencies under its aegis: e.g. dars na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeilge, the Arts Council, the Irish Film
Board, the Council of National Cultural Institutions.
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS, HERITAGE AND THE GAELTACHT (2011)

Functions
In the light of changes and amendments to the Official Languages Act 2003 (above), the self-description of this new current
Department which includes language is of interest.
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht was established on the 1st of June 2011 on foot of the reorganisation of Government Departments announced by the Taoiseach in March 2011, bringing together functions
from the former Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and
Local Government and the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The Department oversees the conservation, preservation, protection and presentation of Irelands heritage and cultural
assets. The Department also seeks to promote the Irish language and to support the Gaeltacht. The key functions
under its remit include:
Arts, Culture, Film and Music, as well as oversight of Irelands cultural institutions
Irelands Built and Natural Heritage;
The Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands; and
North/South Co-operation insofar as it relates to Waterways Ireland, An Foras Teanga and the wider functions of
the Department.
Given the range of functions of the re-organised Department, a large number of other agencies are listed which are funded
from within the Departments Vote Group. The Department works with these bodies and agencies to ensure a co-ordinated
approach to fulfilling the Departments mandate. In addition to the cross border implementation agencies An Foras Teanga
(Foras na Gaeilge plus Tha Boord o Ulstr Scotch) and Waterways Ireland, which are co-sponsored by the Department (along
with the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland) in accordance with the terms of the British-Irish
Agreement Act 1999, the other clearly language-related bodies under the aegis of the Department are An Coimisinir Teanga
and dars na Gaeltachta. The list of agencies also includes the:
Arts Council
National Archives
Irish Manuscripts Commission
National Museum of Ireland
National Gallery of Ireland; Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA); Crawford Gallery
National Concert Hall
National Library of Ireland; Chester Beatty Library; Governors & Guardians of Marshs Library
Culture Ireland
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Heritage Council
Irish Film Board

Language, schemes and funding


The following statement is made on the Irish language. Policy is expressed as a core task followed by what may be described
as four illustrative forms of support in pursuing this task.
The Irish Language
The Irish language is a vital part of the living heritage of the State and an important natural resource in the Gaeltacht.
A core task of the Department is to promote
- the cultural, economic and social welfare of the Gaeltacht as the main source of the living language;
- the reversal of the decline of Irish as the principal means of communication in the Gaeltacht; and
- the extension of its use in the rest of the country, both North and South.
The Department supports and works closely with other agencies, particularly An Foras Teanga and dars na
Gaeltachta, in pursuing its objectives.
The Irish Language Support Schemes fund various Irish language organisations and initiatives.
The Official Languages Act 2003 provides a statutory framework for the delivery of State services through the Irish
Language.
The Placenames Branch researches the placenames of Ireland and provides authoritative Irish language forms of those
placenames.
The Irish Language Support Schemes comprised the following (in 2011). It is of note that they are partially dependent on
National Lottery funding. The organisations funded include traditional music, the Irish-language National Theatre, community
initiatives and business in the community. Other areas funded relate to third-level digitally-based initiatives.
Irish Language Support Schemes (Current)
The Irish Language Support Schemes are part-financed with receipts from the National Lottery. The objective of this
programme of funding is to provide financial assistance to a range of organisations and activities that support the
promotion of the Irish language outside the Gaeltacht. Organisations that receive annual funding include Comhaltas
Ceoltir ireann; Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe; Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Galway; Gn Mhaigh Eo, Mayo; and Gael Taca, Cork.
The Irish Language Support Schemes also funds initiatives that assist public bodies in implementing the Official
Languages Act and that support the status of Irish as an official and working language of the European Union. These
initiatives include, for example, the development by Fiontar, Dublin City University, of a database of EU terminology
in the Irish language, which includes terminology required for translation of statutory instrument, and an online
database for placenames.
Recent funding for these organisations and initiatives (2011) is shown as follows under Current and Capital.
Current Funding (sanctioned 2011)
Gael-Taca, Cork

59,616

Gaillimh le Gaeige, Galway

132,000

Gn Mhaigh Eo, Co. Mayo

120,000

Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, Galway

323,920

Comhaltas Ceoltir ireann Core Funding

475,000

Comhaltas Ceoltir ireann Development Fund

1,500.000

Fiontar EU Terminology

301,348

Fiontar Internship Programme for graduates of Irish

154,599

Fiontar Placenames

189,067

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Irish Language Dictionary Project Royal Irish Academy, Dublin

135,597

Cumann Scoildrmaochta, Dublin

40,000

DVD for Irish-German textbook

640

Glr na nGael, Rth Cairn, Co Meath

40,000

Raidi R-R, Dublin

32,000

Spleodar, Galway

33,120

NUI, Maynooth (Internation Conference on Celtic Studies)

37,000

Network for Promoting Linguistic Diversity (NPLD)

30,000

Welsh Language Board


TOTAL

3,563,267

A full account is given of the 2011 funding to the organisation which promotes traditional music at home and abroad.
Comhaltas Ceoltir ireann
Funding is provided to Comhaltas Ceoltir ireann under the following headings:
Core-Funding
Core-Funding is provided to enable Comhaltas to promote the use of Irish within the organisation and to assist with
administrative costs.
In 2011 core-funding of 475,000 has been allocated by the Department.
Development Programme
Since 2006 funding has been provided to the organisation to support a development programme that is being
implemented on a regional basis.
In 2011, funding of 1,500,000 has been allocated by the Department for the Development Programme.
Capital expenditure on language support schemes in 2010 assisted two centres run by Conradh na Gaeilge (Gaelic League) and
one by the youth organisation, Coliste na bhFiann. Such centres are a feature of the 20-Year Strategy for Irish. For 2011, the
Irish-language Theatre received a grant.
Irish Language Support Schemes (Capital)
In recent years funding under this subhead has been provided to facilitate the establishment of Irish language social
and cultural centres in the main urban areas. In 2010 funding was provided to 3 projects, namely:
- Ceannras, Conradh na Gaeilge, Harcourt Street, Dublin;
- Dn Mhuire, Conradh na Gaeilge, Nenagh , Co Tipperary;
- Coliste na bhFiann, Monkstown, Co. Dublin.
Funding for the refurbishment of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe has been approved in 2011.

Gaeltacht
The 20-Year Strategy is cited as the context for support for the Gaeltacht. Existing schemes are also cited.
The Gaeltacht
The Departments objectives with regard to the Gaeltacht
With regard to the Gaeltacht, it is a primary objective of the Department to support the implementation of the 20
Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and, within that context, to promote Irish as the main language of
the Gaeltacht.
The approach which the Department is taking to support these objectives can be divided as follows:
language-centred schemes

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running assistance for language-centred organisations and projects


capital assistance for language-centred projects
Mention is also mde of dars na Gaeltachta and the various schemes supported by the Department in the Gaeltacht. These
include:
- the Language Assistants Scheme, the Summer Camps Scheme, the Sports Training Scheme, running and capital
assistance; and
- the Irish Language Learners Scheme and the Irish Language Colleges.
Some of these schemes are treated elsewhere in this work, Learners Scheme (Scim na bhFoghlaimeoir, Chapter 2) and
Colleges (Colist Samhraidh, Chapter 4). The objective of these schemes is to reinforce Irish as the spoken language among
young people in the Gaeltacht. The Language Assistants Scheme is described thus:
With regard to the Language Assistants Scheme, the two organisations, Muintearas Teo and Oidhreacht Chorca
Dhuibhne Teo, manage the scheme on behalf of the Department. This service is delivered for the most part through
the network of Gaeltacht primary schools.
From the list of schools, it appears that several post-primary schools benefit from the scheme also. Overall, the number of
participating schools is given as follows:

Language Assistants Scheme


Gaeltacht

Number of participating schools

Cork

Donegal

31

Galway

27

Kerry

15

Mayo

12

Meath

Waterford

Total

98

Grant-aid to third-level institutions


Grant-aid to third-level institutions falls under two headings: at home and abroad. In addition, a system of bursaries was in
operation. The Department describes the grant-aid to domestic institutions under the rubric of advanced language skills to
ensure necessary personnel.
Third Level Education in Ireland
Advanced Irish Language Skills Initiative
The objective of the Advanced Irish Language Skills Initiative is to ensure the availability of qualified persons with
Irish language skills to meet recruitment needs in Ireland and the EU. Under this scheme the Department provides
funding for a range of specialised third level Irish language courses in areas such as translation, interpretation, IT and
law. The scheme is administered by the Department in conjunction with the Higher Education Authority (HEA). In
addition, the fund covered some other costs, for example, the salaries of 2 translators based in Brussels.
There are 8 full-time courses and 2 intensive short-term courses in operation in 2011.
The total funding for this scheme in 2011 amounted to 1.73million.
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These ten courses were as follows:

List of full-time courses in operation in 2011


Course

Third-Level Institution

MA in Ateangaireacht Chomhdhla

National University of Ireland Galway

BA sa Riarachn Gn

Letterkenny Institute of Technology

MA sa Ghaeilge Fheidhmeach

Dublin Institute of Technology

Ard Dioplma san Aistrichn/Dioplma

National University of Ireland

Iarchime san Aistrichn agus Eagarthireacht

Maynooth

Dioplma Iarchime/MA Scrobh & Cumarsid na


Gaeilge (Aistrichin)

University College Dublin

BCL (Dl agus Gaeilge)

University College Cork

Modl sa Ghaeilge

Waterford Institute of Technology

MA Reachtaocht agus Dl

National University of Ireland Galway

List of part-time courses in operation in 2011


Title of course

Body that provides the course

(i) Ardchrsa sa Dltheangeoaocht agus san Aistrichn


Dlthiil

Kings Inns

(ii) Ardchrsa san Aistrichn Dlthiil


(iii)Ardchrsa sa Dl-Chleachtadh tr Ghaeilge
Aistrichn Cipis Dl agus Cipis Stit eile

Europus Teo., Galway

The Department also operates a valuable postgraduate Bursaries Scheme which enables research into Placenames. In
addition, funding is provided for a fellowship to enable an established scholar assist in expediting the making of official
placenames orders. Assessment of applications is conducted by two members of An Coimisin Logainmneacha and the Chief
Officer. Theses must be undertaken in Irish.
Two bursaries are awarded each year for a period of two years, which may be extended to a third year on request.
The bursaries, which are in line with the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
scheme, are worth 16,000 each per year and tuition fees are also paid.

Some examples of grant-funding 2012


Departmental funding during 2012 followed the same general pattern as in previous years but with some reductions and with
definite emphasis on aspects of Government policy, e.g. the 20-Year Strategy, youth, the Family Support Scheme, and the
language planning process as laid down in the Gaeltacht Act 20122. Examples, some granted towards the end of the year and
intended for 2013, included:

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Eleven Colist Samhraidh (Irish Summer Colleges)

61,634

Rugby Training Scheme (Corca Dhuibhne)

5,000

Scouts Club (Gaoth Dobhair)

6,965

Gym classes in Connemara primary schools

75,000

Language Assistants and support in Gaeltacht schools

762,378

Scoil Cheoil Shliabh Liag (music school for youth)

4,475

Crann g Arts (Na Doir Beaga)

8,000

Acadamh na hOllscolaochta Gaeilge (Compilation of RnaG broadcast material)

74,738

Trinity College Dublin (voice synthesis project)

470,000

Acadamh na hOllscolaochta Gaeilge (language planning courses and support in the Gaeltacht)

1m

Budget 2013
Several departmental budgets suffered change and reduction for 2013. Since the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
(D/AHG) underwent a reduction of 5.4% (and 10% on the capital allocation), it was clear that some services for the Irish
language and the Gaeltacht would also undergo change. In addition, departments had to make allowance for the EU Presidency
held by Ireland during the first half of 2013. The published estimates under programme expenditure showed the following figures:

D/AHG: Estimates Programme Expenditure 2013


Programme

Estimate
Current

Estimate
Capital

Total

Change over
2012 %

Arts, Culture & Film

107,240,000

18,188,000

125,428,000

-5%

Heritage

37,577,000

6,757,000

*44,334,000

-9%

Irish Language, Gaeltacht & Islands

34,290,000

8,077,000

42,367,000

-5%

North-South Co-operation
(Foras na Gaeilge & Waterways Ireland)

36,178,000

4,073,000

40,251,000

-6%

*In addition, it was intended to apply to the Heritage Programme a sum of 1,200,000 from unspent capital supply services in 2012.
Information from Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge pointed out that the Irish Support Schemes, which are part-funded
by the National Lottery, have been reduced for 2013 by 25%, from 200,000 to 150,000. dars na Gaeltachta capital
funding remains more or less as in the reductions of recent years. An additional sum for language planning responsibilities
has also been granted to the agency. As already forecast, some reduction has occurred for the N/S bodies (to be confirmed by
the N/S Ministerial Council). Specifically Irish language and Gaeltacht programmes were allocated 57 million. Government
statements were also made in support of the Gaeltacht and the development of employment there as well as in support of the
20-Year Strategy and the provision of achievable targets.
LOCATION OF BROADCASTING AND OTHER CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
In the cabinet of the 30th and 31st Dil, broadcasting was part of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural
Resources. The cultural institutions were all formally allocated to the newly named Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht
Affairs on 9 March 2011, in the distribution of functions within the new Coalition cabinet (above).
The September 2011 CRE submission from the D/AHG explains that there are nine National Cultural Institutions under
the aegis of the Department as currently constituted. Under legislation there are the National Gallery, National Museum,
163 More Facts About Irish

National Library, National Archives. Four others are limited companies (without share capital): Irish Museum of Modern Art
(IMMA), National Concert Hall, Abbey Theatre, Crawford Art Gallery Cork. The Chester Beatty Library is a charitable trust.
The document considers the option of a single board for all but opts instead for other possibilities towards rationalisation. For
discussion and possible legislative change, the following were raised (page 25):
- Subsume Irish Manuscripts Commission and move its functions to the National Library.
- Amalgamate the National Archives [1702] with the National Library [1877] [this amalgamation had been
mooted in the 2008 Budget] and abolish the National Archives Advisory Council.
- Abolish the boards of the National Museum and National Library and revert to the situation, which pertained
prior to 2005, where the two organisations were effectively divisions of the Department.
- Assimilate the Irish Museum of Modern Art [Dublin] and the Crawford Gallery [Cork] into the National
Gallery of Ireland and abolish the boards of both institutions.
While not all proposals suggested in the Departmental submission to the CRE towards reduction, streamlining or amalgamation
appeared in the final budgetary allocation, they nevertheless still remained for possible future consideration.
In addition to those listed in the CRE document, the Department also funds other bodies which were listed in the
Public Service Reform Plan: An Coimisinir Teanga (Office of ); An Coimisin Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission); Irish
Manuscripts Commission; Culture Ireland; the Heritage Council. While the Arts Council, the Abbey Theatre and the National
Concert Hall through the Arts Council are also funded ultimately by the Department, they were not among those earmarked
for reform although funding cuts might occur.
By 18 November 2011, the media were carrying news of what was described as the quango cull or critical review intended
by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform by end June 2012. With regard to the D/AHG, Culture Ireland and the
Placenames Commission (An Coimisin Logainmneacha) together with the Heritage Council were marked for absorption
of their functions into the Department. The Office of the Ombudsman would absorb Data Protection and the Office of An
Coimisinir Teanga.
The potential for the Chester Beatty Library to share services with other cultural institutions was also put forward.
The entire November 2011 list was of very disparate institutions, from old to new, from statutorily established to those of
fairly recent quango status. From small to large, from background-type bodies to those in much greater interaction with citizens.
The savings as a result of the cull were estimated at some 20m per annum but increasing over time. The incongruity of some
of the proposed mergers drew much media comment, together with the lack of rationale and, in some cases, very little saving of
public moneys. From the perspective of those involved in language and culture, it appeared that the supportive official structure,
fragile though it might seem, was now being systematically taken apart without impact analysis or any new edifice being proposed.
A year later, on 31 October 2012, as Budget 2013 beckoned, an announcement from the Department of Arts, Heritage
and the Gaeltacht provided the rationale for the fate of the cultural institutions in the following terms: streamlining; shared
services; support services (through the Department); recovery agenda (aligning with Government agenda of driving investment
in Ireland and rebuilding reputation abroad); philanthropy; independence (of Directors of institutions with regard to
programming, curatorial and operational functions). In practical terms:
National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Crawford Gallery (Cork)
- reduction of all three boards to 9 persons each including Chair operating on pro bono basis;
- formal service level agreement on agreed range of shared services, support and operational;
- Update of legislation for National Gallery.
Chester Beatty Library
- continuation of outsourcing of administrative and other services;
- continuation of collaboration and shared services with other National Cultural Institutions.
Culture Ireland
- functions merged fully into Department;
- retention of brand and Cultural Ambassador role;
- work aligned with inward investment and tourist bodies.
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Heritage Council
- reduction of size of board and members on pro bono basis;
- elimination of statutory standing committees;
- updating of Heritage Act 1995.
National Archives of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland, Irish Manuscripts
Commission
- support services provided by the Department (legal, finance, HR, IT and procurement);
- National Archives to continue to operate as currently within Department having statutorily independent
Director, but now with reduced Advisory Council on pro bono basis;
- Existing boards of the National Library and Museum to be replaced by new single body, National Museum and
Library Advisory Council (on governance model of National Archives) serving pro bono to focus on fundraising
and philanthropic opportunities.
- Irish Manuscripts Commission not specifically mentioned.
In addition, An Coimisin Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission) would also be replaced by a small expert committee on
a pro bono basis, working online and meeting quarterly on complex issues, while the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga would be
merged with the Ombudsmans Office although through delegation of functions An Coimisinir would operate with statutory
independence. Amendment of the Official Languages Act 2003 will be required. Since the Heritage Council had been mooted
for abolition, the new arrangements may be considered an improvement of sorts.
Savings of 1 million per annum were indicated as was increased efficiency through new governance and management
models. Three pieces of legislation will be required to put the proposals into full effect and more work for officials of the
Department with regard to absorbed entities and provision of certain services. Questions were raised on future lack of autonomy
and increased departmental control over aspects of culture and heritage.
In an interview (The Irish Times 3 January 2013), the responsible Minister referred to the proposed merger and new
direction within his department of the boards of the National Library and the National Museum and appealed for people to
give this a chance and to see how it will work. He also averred that he was very supportive of continuing State funding for
cultural institutions and the arts.
Funding of the Cultural Institutions receives mention below under Funding.

STRUCTURAL PROPOSALS 2009-2011


DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY, RURAL AND GAELTACHT AFFAIRS TO DEPARTMENT OF ARTS,
HERITAGE AND THE GAELTACHT VIA SPORT, TOURISM
To the relief of many language organisations, there was no change in either the title of the department with responsibility for
the language or in the minister who held the portfolio in the Government that took office in June 2007, following general
elections in May. However, the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (popularly known as
the McCarthy report, from the chair of the Group, or in bilingual fashion as An Bord Snip Nua) saw matters differently. In its
report of July 2009 (see Funding for Irish Language and Culture towards the end of this Chapter), this department was listed
as one that could be disbanded in any cost cutting exercise which included a reduction in the number of departments and State
agencies, and its various functions distributed across other departments. The language sector was appalled and lobbied against
the proposal, seeking at least a senior minister to represent the language at cabinet. They found totally unacceptable the notion
that the language functions of the department could be transferred to Education, arguing that while education was a crucial
aspect language matters were wider than education, and that a department where only 3% of staff (later reduced to 1.5%)
were competent to conduct business through Irish (as self-reported to An Coimisinir Teanga) could hardly provide a conducive
context for the language. In the event, no such change occurred at that point, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) signalling this
when interviewed on TG4 (Irish language television). The McCarthy report also proposed a similar disbanding and subsequent
distribution of functions for the (then) Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. No change occurred (early 2010), however,
until March 2010.
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In that month, following the resignation of two ministers, for differing reasons, a Cabinet reshuffle occurred which
had repercussions for five government departments in particular and for some existing ministers as well as for other new
appointments. In the pre-shuffle media commentary, and the post Bord Snip suggestion that the ministries with responsibility
for language affairs and culture be abolished, various fates were proposed for those departments. During this period, the main
opposition party (Fine Gael) promised a senior minister for language affairs if they were in power. In the event, very little
change occurred as a result of the re-shuffle.
The former department of community, rural and Gaeltacht affairs, which had responsibility for the language, became the
Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs and a new minister appointed. This department was intended
to have responsibility also for two further policy areas: social inclusion and family policy which moved from the former
department of social and family affairs; equality, disability, integration and human rights which moved from the Department
of Justice, [Equality] and Law Reform. The additional policy areas of equality, integration and human rights were under the
aegis of a Minister of State (a member of the Green Party). A second Minister of State also was added to the new department.
While the restructuring was announced on 23 March 2010, formal establishment of the department did not take effect until
2 June 2010. Instead of being abolished as recommended in the McCarthy report, the department actually doubled in size.
The longstanding minister with responsibility for the language was moved to the newly named Department of Social Protection
(largely the former department of social and family affairs with some additional areas of responsibility) in March. The implications for
language policy implementation probably meant that at least one other member of Cabinet (the previous minister with responsibility
for the language) understood better than most the arguments of the current new incumbent of the department which included
language affairs whenever language issues came to the table, particularly those relating to the 20-Year Strategy for Irish.
Less than a year later, when the Dil convened on the morning of 20 January 2011, subsequent to the resignation of
several cabinet members, neither the Green Party nor the Taoiseach were present. Given the uproar that ensued, the House was
suspended until the Taoiseach arrived. Instead of the expected reshuffle, he announced the reassignment of the five ministries
now vacant to existing ministers, among them Transport to Community, Equality and Gaeltacht. He also announced a General
Election for 11 March (a date later changed to 25 February).
On Monday 24 January, the Green Party left the Coalition (as had been intimated in December 2010) citing
lack of communication on important political matters. This left two other ministries vacant. These too were reassigned;
Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs plus Transport. The cabinet
was now at the Constitutional minimum of seven.
On 9 March 2011, the new Coalition Taoiseach (Fine Gael) announced his Cabinet. With regard to language matters, the
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport was renamed as the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The new
department was formally allocated responsibility, inter alia, for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, the National
Famine Commemoration, Waterways Ireland (cross border body). It continued to have a Minister as well as a Minister of State
with responsibility for the Gaeltacht. Heritage functions were transferred with effect from 1 May 2011 and the department formally
established on 1 June. In all, this department now includes: built and natural heritage; arts, film, music, cultural institutions; Irish
language, Gaeltacht schemes and offshore islands. The department works then with the various agencies under its aegis.
Among the advisers appointed by ministers were, for a time, a former journalist and director of public affairs with the Arts
Council in the new Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Departmental arrangements having implications for Irish language affairs


Other top level appointments made by the previous Coalition, some of which remained with the renamed department with
responsibility for language affairs, included the Secretary General (advertised November 2009), translators in the newly
created Lr-Aonad Aistrichin (Translation Unit, advertised November 2009) and Stirthir na Gaeilge (appointed November
2010). The latter post was new to the department and was permitted, despite an embargo, on the basis of the Governments
commitment to the 20-Year Strategy. The responsibilities of the incumbent include the Irish language and Gaeltacht policy of
the department to include the 20-Year Strategy for Irish. The rank of Stirthir comes just below that of Assistant Secretary in
the department. The other position of Stirthir was held by the head of the Translation Unit (a section which was also tasked
with the review of An Caighden Oifigiil, below). These translation posts were later re-assigned. The functions of the Unit,
while it existed, were to provide translation services for government departments, in particular in the case of SIs or statutory
instruments arising out of legislation.
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Funding of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht


The table of Expenditure Allocations 2012-2014 in the Report of the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure shows the following:

Departmental Ceilings for Expenditure 2012 2014


Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

2012

2013

2014

232m

218m

205m

DARS NA GAELTACHTA TO DARS NA GAEILGE (TO DARS NA GAEILGE/NA GAELTACHTA TO


DARS NA GAELTACHTA)

Context
Four possible scenarios were recommended for the main implementation agency of the 20-Year Strategy by the Fiontar
team in their report for the Department. Of these, the first iteration of the Strategy by the previous administration
amalgamated two by proposing the establishment of dars na Gaeilge (Authority for the Irish Language) with a nationwide remit through restructuring the existing dars na Gaeltachta (Authority for the Gaeltacht regions). In addition,
the Department while retaining responsibility might devolve certain of its own Gaeltacht functions to this new
body. The new structure would have its headquarters in the Gaeltacht and would be run by a board similar to that of the
existing dars na Gaeltachta, that is elected representatives and appointed members. Legislation would be required to
give statutory status to the new body. Since the proposed agency would operate nation-wide, it would appear that new
election arrangements would be required to represent all sectors of pobail na Gaeilge (Irish language communities). Clear
delineation of functions between the new Authority and Foras na Gaeilge would also be of some consequence. Perhaps in
order to offset somewhat the subsuming of dars na Gaeltachta an agency dedicated solely to Gaeltacht affairs as well
as to assuage political sensitivities among Gaeltacht public representatives, the Draft Strategy proposed a parallel Gaeltacht
Advisory Committee. This structure would comprise elected dars na Gaeilge and local authority members with the
function of advising on Gaeltacht matters. It was doubtful if an advisory function would rank in importance with policy
functions in the minds of those most concerned.
The McCarthy report (July 2009), Funding for Irish Language and Culture below, in seeking funding cuts, had proposed
the transfer of the enterprise and employment development functions of the Gaeltacht Authority to the general enterprise
agency tasked with the same general enterprise functions for the State. The Irish language lobby pointed out the delicate
linguistic context in which such development operates in Gaeltacht regions, an aspect not in the brief of the enterprise agency.
No change occurred at that point as a result of the McCarthy report proposal. However, other changes were later proposed by
the Minister with responsibility for the language in the 20-Year Draft Strategy as outlined also under Structural Proposals
below. In a possible oblique reference to the McCarthy proposal, the Strategy affirms that as many non-language services as is
practicable will be delivered in the Gaeltacht by the (then) Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs together
with the new implementation agency, dars na Gaeilge, described below, given their proven ability to deliver services
through Irish. No transfer of existing schemes was then envisaged but rather a possible increase in the number of schemes
delivered. One such possibility was mentioned in the Strategy under Family Transmission as an area for action the functions
of current county childcare committees for Irish language provision to be discharged in future through the new dars na
Gaeilge. Another comes under proposals in relation to physical planning in Gaeltacht regions Gaeltacht plans are to have the
same status as town plans and will be approved by the new dars na Gaeilge. In addition, the possibility is to be examined of
the new entity carrying out functions through Irish for other public bodies, throughout the State. This would be done on an
agency basis.

Further significant changes to the title and functions of dars na Gaeltachta occurred in the two further iterations of the
20-Year Strategy, in December 2010 (former Coalition) and in June 2011 (new Coalition). These are treated just below and
also in the section on the 20-Year Strategy: Changes (Definitive 3 June 2011).

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Tumultuous times: 2009-2011


However, in advance of official announcement on these changes, much else was occurring including sustained lobbying. On
18 August 2009, the then Chief Executive of dars na Gaeltachta had given an address entitled Todhcha na Gaeltachta G
le Cur Chuige Nua Radacach (The Future of the Gaeltacht Need for a Radical New Departure). Information sessions for
Deputies and Senators had been jointly organised by Conradh na Gaeilge and Guth na Gaeltachta on issues relating to the Irish
language and the Gaeltacht (1 December 2009; 6 October 2010; 30 May 2011). At official level, the future of the Gaeltacht
Authority was tied up with ongoing progress on the 20-Year Strategy and debate within the relevant Oireachtas Committee.
On 15 April 2010, the then Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs re-appointed three members of the Authority, including the Chair,
saying that this would provide stability and continuity for dars na Gaeltachta at this crucial time. However, in June and July
2010, the Minister had to defend in the Seanad and in the Dil , on grounds of its being anti-democratic, the amendment he
proposed to the dars Act of Establishment (1979), an amendment which extended the maximum interval between elections
to the dars from five and a half years to seven and a half years, thus allowing time and space for any changes. The legislation
was passed in early July. In the meantime, in accordance with official will, the body had sold some of its assets; it was hoping
to raise 5.5 million in this manner to offset reduced grants from Government.
The urgency of this assets sale was clearly indicated in the Governments Capital Spending Plan issued in late July (treated
in Funding below) in which the cuts were of such a nature for the funding department of the Authority that the Chief
Executive was forthright in his comments that this could mean the end of the dars as a functioning body. Still, at the 14
September 2010 meeting of the Coiste Riginach an Deiscirt (Regional Committee, South) of the body, satisfaction was
expressed at the level of community and employment initiatives in operation in the region despite cutbacks. Towards the end
of that month (24 September 2010), however, the Board of the body issued a statement to the effect that a meeting was being
sought with the Minister on three specific issues: progress on the Strategy (still in draft form) this really meant clarity on the
rle of An tdars; permission to begin the process of recruiting a Chief Executive; provision of sufficient funding for 2011 to
enable the body to continue its development work.
In the same week, Comhlachas na gComharchumann Gaeltachta (Affiliation of Gaeltacht Co-operatives) had passed a
resolution that the Department for Gaeltacht Affairs be granted at least the same level of funding for 2011 as for 2010, despite
the cutbacks in the Capital Programme of July. On 5 October 2010, representatives of the dars executive gave evidence
before the Joint Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation as a result of which that Committee passed unanimously
a resolution supporting the enterprise and employment role of the dars in the Gaeltacht; in addition, this resolution was
to be passed to the relevant Minister. In support of their position, the dars representatives pointed to the national benefits
of commercial activity in the Gaeltacht through exports. The annual report for 2009 referred to the results of the annual
business survey of economic impact which showed the impact of dars operations: sales in client companies equalled 834m
of which 47.6% in exports showed an increase of over 9% on the previous year. It was reported that language activists had
earlier (September) complained publicly about the lack of invitation to and representation of dars as an enterprise body at
a meeting of such bodies convened by the Taoiseach on a strategy for job creation.
Against this background, the 2009 Report and Accounts for dars were published and a press statement issued on 11
November 2010. On employment, while 710 new jobs were created in companies assisted by dars, 721 were lost (8.8%, less
than in the economy in general at 11.8%), giving a total employment of 7,472 for the year 2009. Answering questions in the
Dil on 1 July 2010, the Minister gave the following information on dars funding: 2010 30 million; 37.6 plus an extra
2 million at year end for 2009. In the 2009 report, under Irish Language, the body reported a review of its language policy in
State-assisted companies in the Gaeltacht in order to align it with the guidelines for public bodies under the Official Languages
Act 2003. Research in collaboration with the Department was also conducted in 28 Gaeltacht communities with the intention
of producing language planning initiatives by those communities.

The post of Chief Executive, a post under embargo, was still under urgent discussion at the Board meeting of 19 November
2010 as the retirement of the incumbent at the end of the year grew ever closer and it seemed imperative to appoint an Acting
CE pending Government decision. After the dars board meeting of 10 December 2010, a press release was issued urging all
language organisations to highlight the future of the body to all candidates in the upcoming 2011 general election. This was
in response to dismay at the allocation for the 2011 capital budget at only 6 million (2010: 15 million). By 18/19 January
2011, the then Minister was meeting the Chair of the Board and, in speaking with the Irish media, was affirming that the board
168 More Facts About Irish

envisaged for the dars as restructured in the 20-Year Strategy, and in the legislation under preparation, would comprise
both elected and appointed members. This had not been specifically included in the published Strategy of December 2010.
The end of year Review for 2010 was issued on 24 January 2011 by the Acting CE and the Chair of the dars. It showed the
creation of 704 new fulltime jobs to give a total of 7,074 for the year 2010, a drop from the 7,472 of 2009. All other schemes of
employment and language development were maintained. The proposed national rle for a restructured entity was welcomed
although experts saw it more as radical change rather than mere restructuring and possible loss of a dedicated structure for the
Gaeltacht. Well into the new year of 2011, the Chair and Executive of dars were reporting to the Board at their meeting of
8 April 2011 on the presentation they had made to the new Minister of State of the new administration. The arguments were
the same: the necessity to retain the entrepreneurial and employment role; the significance of Gaeltacht activity to the economy
as a whole based on the Annual Business Survey of Economic Impact (ABSEI) conducted in Gaeltacht companies by Forfs in
2010 and on two later Indecon economic impact surveys commissioned by dars itself. The results in general showed: over
7,000 fulltime posts; 734 million to the economy; 197.6 million in payroll; 42.2 million annually to the State in taxes.
Given the decision to maintain the existing role of the dars in the announcement of June 2011 on the Strategy by the
new Coalition, it is of note that the Minister of State had earlier intimated in answer to parliamentary questions on 12 April
2011 that the agency might still be assuming the proposed new national role outlined in the Draft Strategy for Irish. The final
statement on this long running uncertainty on the future role of dars na Gaeltachta finally came in June 2011 as detailed
just below and under 20-Year Strategy: Changes (Definitive 3 June 2011).
On 3 June 2011, then, under a new Coalition, following Government decisions taken on 31 May, some further changes
took place, particularly for An tdars and implementation structures. The future of dars na Gaeltachta is set down in the
following section of the official statement of that date.
dars na Gaeltachta
The status quo will be maintained regarding the current functions of dars na Gaeltachta, including its enterprise
functions, subject to the following:
(a) statutory provision to enable the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to direct dars na Gaeltachta to
focus its limited resources towards specific enterprise sectors; and
(b) the development of a mechanism to facilitate dars na Gaeltachta to cooperate with other enterprise agencies,
particularly with regard to significant Gaeltacht projects with high potential.
Provision will be made under the Gaeltacht Bill to significantly reduce the Board of dars na Gaeltachta and to end
the requirement to hold elections.
While this decision was generally welcomed as dispelling existing uncertainty, the type of mechanism for cooperation with
other State enterprise agencies (as signalled several years previously) was significant and required discussion.
Implementation structures under the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language
dars na Gaeltachta will be responsible for the implementation of the Strategy within the Gaeltacht.
Interestingly, there is is no precise distinction of rles made in relation to the possible future operation of dars na Gaeltachta
in new urban-type Gaeltacht settings (network Gaeltachta). However, this distinction acquired new meaning in the definition
of Gaeltacht made on linguistic rather than on territorial grounds in the Gaeltacht Bill which followed, although some physical
boundaries might still have to be set in Gaeltacht Areas.

Current status (end 2012)


Legislatively, while the June 2011 statement clarified to some extent the rle and future composition of the board of An tdars,
full implementation awaited the passage of the Gaeltacht Act. The heads of the Gaeltacht Bill were announced on 7 February
2012 and it was enacted in July 2012. However, the final membership of the board as set out in the Gaeltacht Act did not occur
until late November 2012. The Authority now has a female chair for the first time, a native speaker and an applied linguist from
NUIM. She is, however, among the few. The Minister of State with responsibility for the Gaeltacht met the new board at its first
meeting on 7 December 2012. Concern at government plans to merge COGG with the NCCA were expressed at this meeting.
The board was also briefed on budgetary matters: 18.6m for both revenue and capital funding for 2013 with the possibility
of further funding through links with other semi-state bodies. An additional 3.4 m was earmarked for language development
initiatives given the new responsibilities arising out of the 20-Year Strategy and the Gaeltacht Act 2012. These events followed
169 More Facts About Irish

a period of uncertainty as outlined below.


A press release from the meeting of 21 September 2011 of the previous Board reveals that permission had not yet been
granted to advertise the position of Chief Executive and that the continued embargo on recruitment was hindering progress
on programmes for Gaeltacht development. From answers to Dil questions, it appears that a meeting took place of both the
Minister and the Minister of State with the Chair and senior executives of An tdars on 29 September 2011 to discuss the
future strategy of the agency. While these issues have now reached resolution (below), they are nevertheless bound up with
the content of the Gaeltacht Act and with the Gaeltacht rle of An tdars within a new definition of Gaeltacht, and provided
a period of uncertainty for the agency not unlike that undergone by the Voluntary Sector funded by Foras na Gaeilge. Overall,
Government did not appear to fully comprehend the possible consequences of the programme it was following in relation to
the language.
On funding, the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs provided the following figures in the Dil on 18 October 2011 in
response to questions during a session through Irish:
Total grant for 2011 was 19.6 million of which 6 million was for capital development. In addition, from other
sources (sale of assets; grant paybacks) 7 million would also be available for capital expenditure.
Employment in client companies of the agency stood at 7,074 full-time posts at the end of 2010. Despite a decrease
on 2009, this represented the creation of 704 new jobs.
Latest figures are given below but the issue remains of both enterprise and language-centred funding for Gaeltacht
communities within a new definition of Gaeltacht community.

Appointment of Chief Executive


After its meeting of 24 September 2010, the Board of dars na Gaeltachta issued a statement to the effect that a meeting was
being sought with the Minister on three specific issues, one of which was permission to begin the process of recruiting a Chief
Executive, a post under embargo. The post was still under urgent discussion at the Board meeting of 19 November 2010 as the
retirement of the incumbent at the end of the year grew ever closer and it seemed imperative to appoint an Acting CE pending
Government decision. A year later, a press release from the Board meeting of 21 September 2011 reveals that permission
had not yet been granted to advertise the position of Chief Executive and that the continued embargo on recruitment was
hindering progress on programmes for Gaeltacht development. The uncertainty of the situation had been causing continuing
concern with regard to the future of the body. Departmental agreement to finally appoint a Chief Executive to An tdars
was then welcomed. This announcement was made simultaneously with the changes to the 20-Year Strategy on 3 June 2011.
However, it was 27 January 2012 before the actual recruitment process was announced by the Board to begin shortly. The post
was eventually advertised at the beginning of March 2012.

Grants and employment


dars na Gaeltachta currently has several sources of income as well as Government annual grants. The additional income
comes from sale of assets, payback of grants, grants from a large variety of sources Government, EU and international,
on whose behalf the agency administers a wide range of programmes. The information in the table refers solely to those
grants provided by the Oireachtas under the Acts governing the operation of the agency. These grants cover administration,
development programmes, capital expenditure and grants to industry. It is of note that the staff complement of dars na
Gaeltachta fell from 112 in 2007 to 95 in 2011 (Annual Report 2011). It is reported to have also decreased since.
dars na Gaeltachta Grants 2009-2012
Year

Grant m

2009

37,635

Published accounts 2010

2010

32,915

Published accounts 2010


(Including 15m for capital development)

170 More Facts About Irish

Source of information

2011

19.6

2012

18.809

2013

18.6 + 3.4

Including 6m for capital development


Dil statement, 18 October, 2011
5.938m capital, 3m current, 9.871 admin
Website, Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Press release 7 December 2012

On employment in the Gaeltacht, the following information is provided in publications and press releases from dars na
Gaeltachta or in Dil reports. The information pertains to companies assisted by dars.
Year

Total employment

Note

2009

7,472

710 new jobs created; 721 lost or 8.8%


(in economy in general 11.8%)

2010

7,074

704 new jobs

2011

7,500

7,000 full-time and 500 part-time; 734 new jobs;


slowdown in job losses

Community and language


The importance of the conservation and development of the language in the Gaeltacht community is on a par with the more
economy-based activities of dars na Gaeltachta. To this end, it supports a range of activities, reported as follows for 2011:
- 82 preschool and crche facilities (950 attendees)
- 62 youth clubs and drop-in centres (2,000 members)
- 34 learning centres (600 attendees at Irish classes)
The agency also grant-aids co-operatives and community organisations; co-grants the arts (with the Arts Council); funds thirdlevel courses (e.g. film, translation) and provides a range of scholarships and apprenticeships.
In 2010, the agency granted support to 72 arts initiatives across the Gaeltacht, ranging from 28 arts projects, 13 arts
festivals, and bursaries for 16 artists. Three regional arts facilitators implement the agencys arts programme.
Interestingly, an independent study on the programme for 2009 reported on the economic return on the 866,000 arts
investment through Ealan na Gaeltachta (the company set up by An tdars to implement the arts programme. The direct
economic impact on the Irish economy was 15.6m and a total impact of some 20m. On the jobs front, 247 depended
directly on the investment and 149 jobs indirectly.
As recounted in Chapter 2 above, both the Priseas Pleanla Teanga (of the Department) and in particular the Gaeltacht
Act of 2012 have ensured a statutory language planning role in the Gaeltacht for An tdars. The mechanism for engaging with
other agencies on its enterprise function as a requisite part of language planning is less clear.

Reaction to the changes in the rle of dars na Gaeltachta


Objections to the policy announcement on the definitive fate of dars na Gaeltachta finally made on 3 June 2011 came from
both the former minister and the Irish lobby. They centred on the following areas:
- diminution of the democratic element with the ending of elections to dars na Gaeltachta and the possibility
of unsuitable appointments out of touch with local communities;
- continued involvement of a possibly unsympathetic administration in Northern Ireland in policy and in funding
of language activities in the Republic through Foras na Gaeilge as implementing body outside the Gaeltacht; the
proposed dars na Gaeilge might have been a better vehicle;
- the possibility of dars na Gaeltachta becoming swamped in the proposed new arrangement with larger State
enterprise agencies.
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FORAS NA GAEILGE

Context
The McCarthy report (July 2009) made many recommendations which could directly or indirectly affect State support for Irish
and the Gaeltacht. Within the reallocation proposed for political decision was that the North/South body, Foras na Gaeilge, go
to the (then) Department of Education and Science (D/E&S), on the basis that many of its functions had in fact come from
that department. This was also a corollary of the recommendation that the department with responsibility for the language,
including Foras na Gaeilge, should itself be abolished. On cost cutting measures, however, Foras na Gaeilge was left untouched
in the McCarthy report (see Funding for Irish Language and Culture towards the end of this chapter). In the Draft Strategy
for the Irish Language 2010-2030, it is quoted as a key element of the support structure for the language in both parts of the
island and its functions are stated as: supportive projects and grant-aiding bodies and groups; terminologies and dictionaries;
supporting Irish-medium education and the teaching of Irish on the island; facilitating and encouraging the use of the language
in public and private life. This would appear to offer little change to the existing functions of the body were it not for the initial
proposal of the creation of a new implementation body, dars na Gaeilge. To date, dars na Gaeltachta had functioned
largely in the Gaeltacht and Foras na Gaeilge in an all-island context, which meant mainly outside the Gaeltacht in the Republic.
Now, since the proposed new body had a State-wide remit in the Republic, both bodies would be functioning in the same
general arena in the south. The legislation required to establish the new body would need to state its functions very precisely
to avoid unnecessary duplication and overlapping of operations. In the event, further possible change to the functions of Foras
na Gaeilge was signalled in the 3 June 2011 iteration of the 20-Year Strategy (new Coalition). See below the section on the
20-Year Strategy: Changes (Final, 3 June 2011). In brief, these comprised the following.
Implementation structures under the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will retain primary responsibility for matters concerning the Irish
language, both within and outside of the Gaeltacht.
Foras na Gaeilge will continue to fulfil its responsibilities on an all-island basis as an agency of the North South
Language Implementation Body.
The Department, in partnership with relevant State bodies, will be responsible for the implementation of the Strategy
outside the Gaeltacht. The potential for Foras na Gaeilge to deliver certain elements of the Strategy, on an agreed basis,
will be explored.
dars na Gaeltachta will be responsible for the implementation of the Strategy within the Gaeltacht.
While precise functions were still to be clarified, a slightly more defined role is now envisaged for Foras na Gaeilge. The
Department, however, in all cases, retains primary responsibility, although implementation in partnership with relevant State
bodies appears to apply to outside the Gaeltacht. It was the view of the Minister of State that: These Government decisions
will ensure that existing structures will be used to deliver the Strategy and that the functions of the key stakeholders with
responsibility for implementing the Strategy, both within and outside of the Gaeltacht, will be clearly defined. There was no
specific reference to the rle of the Voluntary Sector in delivery, unless the sector is included under funding bodies, either
dars na Gaeltachta or Foras na Gaeilge. Interestingly, neither was precise distinction of rles made at this time in relation to
the possible future operation of dars na Gaeltachta in new urban-type Gaeltacht settings. However, if the proposed legislation
defined Gaeltacht in terms other than territorial, that particular difficulty might, or might not, be obviated.
From responses to Dil questions (18 October 2011), it was clarified that the Department for the Gaeltacht, dars na
Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge were all three engaged in discussions on apportioning appropriate areas of responsibility for
implementation of the 20-Year Strategy.
Foras na Gaeilge operated with four offices (Annual Report 2009), in Dublin, in Belfast, and two in the Gaeltacht: Gaoth
Dobhair in County Donegal and Rth Cairn in County Meath.

An Foras Teanga and the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC)


The overarching body, An Foras Teanga, which comprises Foras na Gaeilge and Tha Boord o Ulstr-Scotch (The Ulster-Scots
Agency), is accountable to the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) and to the Ministers in the Sponsoring Departments, the
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (D/CAL) in Northern Ireland.
172 More Facts About Irish

There are 16 members on the board of Foras na Gaeilge and 8 on the board of Tha Boord o Ulstr-Scotch. The NSMC
makes those appointments arising from nominations made on a 50:50 basis by both jurisdictions. The 24 member board of An
Foras Teanga comprises the boards of both Agencies.
Arising out of the suspension of political institutions in Northern Ireland, no sectoral meetings (Language) of the NSMC
took place between 14 June 2002 and 26 October 2007 although an agreed mechanism existed for decision-making. The
Executive and Assembly were restored in May 2007. Meetings then took place as follows:

NSMC Meetings in sectoral format (Language) 2007 onward


Year

Number of Meetings

2007

1 (October)

2008

1 (July)

2009

3 (January, July, December)

2010

2 (May, November)

2011

2 (July, October)

2012

3 (February, July, November)

A new board, with some re-appointments including the Chair, was appointed to Foras na Gaeilge in December 2011.
Language matters, generally reporting of NSMC meetings, may also occur at plenary meetings of the NI Executive and
the Dublin Government. The following was reported, inter alia, at the plenary held in Dublin in June 2012:
Completion by Foras na Gaeilge of public consultation on the introduction of new funding arrangements for core-funded
bodies with interim funding arrangements extended to 30 June 2013

Funding and Foras na Gaeilge


This section considers two aspects of funding in relation to Foras na Gaeilge: the official funding the body receives and the
ways in which that funding is disbursed by it. Precise figures are not easy to come by since the latest annual report dates from
2009 (published 12 December 2012) and constant adjustments to expenditure are part of the current economic climate. It
is reported that the overdue publication issue arises from the amalgamation of Foras na Gaeilge accounts into those of the
overarching body, An Foras Teanga (one of the six Cross-Border Implementation Bodies established under the British-Irish
Agreement Act, December 1999), to delays in processing the accounts of the other agency, Tha Boord o Ulstr-Scotch (The
Ulster-Scots Agency), within An Foras Teanga, and therefore to time lag in the clearance of the consolidated accounts. Both sets
of accounts go the Comptroller Auditor General in the respective jurisdictions.

Funding of Foras na Gaeilge (FNG)


The information in the table below comes from several official sources. Funding for An Foras Teanga (the overall body for Irish
and Ulster-Scots) is to be distinguished from funding for Foras na Gaeilge (Irish language only). The Department in Dublin
with responsibility for Irish (currently D/AHG) provides 75% of total funding for Foras na Gaeilge. Foras na Gaeilge also
receives additional ringfenced funding, in recent years, for Clr na Leabhar Gaeilge and for the Colmcille project. The body also
receives income through the book distribution agency it maintains, IS.

Foras na Gaeilge: Total Annual Budget Allocation from both Jurisdictions


Year

Allocation m

Source of Information

2002

17.87

D/CAL (FAQ section on site)

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Foras na Gaeilge: Total Annual Budget Allocation from both Jurisdictions


2003

17.87

ditto

2004

18.694

ditto

2005

19.356

ditto

2006

19.862

ditto

2007

20,198,030

An Foras Teanga, Annual Report

2008

18,128

D/AHG (An Foras Teanga submission CRE)

22,276,678

FNG Annual Report 2009

20,300,540

NSMC Annual Report

20,089,580

FNG Annual Report 2009

2010

20,643,340

D/AHG

2011

16.6m

D/AHG (An Foras Teanga)

2012

21m circa

CEO/FnaG/on TG4 programme

20,797,942

Published Minutes, Foras na Gaeilge, 14

175,000 (Colmcille)

December 2012

19,550,066

as announced 6% reduction on 2012

2009

2013

The sources used in the table are referenced below in more detail. In relation to funding for Foras na Gaeilge for 2009, the
following comment appears in the NSMC annual report for that year.
The Council noted that the North/South Language Body [An Foras Teanga] had applied efficiency savings to its 2009
Budget in accordance with guidance issued by the two Finance Departments. The 2009 Business Plan was approved
and the Council recommended the 2009 budget provision of 3,433,800 (4,401,860) for the Ulster-Scots agency
and 20,300,540 (15,834,421) for Foras na Gaeilge.
The following information is from the Departmental website.
- Funding is provided to both Agencies from this Department and DCAL (Department of Culture, Arts and
Leisure) in Northern Ireland in accordance with budgets approved by the NSMC (North South Ministerial
Council).
- Foras na Gaeilge is co-funded on the basis of 75% from this Department and 25% from DCAL an overall
budget provision of 20,643,340 was approved by the NSMC for 2010.
- Tha Boord o Ulstr-Scotch is co-funded on the basis of 25% from this Department and 75% from DCAL an
overall budget provision of 3,327,600 was approved by the NSMC for 2010.
- Funding is provided through Subhead E.1 of the Vote of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
and an overall provision of 16.6m is included in the 2011 Estimates.
- In addition, this Department provides further funding to Foras na Gaeilge in respect of ringfenced activities
relating to Clr na Leabhar Gaeilge, Colmcille and capital projects.
This funding, additional to that approved by the NSMC, is further explained:
- Arising from an NSMC decision in 2007, the functions of the former Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge were transferred
174 More Facts About Irish

to Foras na Gaeilge and it was agreed that future funding would be provided by this Department solely in
order to implement the work of Clr na Leabhar Gaeilge [new nomenclature under Foras]. The rle of Clr na
Leabhar Gaeilge is to provide support for reading, writing and publishing initiatives in the Irish language.
- Colmcille consists of a tripartite initiative to promote the Irish and Scots Gaelic languages. Arising from an
NSMC decision in July 2008, it was agreed that the functions of Colmcille on the island of Ireland would be
transferred to Foras na Gaeilge and that a partnership would be established between Foras and Brd na Gidhlig
[the two language boards] to bring forward the objectives of Colmcille.
Some factual information on both of these additional sources of income (and management) to Foras na Gaeilge is found in the
September 2011 submission of the D/AHG to the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure requested by the (new) Department
of Public Expenditure and Reform (15% cuts requested):
- The allocation for Clr na Leabhar Gaeilge in 2011 was 1.35m, a reduction of 10% on its 2010 budget. Foras
na Gaeilge received income of 1.3m in 2010 from the distribution and sale of books under Clr na Leabhar
Gaeilge; an argument for retention of funding, even if reduced.
- Total funding for the tripartite programme Colmcille not exceeding 486,000 sterling was to be provided for
2011, the allocation from the D/AHG to be 197,561 or a 10% reduction on 2010. Evaluation was envisaged.
It was recommended that the Colmcille programme be retained, even with possibly reduced funding.
- Savings of 0.990m were identified for the period 2012-2014 in the reduction in the monies for An Foras
Teanga (the overall body), in line with budget guidance agreed by the Departments of Finance in both
jurisdictions.
- Core funding to the 19 Irish language organisations consisted of 37% of the total approved NSMC budget for
Foras na Gaeilge in 2010 or a total of 7.638m, comprising 55% salary costs, 17% on administrative costs and
28% on programme costs.
In a press release of 7 December 2011, in relation to the 2012 Budget, the Minister made the following comment.
With regard to the ongoing development of North-South Co-operation within the broader arts, heritage and commemorative
activities a provision of 42.718m has been allocated in 2012 to support the two North-South implementation bodies, An
Foras Teanga (comprising Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency) and Waterways Ireland. These budgets will be subject
to the approval of the North/South Ministerial Council in due course.
In his own press release, the Minister of State refers to more than 15.4m [for 2012] to the N/S Language Body (subject
to NSMC approval). Speaking on television (TG4, programme 7 L 7 Days) on 7 February 2012, the Chief Executive of
Foras na Gaeilge referred to a budget in the region of 21m for the agency in 2012. Whether this included the ringfenced
additional funding, or income from the sale of books through the distribution agency IS, or additional grant income from
the Department for the historic commemorative activities, was not clear.
The overall budget for the Department itself announced in December 2011 was 266.997m. However, the table of
allocations 2012-2014 in the Report of the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure shows the expenditure side as follows for 2012
and subsequent years.
Departmental Ceilings for Expenditure 2012 2014

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

2012

2013

2014

232m

218m

205m

Funding by Foras na Gaeilge


Among the activities for which Foras na Gaeilge is responsible are the publishing agency, An Gm, and dictionary provision for
Irish. It organises a training service for the accreditation of translators and editors. There is currently a panel of 158 accredited
translators available and 8 editors were accredited after examination in November 2011. The agency receives additional ringfenced funding from the responsible Department in the South for general publishing in Irish and for the Colmcille programme.
Its book distribution service, IS, is currently under review and implementation of the review recommendations planned with
175 More Facts About Irish

the two Sponsor Departments, North and South (NSMC Joint Communiqu, 14 February 2012). The additional annual
income generated by IS is generally in the region of 1m-1.5m.
It also operates a varied range of schemes and may support occasional ventures. In November 2011, for example, the
agency advertised for applications across seven schemes. They comprised:
- Irish in the Community
- Bilingual/Irish only materials
- Bilingual/Irish only signage (business-oriented)
- Summer Camps (outside the Gaeltacht)
- Youth Activities
- Festivals
- Drama Companies
Finally, it currently (2012) still core funds the activities of 19 voluntary organisations.
The breakdown of this funding is given below, Funding, and funding for other schemes under other appropriate headings
throughout the text.

New Funding Model and Schemes


This aspect of funding by Foras na Gaeilge and the change in its existing policy is fully discussed further below, Funding.
STRUCTURES AS PROPOSED IN THE FIONTAR (DCU) REPORT ON 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE
IRISH LANGUAGE
The planning, evaluation and implementation framework described in the Fiontar report for the proposed Strategy for the
language envisaged a multi-layered structure which would be set up in the pre-operational, or operational planning, first year
of the Strategy. At the highest level, this would comprise (i) a permanent cabinet committee at the level of Government and (ii)
a programme office in the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister); this office to be tasked with strategic planning and
monitoring, led by an assistant secretary and staffed by a specialist team, seconded if required, whose expertise would include
public administration, management, language planning and education. This office would be further supported in two ways: by
an Irish language advisory committee of staff, senior civil servants, international experts, stakeholders and through the ongoing
independent evaluation of implementation to be carried out by Oifig Choimisinir na dTeangacha Oifigila (Office of the
Commissioner for Official Languages) or similar body. The advisory committee would meet at least twice a year. The evaluation
reports could be discussed through high level deliberation conferences in order to ensure full engagement of all concerned.
At departmental level, the Fiontar report advised reconstitution of the existing department into a Department of the
Gaeltacht and Irish Language Affairs with responsibility for policy. Implementation was then to be through the relevant sectors
of the state apparatus (to include a new structure to be established) together with the social partners. Ad hoc working groups
were also envisaged on an occasional basis, whether to draft operational plans for the programme office or to assist the newly
reconstituted department in implementing operational plans. The proposed National Language Resource Centre was seen as a
central resource repository of advice and information.
The Fiontar report provided four possible scenarios for the proposed new implementation structure: a new independent
structure entitled dars na Gaeilge; a new office within the new Department of the Gaeltacht and Language Affairs; a new
remit with ringfenced funding to be assigned to Foras na Gaeilge; a new remit extended beyond the Gaeltacht, with ringfenced
funding, to be assigned to a restructured dars na Gaeltachta.
STRUCTURES AS PROPOSED IN THE DRAFT 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030
The overall structure proposed in the Draft Strategy differs, in several respects, from that of the Fiontar report, while incorporating
some of its proposals, albeit in different reconfigurations. Where the latter refers to a permanent cabinet committee at the
highest level, the Strategy refers to the cabinet committee on Irish and the Gaeltacht, chaired by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister).
While an existing interdepartmental committee had been set up in the aftermath of the Report on the Linguistic Study of the Use
of Irish in the the Gaeltacht (2007), under the chairmanship of the Taoiseach, it had been understood that any recommendations
of this committee would have been integrated into the Draft Strategy. The committee now put forward may be a restructuring
176 More Facts About Irish

of the existing one. There is no mention of a programme office in the Department of the Taoiseach nor of a widely representative
advisory committee for this office. However, a senior officials group is envisaged to support the cabinet committee. There is also
a proposal at the end of the Draft Strategy, under Cross-Cutting Initiatives, on setting up a high-level think tank to develop
new approaches to language maintenance and promotion utilising development in the ICT sector. However, such groups
would be established only on an ad hoc basis from time.
In place of the proposed restructured department, the Draft Strategy clearly states:
There will continue to be a senior Minister and a Government Department (the Department of Community, Rural
and Gaeltacht Affairs) with central responsibility for Irish language affairs.
It is in this department that both planning and implementation functions will reside, in a designated Strategy unit with
dedicated staff. Specialist staff, having the types of expertise outlined by Fiontar for the programme office in the Department
of the Taoiseach, may be seconded as required for specific tasks. The responsibilities of the unit include general oversight of the
planning process, monitoring the development of resources and assigning duties and implementation roles to implementation
agencies. Evaluations may be commissioned by the unit from existing agencies or from the private sector (which does not rule
out the possibilities advised by Fiontar).
Of the four scenarios recommended by the Fiontar team for the main implementation agency, the Draft Strategy
amalgamates two by proposing the establishment of dars na Gaeilge (Authority for the Irish Language) with a nationwide remit through restructuring the existing dars na Gaeltachta (Authority for the Gaeltacht regions). In addition, the
Department while retaining responsibility might devolve certain of its own Gaeltacht functions to this new body. The new
structure would have its headquarters in the Gaeltacht and would be run by a board similar to that of the existing dars na
Gaeltachta, that is elected representatives and appointed members. Legislation would be required to give statutory status to the
new body. Since the proposed agency would operate nation-wide, it would appear that new election arrangements would be
required to represent all sectors of pobail na Gaeilge (Irish language communities). Clear delineation of functions between the
new Authority and Foras na Gaeilge would also be of some consequence. Perhaps in order to offset somewhat the subsuming
of dars na Gaeltachta an agency dedicated solely to Gaeltacht affairs as well as to assuage political sensitivities among
Gaeltacht public representatives, the Strategy proposes a parallel Gaeltacht Advisory Committee. This structure would comprise
elected dars na Gaeilge and local authority members with the function of advising on Gaeltacht matters. It is doubtful if an
advisory function would rank in importance with policy functions in the minds of those most concerned.
Foras na Gaeilge is quoted as a key element of the support structure for the language in both parts of the island and its
functions are stated as: supportive projects and grant-aiding bodies and groups; terminologies and dictionaries; supporting
Irish-medium education and the teaching of Irish on the island; facilitating and encouraging the use of the language in public
and private life.
Four areas in particular drew argument with regard to these proposed structural arrangements:
- the siting of the programme office versus the strategy unit;
- the removal of and change in dars na Gaeltachta and the subsequent lack of a specific support structure for
the Gaeltacht itself;
- the lack of more precise delineation of functions, particularly with regard to the operations and funding of the
voluntary sector, between the proposed dars na Gaeilge with a nation-wide remit and the existing Foras na
Gaeilge with an all-island remit;
- what was perceived as non-separation of planning, implementation and evaluation in the proposed departmental
unit, as opposed to the independence of the evaluation proposals in the Fiontar report.
STRUCTURES AS PROPOSED IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030
(FINAL, DECEMBER 2010)
On foot of the public consultation process on the Draft Strategy (published on 29 November 2009) and the report issued by
the relevant Oireachtas Committee (July 2010), some changes appeared in the final version of the Strategy document approved
by Cabinet and launched by the then Taoiseach in December 2010. Among these were:
- while the phases of the Strategy over its lifespan remain, they are no longer quoted in years;
- more emphasis throughout on the fragile state of the language in its heartland (The Vision; Policy Context;
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Specific Objectives increase of 25% daily speakers; Curriculum for Teaching of Irish; Higher-Level Education;
Education in the Gaeltacht promotion of immersion as national policy);
- the renaming of the originally proposed dars na Gaeilge as dars na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta;
- clear statement that the body will retain its current enterprise function and omission therefore of sentence in
Draft precluding transfer of any existing functions to other agencies;
- omission now of the Gaeltacht Advisory Committee proposed for the previous dars na Gaeilge;
- a key role in implementation for COGG (Council for Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education) together with the
- *establishment of a high-level group for education representative of the various stakeholders including An
tdars;
- classes, activities, atmosphere of promotion of Irish in higher-level education; responding to the increased
demand for Irish-medium schooling at both primary and postprimary levels across the country;
- reference to information and support in language transmission for parents;
- in reference to increasing the cohort of functional bilingual public servants, the Department of Finance (under
whose remit had been the training agency Gaeleagras) is tasked with devising appropriate arrangements in place
of the Department of Education and Science;
- 2011 is cited for the completion of the ongoing review of the Official Standard for Irish.
*Under the succeeding Coalition, in reply to a parliamentary question from a Sinn Fin deputy on 22 June 2011, the Minister
for Education and Skills pointed out that his department was in constant contact with the parties which would form the
high-level group. The group would be convened when the overall outline of the implementation timetable for the Strategy was
available. A similar reply was made by the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs in the Dil on 18 October 2011.
STRUCTURES AS DECIDED IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030:
CHANGES (FINAL, 3 JUNE 2011)
On 3 June 2011, under a new Coalition and following on Government decisions of 31 May, some further changes took place,
particularly for An tdars and implementation structures. The future of dars na Gaeltachta is set down in the following
section of the official statement of 3 June 2011.
dars na Gaeltachta
The status quo will be maintained regarding the current functions of dars na Gaeltachta, including its enterprise
functions, subject to the following:
(a) statutory provision to enable the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to direct dars na Gaeltachta to
focus its limited resources towards specific enterprise sectors; and
(b) the development of a mechanism to facilitate dars na Gaeltachta to cooperate with other enterprise agencies,
particularly with regard to significant Gaeltacht projects with high potential.
Provision will be made under the Gaeltacht Bill to significantly reduce the Board of dars na Gaeltachta and to end
the requirement to hold elections.
While this decision was generally welcomed as dispelling existing uncertainty, the type of mechanism for cooperation with
other State enterprise agencies (as signalled several years previously) is significant and will require discussion.
Implementation structures under the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will retain primary responsibility for matters concerning the
Irish language, both within and outside of the Gaeltacht.
Foras na Gaeilge will continue to fulfil its responsibilities on an all-island basis as an agency of the North South
Language Implementation Body.
The Department, in partnership with relevant State bodies, will be responsible for the implementation of the Strategy
outside the Gaeltacht. The potential for Foras na Gaeilge to deliver certain elements of the Strategy, on an agreed basis,
will be explored.
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dars na Gaeltachta will be responsible for the implementation of the Strategy within the Gaeltacht.
The last two points above envisage a different implementation scenario from the original extension of dars na Gaeltachta
to the rest of the country either as dars na Gaeilge (Draft Strategy, November 2009) or as dars na Gaeilge agus na
Gaeltachta (Final version launched by the Taoiseach, December 2010), or indeed as dars na Gaeltachta/na Gaeilge, with the
two elements in reverse order, as desired by some Irish speakers, and as envisaged in the Report on the Draft Strategy from
the Joint Oireachtas Committee (July, 2010). While precise functions are still to be clarified, a slightly more defined rle
may now be envisaged for Foras na Gaeilge. The Department, however, in all cases, retains primary responsibility, although
implementation in partnership with relevant State bodies appears to apply to outside the Gaeltacht. It was the view of the
Minister of State that:
These Government decisions will ensure that existing structures will be used to deliver the Strategy and that the
functions of the key stakeholders with responsibility for implementing the Strategy, both within and outside of the
Gaeltacht, will be clearly defined.
There was no specific reference to the role of the Voluntary Sector in delivery, as had occurred in other sectors, unless the sector
is included under funding bodies, either dars na Gaeltachta or Foras na Gaeilge. Interestingly, neither is precise distinction of
rles made in relation to the possible future operation of dars na Gaeltachta in new urban-type Gaeltacht settings.

Reaction to the June 2011 changes


Objections to the June announcement from the incoming Coalition both from the former minister and the Irish lobby centred
on the following areas:
- diminution of the democratic element with the ending of elections to dars na Gaeltachta and the possibility
of unsuitable appointments out of touch with local communities;
- continued involvement of a possibly unsympathetic administration in Northern Ireland in policy and in funding
of language activities in the Republic through Foras na Gaeilge as implementing body outside the Gaeltacht; the
proposed dars na Gaeilge might have been a better vehicle;
- the possibility of dars na Gaeltachta becoming swamped in the new arrangement with larger State enterprise
agencies.
However, departmental agreement to finally appoint a chief executive to An tdars was welcomed. This announcement was
made simultaneously with the changes to the Strategy. The post had not been filled for some time, a situation which had caused
concern with regard to the future of the body.

Further developments October 2011


In response to Dil questions on 18 October 2011, the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs referred to developments to date:
- arising out of Government decisions of 31 May 2011 (announced 3 June), the heads of a new Gaeltacht Bill to
give effect to those decisions had been drafted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (D/AHG)
to be put before the Government soon and for publication in 2012;
- a 3-year overarching implementation plan for the Strategy was currently being drafted by the Strategy Unit in
the Department; a consultation process was ongoing with the many interested parties which comprise part of
that implementation plan and early publication of the plan was intended;
- three high-level groups had been established to assist in the formation of this plan: one between the D/AHG
and the DES; another between the D/AHG, dars na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge on the differing areas
of implementation responsibility in the different agencies; the third between the D/AHG, the Department of
Public Expenditure and Reform (D/PER) and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (D/JEI) on
methods of enterprise investment in the Gaeltacht;
- decisions on the resources available for implementation of the Strategy awaited the outcome of the expenditure
review and the departmental estimates process; however, the Government hoped to implement as much as
possible of the Strategy;
- the Cabinet Committee chaired by the Taoiseach had been re-instituted; it had already held two meetings and a
third was planned.
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Nevertheless, in response to repeated questioning, a recognised active rle for the Irish-language Voluntary Sector in the
implementation of the Strategy was not made immediately clear (Chapter 7).
STRUCTURES AND ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY (2 NOVEMBER 2011)
The Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht issued a press release on 2 November 2011
announcing the publication of his Departments implementation plan for the 20-Year Strategy. This had two aspects: the
main priorities for the year 2011; the preparation of a draft 3-year implementation plan 2012-2014 to be published after
consultation with other key stakeholders.
This was followed by implementation plans from other departments: Education & Skills; Foreign Affairs & Trade; Health;
Children & Youth Affairs; Communications, Energy & Natural Resources; Environment, Community & Local Government;
Justice & Equality; Defence; Public Expenditure & Reform; Department of the Taoiseach.
These are all accessible on departmental websites. They were not met with great enthusiasm from Irish speakers.
OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE MEETINGS ON THE STRATEGY AND RELATED MATTERS (MARCH 2014)
More than 2 years after this announcement from the Minister of State, the concern of Irish speakers was confirmed following
the appearance of the Minister before the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on the Strategy and Related Matters. The promised
Strategic Unit within the department had not yet been established, for example. Nevertheless, the Minister considered that
satisfactory progress had been made in a difficult economic climate.
On the previous day, the Minister of State had spoken before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and
Petitions on issues raised by the retiring Coimisinir Teanga, particularly delay with language schemes among public bodies, a
matter for which the department holds legal responsibility.

SUMMARY ON LEGISLATIVE AND STRUCTURAL PROVISION (2007 ONWARD)


Probably the most salient factors arising from the foregoing chapters are firstly, the attempt to provide some inclusive overarching approach, through what was termed a Strategy rather than a Plan, towards reaching a critical mass of daily speakers by
2030 of a kind that would ensure the future of Irish. Secondly, there is an underlying implicit if unstated belief that this critical
mass, if reached, would most likely comprise networks of speakers even in Gaeltacht areas, rather than communities.
The third point to be noted is what appeared to current speakers and to the Irish lobby to be the lack of urgency in
embarking on the task. Instead, in 2011-2012, a period of inaction interspersed with various announcements on changes to
the Strategy ensued, accompanied by delays which caused uncertainty (e.g. future of An tdars, appointment of CEO to
the agency, decision on board members) and funding decisions by Foras na Gaeilge in relation to the Voluntary Sector which
appeared to curtail the independence and breadth of activity on the ground of organisations whose work at that level would be
crucial to the success of the official Strategy.
Lack of momentum and even of information as well as lack of follow-up appeared to many to arise from political
disagreement on the way forward rather than from the evident lack of financial resources. Enthusiasm waned on all sides. It
will not be easily retrieved given the atmosphere engendered by uncertainty and ambivalence. Absence of commitment to the
language, or understanding of its rle in society, on the part of the Government as a whole was feared by the Irish lobby, despite
the evident zeal of some. This was further reinforced by three legislative changes to the Official Languages Act 2003 which were
considered to have weakened its import and reduced the status of the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga. More significant still was
the delay of the Department responsible in seeking or confirming language schemes so vital to the functioning of the Act and
to the authority of the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga, as was put before the relevant Oireachtas Committee by An Coimisinir.
Fourthly, while a degree of legislative legitimacy was given to the concept of local language planning through the Gaeltacht
Act 2012, it was almost simultaneously negated by the bestowing of chief responsibility for this onto local voluntary groups,
whether in the Gaeltacht, in Gaeltacht towns or in places outside the Gaeltacht. The same Act appeared to place the obligation
for language maintenance squarely on speakers and community with no more than an authoritative inspection rle with
regard to their efforts by the Department and an assistive rle for the State agencies, An tdars and Foras na Gaeilge, three
entities whose task is, in fact, inter alia, language maintenance and development. It is not clear whether these bodies also will
participate in the language planning courses proposed for the voluntary planning groups in the Gaeltacht Areas.
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Fifthly, while the Strategy was top-down and the local plans bottom-up, the rle of State agencies (including Education) in
providing services to citizens is lacking in the criteria accompanying the Priseas Pleanla Teanga (Language Planning Process).
Finally, in place of collaborative planning and effort by State and community, a new more dictatorial official policy appears
to have been fostered by the cost cutting demands of the new fiscal reality, a policy that may to its cost be ignoring not
only the insights of those more intimately engaged with language in society but the benefits of equal collaborative democratic
structures.
A quite elaborate structure (committees, unit, staff) has been put in place to ensure delivery of the Strategy. Unfortunately,
their deliberations have not been made available to the various actors on the ground.

LEGAL SYSTEM, POLICE AND DEFENCE


LEGAL SYSTEM: COMPETENCE AND SERVICE IN IRISH

Training and translation


The long-established Honorable (spelling sic) Society of Kings Inns offered several new courses with some funding from the
Department with responsibility for the language, to help cater for vacancies and opportunities at home and in the EU. In July
2010, Kings Inns advertised for, and later appointed a Course Coordinator for these new part-time courses which included:
Ardchrsa sa Dltheangeoaocht agus san Aistrichn Dlthiil (advanced Lawyer-Linguist and Legal Translation Course)
The EU has a dearth of lawyer-linguists for Irish.
Ardchrsa san Aistrichn Dlthiil (Advanced Legal Translation Course)
Ardchrsa sa Dl-Chleachtadh tr Ghaeilge (Advanced Course in Legal Practice through Irish)
This third course arises out of changes in the law governing the qualifications system for both solicitors and barristers in
the Legal Practitioners (Irish Language) Act 2008.
The courses were first advertised for the period from January to July 2011 preceded by a qualifying examination for
prospective candidates in December 2010. A preparatory course was also advertised for intending applicants. They continue on
a yearly basis as competent Irish language lawyers continue to be required in legal matters at home and in the EU as translators.
As an education institution for law practitioners (barristers-at-law) established in Ireland by Henry the Eighth in 1541
(some 50 years before TCD in 1592), the Honorable Society of Kings Inns and its Benchers had their own rules regarding
that education. An Irish-language version of those rules is now available having been presented to the Society by a graduate of
Acadamh na hOllscolaochta Gaeilge (NUIG).
Two intensive 6-week courses, free of fees, in the translation of legal and other state documents, were organised during
2010 by the Gaeltacht-based translation company, Europus, in conjunction with Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. It was
funded by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The branch of Conradh na Gaeilge representing legal practitioners, Craobh na gCeithre Cirteanna (Four Courts Branch)
has extended its free legal advice from Dublin to Galway and Gaoth Dobhair in Donegal.
A review of court services in Irish saw the end of some local rural court sittings, the closure of some courthouses and an
end to certain services. In the west, in mid 2013 the district court area of Spiddal was amalgamated with that of Derrynea.
In addition, services through Irish (licences etc) at Derrynea were transferred to Galway City and some court cases had to be
postponed until services through Irish were made available.

PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030: RSUM
Development of the use of Irish in the Garda Sochna and the Defence Forces had been one of the 13 objectives of the 2006
Government Statement. The Strategy points to the symbolic importance of both in the life of the nation and to the services
they are required to provide, in the case of garda particularly in the Gaeltacht. Since both come within the Official Languages
Act, current language schemes will continue to be further developed in the context of the Gaeltacht and Irish-speaking units.
The Language Schemes of both An Garda and glaigh na hireann are desribed in the next sections as examples of the
importance of such schemes in retaining and developing the use of Irish and the risks associated with allowing such an integral
part of the Official Languages Act be in any way affected by departmental delay.
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AN GARDA SOCHNA (POLICE)


The bilingual leaflet, An Ghaeilge sa Chirt (Irish in Court), issued by the office of An Coimisinir, sets out clearly the rights of
those who wish to use Irish in court, as set out in the Official Languages Act 2003. It also refers to the Irish language rights of
the citizen if arrested. It is stated in the language scheme of An Garda Sochna that the person has a legal entitlement to have
their business conducted in Irish.
Additionally, under the provisions of the Garda Schna Act 2005, in Section 33 (2), the Garda Commissioner must
ensure, as far as possible, that members of the force in Gaeltacht areas should be competent to carry out their duties in Irish.
This has not always occurred, but a caveat to cover it has been included in the provision to the extent practicable.
The Garda Commissioner shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that members of the Garda Sochna stationed in a
District that includes a Gaeltacht area are sufficiently competent in the Irish language to enable them to use it with
facility in carrying out their duties.
Lmhleabhar Gaeilge an Gharda Sochna is a useful handbook of appropriate terminology for the sector.
There is, however, a decrease in the number of Garda for various reasons: retirement and suspension of recruitment;
those proposing to take early retirement; the possibility that up to 200 small Garda stations (some with a single part-time
officer) could be closed. By September 2011, numbers had fallen by some 500 to in the region of 14,000 overall. The Garda
Commissioner, anticipating future retirements at the top, was already planning ahead.
An Garda embarked on its second Irish Language Scheme in October 2012 when it sought public input into its preparation.
The Scheme for 2009-2012 took cognisance of Article 8 of the Irish Constitution, the Official Languages Act 2003 and,
interestingly, the Supreme Court ruling in the Beolin case, (above). Also mentioned is Coiste Gaeilge an Gharda Sochna,
a voluntary Garda committee, which promotes the use of Irish in An Garda Sochna. Reference is made to the fact that An
Garda Sochna, since its inception in 1922, has endeavoured to provide a quality service in Irish, as required, to the public
we serve and to the existing policy, A Strategy for the Irish Language in An Garda Sochna (1998). This latter policy covered
personnel, telephone calls and correspondence, particularly in Gaeltacht stations (for which service a special allowance was
available) and a more informal service outside the Gaeltacht. An enhanced policy in these areas was envisaged in the Scheme:
- All personnel being allocated to Stations in the Gaeltacht will have the necessary qualifications in Irish.

Timeframe for completion: From the commencement of this Scheme.

Persons already based in these areas will be offered an opportunity to obtain the necessary qualifications in Irish.

Timeframe for completion: End of this Scheme


In compliance with Section 13 (2) (e) of the Official Languages Act 2003, arrangements will be put in place to
ensure the Irish language becomes the working language of every Garda Station in a Gaeltacht area.

Timeframe for completion: End of second Scheme.

An Garda has the services of Ranng na Gaeilge (Irish Language Section) in the Garda College which provides assistance to the
organisation in dealing with Irish language matters. These may include:
research and translation services for statements, reports, legal charges and other various documents requiring
translation into the Irish language.
- An English/Irish dictionary of specialist and legal terminology used by Garda has been issued for the organisation.
Computer generated official forms are translated into the Irish language.
An externally contracted Irish translation service is also available to the Garda organisation.
On training, the Irish language is retained as part of the core programme for Garda Student/Probationer training and the
Oral Irish Proficiency Test moved to Phase I of the Student Probationer training programme to facilitate the proportionate
allocation of Irish speaking Probationer Garda throughout the country.
Implementation and monitoring remains the responsibility of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Change
Management, who will chair the Irish Language Policy Implementation Committee. The membership of this high powered
Committee includes
- Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Change Management Chairperson
- Assistant Commissioner, Human Resource Management
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- Assistant Commissioner, Strategy & Training


- Assistant Principal, Human Resource Management
- Representative from Foras na Gaeilge.
The chain of responsibility for implementation is clear:
- Each Assistant Commissioner will be responsible for implementation of the Scheme in their respective areas.
- Each Regional Inspector will act as the Irish Language Liaison Officer for Their respective Region or Section.
- Each Divisional Officer will nominate an Inspector to co-ordinate the implementation at Divisional level, and
to monitor achievements against the specific commitments set down in this scheme, and report to the Regional
Irish Language Liaison Officer.
- The function of the Liaison Officers is to assist with the structured implementation of this Scheme as directed
by the Irish Language Policy Implementation Committee.
- The Irish Language Policy Implementation Committee will ensure through briefings and newsletters that all staff
within the organisation are aware of the commitments contained in the agreed scheme.
An annual review of progress is the task of Human Resource Management for presentation to the Irish Language Policy
Implementation Committee while the Garda Commissioner will report in the Garda Annual Report on performance against
commitments in the scheme.
The real importance of Schemes lies, of course, in their communication, active acceptance and implementation. Motivation
could be affected by current official policy on removing traditional allowances, including that for service by garda in Gaeltacht areas.
In March 2013, it was announced that a certain number of places would be reserved in the Garda Training College for recruits with
fluent Irish. A fairly similar quota approach for the Civil Service was later announced to replace the bonus scheme.
GLAIGH NA HIREANN (DEFENCE FORCES)
Restructuring and reduction policies also affected the Defence Forces, particularly Army Brigades and Barracks. By June 2012,
following several closures, official plans were to have two Brigades, the Eastern and the Southern, and to disband the Western
Brigade. All such changes could affect the use of the Irish language. Nevertheless, the second Language Scheme of the Forces
was prepared for the period 2010-2013 and commitments there have not been rescinded. Comhairle na Gaeilge (Irish Council),
representative of the various sections of the Forces, is responsible for Irish within the Forces.
The Defence Forces Language Council (Comhairle na Gaeilge glaigh na hireann) was established under Para 202
of Administrative Instruction A8 Chapter 5. It is responsible for all matters pertaining to the Irish language and Irish
culture and must advise the Chief of Staff accordingly. The Comhairle comprises representative from each Brigade,
the Defence Forces Training Centre, the Air Corps and the Naval Service. The senior Irish Language Officer acts as
Chairman.
The long tradition of engagement with the language in the Defence Forces is described thus:
The visible signs of this tradition can be seen in the practice of delivering words of command through Irish, the
existence of a designated Irish speaking unit, the First Infantry Battalion in Galway, the availability of an English-Irish
dictionary of military terms as well as strong support for the language amongst the forces generally.
With regard to the first Scheme (2007-2010), it is considered that:
A broad range of objectives was establishedto serve the members of the organisation itself and the public in general. The
majority of the undertakings were fulfilled and a system was established whereby basic services through Irish were offered.
The main services provided in the first scheme were:
- A bilingual website.
- An Irish language version of application forms for internal use.
- The publication of advertisements, signs, press releases, recruitment booklets and other documents in bilingual form.
- The appointment of officers with Irish language capabilities to the areas involved in contact with the public.
Among the commitments of the second Scheme (2010-2013) are the following:
- The 1st Infantry Battalion will continue to be supported and preserved as an Irish speaking unit. Each
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commander of the battalion places an emphasis on the language and Irish is used as the working language of
the barracks on a daily basis in as far as is possible.
- Personnel will be selected to undertake Irish language courses in recognised colleges. At present three are
attending an intensive grammar course in preparation for a third level course in the coming year. These will be
appointed as Irish Language officers in the future.
- An Irish summer camp is organised each year in Dn U Mhaoilosa, Galway. Over fifty personnel normally
attend. The programme is based on language classes in ras U Chadhain in Carraroe under the direction of
Acadamh na hOllscoilaochta Gaeilge, NUIG as well as cultural activities in the surrounding Gaeltacht area.
- Personnel interested in the language will be encouraged to attend Irish language courses.
- Members of the Defence Forces who wish to improve their capability in Irish will be supported by the provision
of Irish grammar books and dictionaries and the provision of advice on the facilities available online.
Interestingly, all career courses will include lectures on Irish and language awareness. Reorganisation receives mention in
relation to the Gaeltacht:
Due to the reorganisation of the Reserve Defence Forces there is only one unit of the Reserve located in the Gaeltacht,
that is, An Cheathr Rua. The process of ensuring that Irish will be the working language in this unit by 2012 will
continue.
In addition, An Chomhairle Gaeilge will continually review the workings of the scheme. A report on the results of this
monitoring will be sent to the Chief of Staff at the end of each year.
Nevertheless, letters appeared in the press in January 2014 pointing to the gradual erosion of traditional uses of Irish in the
Defence Forces. These included non-use of glaigh na hireann and its replacement by Army; use of Navy in other instances;
the FCA (Frsa Cosanta itiil) renamed Army Reserve and An Slua Muir as Naval Reserve.

PLANNING FOR A BILINGUAL PUBLIC SERVICE


HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
Clearly, a bilingual public service is dependent on the language facility of civil service and public sector staff, as An Coimisinir
Teanga keeps reiterating. This language competence includes both languages. It means recruitment, language training, language
awareness policies and a planned consistent systematic approach to overcoming problems. There is general agreement that,
whatever the perceived faults in the then existing language policy for civil service personnel, the changes proficiency in either
Irish or English on recruitment; bonus marks based on oral and written examination in Irish for promotion introduced by
the Fine Gael government in 1975 did not result in any improvements with regard to ensuring a functionally bilingual public
service. Neither did the changes agreed in 1990 between the Public Service Executive Union and the then Inter-Departmental
Committee on the Use of Irish within the Civil Service: 10% existing bonus for an indefinite term reduced to 6% and
thereafter to 3% for defined periods accompanied by retesting, although without these bonuses the situation would probably
have been much worse. The basic problem may have been the emphasis on a sole aspect, competence among personnel, when
a more comprehensive and active policy was required to engender public confidence in the use of services through Irish. As
detailed below and in other sections, this is now the approach advocated, both in the schemes under the Official Languages
Act 2003 and in the 20-Year Strategy for Irish.
Nevertheless, pending active operation of the 20-Year Strategy, some problems remain. A legal challenge was brought in
the High Court in late 2010 by a civil servant on the basis that she did not receive the 6% bonus marks for Irish when applying
for a post in Brussels. Her case was upheld and she was awarded over 28,000. The State was apparently planning an appeal to
the Supreme Court on the judgment.
In his Annual Report for 2008, An Coimisinir Teanga advocated a rebalancing action for civil service and public service
staffing in order to ensure a quota of staff competent to deliver services in Irish to the public. This had been the approach
to positive discrimination advocated by the Patten Report to ensure cross-community participation in the Police Service of
Northern Ireland (PSNI). In an address at Tralee Institute of Technology (late November 2010), An Coimisinir referred to
the scandal of lack of personnel to deliver public services through Irish. A (then) recent survey within the Department of
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Education and Skills had found that the 3% of staff competent to deal with the public through Irish in 2005 had fallen to
1.5%, leaving 98.5% unable to do so.
As detailed above, up to his stepping down in February 2014 due to lack of State action on this essential aspect of
interaction between State and citizens, An Coimisinir Teanga continued his trenchant analyses of the dire situation. On
3 September 2013, at the launch of Coliste na hireann, he had used research to show what could be described as the
pretence behind this State language policy. He saw no progress in the October 2013 announcement by the Minister for Public
Expenditure and Reform on the acceptance by Government of that Ministers proposal to discontinue the bonus points system
on the grounds that (i) it was an anomaly and (ii) it had not worked and (iii) there were better means of ensuring public
servants with sufficient proficiency to serve the Gaeltacht or to work in areas where a good standard of Irish was necessary.
These better means were not made available beyond the new proposed system to set aside a quota of 6% of recruitment
panels in the Civil Service for new employees with Irish, a system considered inadequate by language organisations particularly
in relation to the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for Irish. An Coimisinir commented that the former system did not
work as it was never implemented and that this too would fail and lead to compulsory English. He asked for a review of the
new proposal when amendments to An tAcht Teanga were being debated as an aspect basic to the working of the Act.
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030
In a section headed Measures for Irish in Public Service, the Strategy refers to the need (highlighted on several occasions by An
Coimisinir Teanga) for a higher proportion of public service personnel to be functional in Irish to the degree that they can
offer services bilingually. Three measures are proposed to try to reach this level:
- the Department of Finance and the Public Appointments Service, over time given present constraints on
recruitment, will devise appropriate arrangements to increase the cohort who are functional bilinguals;
- an accredited qualification will be designed a National Diploma in Bilingualism and Language Practice;
- in future, language schemes prepared under the requirements of the Official Languages Act will specify the posts
for which Irish language competence is necessary.
So far (late 2012), these remain proposals.
OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS ON A BILINGUAL PUBLIC SERVICE IN THE FIONTAR REPORT

Strategic policy requirement


The Fiontar approach to specifying posts is stronger; it recommends a policy requirement in favour of competent bilinguals in
those departments and agencies where routine demand exists for bilingual services. Such an approach would, probably, require
negotiation with the relevant trade unions.

Language advocates (tathantir teanga) or mentors


The Fiontar report also recommended a system of language advocates or mentors, trained professionals working as capacity
and confidence builders within organisations, whether at local, county or specific sector level.
GAELEAGRAS NA SEIRBHSE POIBL
Another possible threat to services in Irish arose from the planned re-organisation of some national and local bodies, see below
under Funding. However, a more immediate threat to ensuring ongoing competence in the public service was the unexpected
planned closure of the internal support structure, Gaeleagras na Seirbhse Poibl (1972) announced in late 2010. In reply to a
parliamentary question on the matter in November 2010, the Minister for Finance gave the following information. The Civil
Service Training and Development Centre is located in the Department of Finance. Language training within the Centre is
offered by two bodies: Gaeleagras for Irish and the Language Centre for other languages. The Language Centre offers courses
to civil servants, including members of An Garda Sochana and the Defence Forces, in a range of languages: French. German,
Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Standard Mandarin and Irish Sign Language. A translation service is also provided. Total
expenditure on teaching costs (administrative and incidental costs excluded), including staff seconded from the Department
of Education and Skills, was as follows:

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Civil Service Language Centre Teaching Costs 2005 02 November 2010


Year

Expenditure

Year

Secondments

2005

204,597.99

2004/05

145,570.30

2006

236,446.41

2005/06

154,477.90

2007

233.812.83

2006/07

75,007.00

2008

287,619.21

2009

262,498.07

2010 (to date)

213,314.17

For Gaeleagras, expenditure costs were as follows:

Gaeleagras, Costas Teaching & Provision of Services 2005 02 November 2010


Year

Expenditure

2005

428,895

2006

444,691

2007

464,349

2008

424,865

2009

413,430

2010 (to date)

206,829

The Minister described the function and services in these terms:


Gaeleagras delivers training in the Irish Language to civil servants to enable Departments to meet their obligations
under the Official Languages Act, 2003. It provides accredited Irish Language coursesand specialised in-house
training to Departments and Offices. In addition, Gaeleagras organises a number of scholarship programmes each
year in Gaeltacht areas; it provides a confidential translation service for this Department [Finance] and a translation
service for official publications. It is also responsible for the Irish Proficiency Test throughout the wider civil service.
The decrease in expenditure in 2010 is apparently attributable to a lesser number of the scholarship Gaeltacht programmes
being organised, in line with Government requests on reductions across all areas.
The remit of Gaeleagras was very wide. While there exist other external providers of similar type services, scholarships
excepted, the Irish community were concerned that the State was now apparently removing an internal comprehensive Statewide support structure and asked for the full reinstatement of Gaeleagras-type State-supported training for civil servants.
While teaching classes were suspended and the retiring Stirthir (Director) was not replaced, some examinations had to be
conducted to ensure equity. The entity appeared to be still in limbo in September 2011. However, in late 2011, a document
from the new Department of Public Expenditure and Reform carried the information that Gaeleagras was in orderly wind
down. No mention was made of any alternative arrangement. Perhaps this awaited implementation of the 20-Year Strategy
or the results of the review on the Official Languages Act. Another support structure appeared to be in, at the least, abeyance.
However, Foras na Gaeilge stepped into the breach and awarded a three-year contract to provide specialist Irish language
courses to the public sector for the 2011-2014 period, (North South Ministerial Council Joint Communiqu, 14 February
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2012). In fact, at its board meeting of 14 April 2011, An Foras had accepted the recommendation of its Grants Committee and
agreed a sum not more than 200,000 over three years for a new scheme titled scheme for providers of specialist Irish courses
to the public sector. Media reports in April 2012 on members and staff of the Oireachtas taking language classes revealed the
following, inter alia. Up to 31 staff members and 16 Deputies were taking the Irish classes provided; cost was under 3,000.
More Deputies took Irish than took French classes.
Official information on language proficiency for civil service candidates and personnel was available at
www.codpearsanra.gov.ie. There were three possibilities to establish bilingual proficiency: By passing:
For prospective candidates Recruitment.
The Optional Language Test run by the Public Appointments Service (if successful, 6% extra marks of total acquired
on recruitment).
For existing civil servants Promotion.
Gaeleagras Triail Innilachta (Proficiency Test).
Attending a Gaeleagras couse leading to a certificate of competence.
In the latter two cases concerning internal promotional competitions, civil servants who acquired proficiency in the 5 years prior
to the date of the competition are entitled to the 6% extra marks; if acquired between 5 and 10 years previously, it falls to 3%.
Here, as elsewhere, the issue of competence versus actual use arises. Acquiring competence is one matter, being given
opportunities to use (and so increase) that competence professionally within the work sphere on a planned basis is quite
another matter. A more comprehensive policy appeared to be required.
In offering a positive solution to the dearth of people in the Civil Service able to offer service in Irish, An Coimisinir
suggested, in the context of the 20-Year Strategy, that a system of positive discrimination apply for a number of years in an
effort to reach some equilibrium. A similar system was suggested (Patten Report) with regard to the Police Service of Northern
Ireland (PSNI), to ensure candidates from both the unionist and nationalist communities. The following quote from an
address given by An Coimisinir at the Tralee Institute of Technology in late November 2010, perhaps gives the reason for the
necessity of such a policy:
I am not in any way making a case for a return to compulsory Irish for employees of the State, but neither do I believe
it is acceptable [that] compulsory English is forced on the public in their dealings with the State.
On 20 February 2013, the Minister of State at the D/AHG announced the signing of a Service Level Agreement on the issue
between the D/AHG and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. This agreement was for:
the provision of Irish language training and proficiency testing for the civil service and certain public service
organisations.
Under the agreement, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will be responsible for ensuring the provision
of Irish language training programmes and proficiency testing are sufficient to meet organisational requirements.
The Minister of State explained the purpose and importance of the agreement as being:
to support staff in developing their proficiency in the Irish language and to enhance the capacity of the civil service
and other bodies to provide services to the public through Irish[and as being] particularly important in the context
of the Official Languages Act 2003 and the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030.
In the event, a new proposal (as detailed above) on a 6% quota of new entrants with Irish to replace the existing system
was accepted by Government in October 2013.
TECHNOLOGY AND PUBLIC SERVICE

Postcodes
On the subject of national postcodes, no less than five reports were issued from 2005 onwards, the first from the communications
regulator, ComReg. Irish speakers were wary of the idea, fearing that the heritage of national placenames would eventually be
replaced. In September 2009, the then Minister for Communications announced that a national postcode system was to be
introduced in 2010, based on numbers and letters (the ABC-123 system). Plans were, however, shelved and tendering did not
take place, although discussion continued at political level. In April 2010, an Oireachtas report advised in favour of the digital
location system. In July 2010, a private company produced such a system in advance of the liberalisation of the postal market
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planned to come into operation in 2012. It was funded by private investment and also by the official agency, Enterprise Ireland.
The mapping technology used was from Ordnance Survey Ireland and Land & Property Services Northern Ireland.
In early January 2011, the previous Cabinet agreed to a tendering process to procure contracts. The project costs were
estimated at up to 15 million. At the time, the project envisaged had elements of both systems under discussion, being
primarily the ABC-123 system but refined by a location model based on a defined number of post towns which would
pinpoint exact locations in the locality of these post towns.
The concerns of Irish speakers that the letters to be used should be based on the Irish language version of post towns
were addressed to some extent. The then Minister recommended that the use of Irish versions take precedence certainly in
the Gaeltacht, and elsewhere also except in the case of major differences between the two language versions. How this might
actually work out was not entirely clear. In the event, political upheavals caused the matter to be put into abeyance at the time.
No decision had been taken by late September 2011.
In fact, numerical postal codes are currently in use only in the capital, added by area to the full address after Dublin.
Apparently, the Republic of Ireland is the sole EU or OECD state that does not have a national postcode system. An Post,
the national postal system, was not entirely convinced that more changes were required given the system updating that it had
already put in place.
Computer software nowadays is generally regarded as being capable of handling any language, including diacritical marks.
However, in his Annual Report for 2008, An Coimisinir Teanga gave details of an investigation conducted into a specific issue
with the Department of Social and Family Affairs, which had a language scheme in effect since 1st June 2007. Complaints were
made that the length mark (sneadh fada) was being removed on the names and surnames in Irish of newly registered children.
While the particular system in use was Irish-capable, the department explained that difficulties arose when information was
being shared with other internal systems. These difficulties would be resolved as phasing out of the incompatible systems went
ahead. Nevertheless, the findings were, inter alia, that contravention had occurred, that the cited problem should be rectified
and the complainants so informed.
The Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act of August 2011 did not deal with the issue of postcodes.
Eventually, on 8 October 2013 the Government approved the award of a 16m tender for the development of a unique
7-digit postcode for every premises in the State by 2015. Existing postal codes for Dublin city will remain. Use of the new
postcodes need not necessarily preclude simultaneous use of the full Irish form of addresses. However, in the examples given,
it appeared that the letters used in the postodes would reflect the English form of city or town names.

IRISH LANGUAGE OFFICERS, SCHEMES AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE


The number of posts as Irish Language Officers tends to change and will probably change more in the future with cutbacks and
amalgamations and particularly with reduction in the number of local authorities.
Local authorities and the health service are reported separately below.

Government Departments
Approximately half of the fifteen Government Departments had a designated Irish Language Officer: Department of the
Taoiseach, Education, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Communications, Transport and Agriculture. By end 2010, of all Schemes
confirmed, An Coimisinir reported the (then) 15 departments (and the Office of the President) as having schemes in place.
However, review was required in view of changed functions in some instances on foot of changes introduced by the Coalition
Government of March 2011.

Public Bodies
Of the large number of public bodies, twelve have designated Irish Language Officers: RT, An Post, Office of Public Works,
Bord Solthair Leictreachais (ESB, Electricity Supply Board), Bus tha Cliath (Dublin Bus), Bus ireann (national bus service),
An Bord Pleanla (Planning), Na Coimisinir Ioncaim (Revenue Commissioners), glaigh na hireann (Defence Forces),
Promh-Oifig Staidrimh (Central Statistics Office), and two Vocational Education Committees (counties of Dublin and
Galway). There exists a wide range of public bodies. The Official Languages Act covers some 650, including Government
departments and third-level institutions. Schemes are present in many as directed by the Minister. Some, however, have
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lapsed and require new ministerial direction. In these instances, the obligations of existing plans remain without development.
Among the bodies having schemes are An Garda Sochana.

Third-level institutions
Of the seven universities, five have designated Officers. Of the other two, University College Cork (UCC) has a very active
Bord na Gaeilge (Irish Language Board) and Dublin City University (DCU) has a business, finance and technology section
functioning entirely through Irish, Fiontar. The colleges of education had numbered five, two large and three smaller
institutions. One of the latter, Froebel College, has now been incorporated into the School of Education in the National
University of Ireland at Maynooth (which has an Officer); one of the large colleges (in Limerick) has its own Officer.
Eleven third-level institutions had confirmed Schemes in place at end 2010: five universities; five institutes of technology, one
of the smaller colleges of education, and also the Higher Education Authority (HEA)..

Local authorities
Up to 20 local authorities (including six of the seven containing Gaeltacht regions) have (2011) a designated Irish Officer,
whether full-time, on contract, part-time, or as additional duties for an existing member of staff.
The Department of the Environment lists 27 county councils (Tipperary having two, north and south ridings); 5 city
councils; 5 borough councils and 75 town councils. Reduction measures planned by the previous administration were
continued and some were published in late June 2011. Limerick City and County Councils will be merged and become a
single authority after the 2014 local elections. This had been the main recommendation of the Brosnan report for the Limerick
Local Government Committee. The Minister with responsibility for local government affairs intended to publish further
proposals for reform in Autumn 2011. Ongoing reform will result, inter alia, in amalgamation of county and city councils
in Limerick and Waterford and in amalgamation of the two ridings in Tipperary. In October 2011, the Minister for the
Environment, speaking at a discussion organised by the Political Studies Association of Ireland, announced that he would be
making a statement in January 2012 on a major reform of local government, part of which would concern the ongoing issue of
local authorities raising and spending money in their own local area. The eventual result of this reform is found further below.
Irish Language Schemes may cover several connected public bodies. In the case of a local authority, the various authorities
within a county may (or may not) be included. From the 2010 annual report of An Coimisinir, it appears that some 33 local
authorities now have a Scheme (whether first or second) in place, 23 encompassing all local authorities within counties. All
seven local authorities with Gaeltacht areas have a scheme in place. Two Boards serving local authorities (IT, Management) also
had Schemes in place.
Some positive examples of Schemes include the following. The second 3-year scheme (in bilingual format) from Kerry
County Council, in effect from 20 October 2010, is a case in point. It takes an articulated approach to its linguistic obligations,
from signage to counter service, from forms and press statements to nominated officers in each department, from staff training
to delivery of services in Irish in the Gaeltacht. This Council also issued its road signage policy bilingually; it includes a
commitment to correct any non-compliant examples of road signage within six months of notification. In Dublin county, the
8-page newsletter of Fingal County Council usually contains one page in Irish. Both Kerry and Fingal have an Irish Language
Officer.
Nevertheless, the overall picture remains patchy as revealed in the annual reports and various audits of the Office of An
Coimisinir Teanga, as outlined above. His recommendations on the review of the Official Languages Act (in the Programme
for a National Government, Introduction, above) also treat these matters.
Answering questions in the Dil on 18 October 2011, the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht made clear that he would be
happy to meet with councillors in local authorities covering Gaeltacht regions.

Health Services
Overall, there are currently (2011) Irish Officers in five areas of the Health Service Executive. The Health Service Executive
comprises four Health Regions to cover the country; these have further subdivisions. Irish is included in the list of the various
languages in use to provide information in brochure and poster form on a range of public health issues. However, changes are
in train for the HSE overall structure. These will have an effect on staff numbers and designation.

In the public health area, general letters on the swine flu vaccine were eventually issued bilingually by the Health Protection
section of the HSE and the (then) Department of Health and Children. Nevertheless, the reports on some issues from An
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Coimisinir Teanga (above) reveal problems also. These may be considered acute when put in the context of the size of the
health services. At Tstal 2012, An Coimisinir reported that approximately one of every three in the public service work in the
health services.

Training for Irish Language Officers


Irish Officers receive no specific training. However, the Office of An Coimisinir offers a support and information network
while Comhdhil Nisinta na Gaeilge and Foras na Gaeilge may provide useful seminars. As a group, the Officers made a
submission with regard to the review of the Official Languages Act.
CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
The cultural institutions were all formally allocated to the newly named Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs on
9 March 2011, in the distribution of functions within the new Coalition cabinet.
In April 2010, at a conference in Trinity College Dublin, the participants were informed by a speaker from the National
Archives that, due to lack of space and staff, as well as unsuitable accommodation, the facility was unable to fulfil its statutory
obligations to accept the transfer of archives from all government departments and make them available under the 30-year
rule. At the same conference, disquiet was made clear on the possibility of merging the National Archives with the National
Library, as mooted earlier. Two months later, by mid-2010, the then Taoiseach was announcing that legislation was being
prepared to merge the National Archives, the Irish Manuscripts Commission and the National Library of Ireland in order to
create a new National Library and Archives of Ireland. The then Fine Gael Leader of the Opposition expressed concern that
so many valuable manuscripts were in different locations, some disintegrating. He requested that the holders of such valuable
materials be contacted. The Labour Leader concurred that retention of such documents was essential. By November 2011, the
Fine Gael/Labour Party Coalition included the amalgamation of the National Archives and the National Library in their cull
of existing agencies, a move which led to no small media comment. On 31 October 2012, final decisions on amalgamations
and mergers affecting the cultural institutions were announced. These have been treated above, Location of broadcasting and
other cultural institutions.
The Irish Folklore Commission was established in 1935. It is housed in University College Dublin (UCD). The 75th
anniversary of that event was celebrated in a series of events between April 2010 and April 2011 and the issue of a publication.
Historical comparisons were inevitable given the advances in the technology now available both to record and preserve material,
not only since 1935 but even since 1985 when the Commission commemorated 50 years of invaluable work.

STATE LANGUAGE PLANNING IN THE NEW MILLENIUM


20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030

Background
The 20-Year Strategy was first heralded in the Government Statement on the Irish Language of December 2006 and later
incorporated into the National Development Plan 2007 onward published in January 2007. Following a process of public
tender, advertised in Iris Oifigiil (Official Journal), the task of advising the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht
Affairs (DCRGA) in the preparation of the proposed Strategy was awarded in February 2008 to an international expert team
co-ordinated by Fiontar, Dublin City University (DCU). The team consisted of experts in different disciplines from Fiontar
(DCU) and the universities of Cardiff, Geneva and Melbourne, assisted by a project manager/researcher. The policy remit
given to the team was quite specific. It comprised three distinct but related areas on which the Department was to be advised
in the context of the preparation of the 20-Year Strategy: initiatives and proposals that would:
(i) increase the number of daily speakers outside the education system from the current (Census 2006) 72,000 to
250,000 (the critical mass decided by the Minister);
(ii) increase the number of daily speakers in the Gaeltacht since the Gaeltacht was crucial to the overall Strategy;
(iii) increase the numbers using State services through the medium of Irish as well as the numbers who could access
television, radio and print sources through Irish.
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Given the importance of public involvement in the process of devising a national language strategy for which community
support is crucial, the Department initiated public consultation. This took the form of a questionnaire (available on a dedicated
website) devised with the collaboration of the Fiontar team, a series of public meetings in various locations throughout the
State, acceptance of individual submissions and meetings of the expert team with key stakeholders. The report of the expert
team was issued by the D/CRGA in November 2009 after the publication of the Government Draft Strategy. It is dated
February 2009. As an advisory document, it would have informed the subsequent planning work of the Department towards
the Draft Strategy which came at the end of 2009. Since the Draft Strategy is a Government document and involves different
departments, the draft prepared by the D/CRGA would have had to be examined and agreed by these departments. While the
Strategy was originally intended to run for the period 2008-2028, delays inevitably occurred with the result that 2030 is now
envisaged as the end point.

Comparison
The Fiontar (DCU) Report
Comparison of the Fiontar report and the Draft Strategy reveal the extent of agreement between the two documents albeit
with some significant differences. It is these points of difference which have attracted most public attention particularly at
the hearing of the Oireachtas (legislature) Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
which took place on 20 January 2010. These issues relating to the possible future structural framework to support the language
have been discussed above in the section on Structural Proposals 2009-2011. Representatives of Irish language bodies,
statutory and voluntary, one from Northern Ireland, were invited to speak and be questioned before the Oireachtas Committee.
The entire proceedings (2.5 hours) were transmitted live by TG4 (one of the participants). A decision was taken at this hearing
to convene another such meeting in the Gaeltacht with Gaeltacht bodies. This was scheduled for 26 February 2010.

The results of the questionnaire prepared by the Fiontar team for the public consultation process fed into their deliberations.
Apart from the two usual sections which begin and end such questionnaires that is general (and often anonymous)
information on the respondent and any other information or comments or, in this case, recommendations there were 8
sections in the Fiontar questionnaire. These included the following topics: education, Irish in the community, youth, the arts,
business and technology, the media, reading, status. The Fiontar report is also structured around the 13 principles outlined in
the Government Statement on the Irish Language of December 2006 and acknowledges the recommendations of the 2007
Report on the Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht and the (then) ongoing consideration of that study by an
interdepartmental committee chaired by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister). The initiatives which the Fiontar report eventually
proposed by domain are grouped under seven headings: education; administration, services and community; media and
technology; official standing; economic life; cross-cutting initiatives and corpus resource planning.
The Fiontar report refers to the systemic approach taken by the team: linkage between the twin aspects of language protection
and language promotion together with the embedding of language processes in the broader context political, economic, social,
and educational. The tool around which the analytic framework is organised centres on the dynamic interrelationship between
the usual trio of ability, use, and attitudes to use accompanied by an attempt to identify the deficiencies in current approaches
with regard to all three aspects. The emphasis not on general attitudes to the language but attitudes to its use is significant. The
Mac Gril and Rhatigan survey (Section 2, Attitudes: Republic of Ireland) also provides a perspective on this aspect.
The 13 principles of the 2006 Government Statement are examined in order to propose both primary and derived
secondary measures to achieve the aims of the Statement; an approach which, the authors forewarn, may lead to listing
deficiencies in current measures or the need for radically changed measures. It is intended that integration of both theory and
proposals should provide a coherent Strategy towards attainment of the required 250,000 daily speakers over the 20-year time
span. While advising that Government policy for the Gaeltacht should be closely aligned to the Strategy proposals, and stating
its own position on the significance of the Gaeltacht to the future of Irish, the Fiontar report does not treat with the Gaeltacht
as a separate issue although clearly many of its proposals are applicable to it.
Interestingly, the Fiontar report also refers to the desirability of the Strategy being complementary to wider language
planning for the development of the communicative resources of the Irish people in a multilingual and globalising world.
The conclusion to the report refers to the rapid and profound change of the present age. It goes on to situate Ireland in an
international focus on languages.
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the preservation and promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity is a concern for human societies at all levels,
including that of the European Union where strategies for multilingualism are actively being developed.
Irish is a fully fledged partner in this shared endeavour, in addition to its specific role in the historical context of
Ireland. A future Ireland in which the Irish language is vibrant, widely used and appreciated is one of the greatest
investments that could be made to secure a just, autonomous, distinctive and permanent role for Irish civilisation in
a world experiencing such profound change.

The Government (Draft) Strategy


The policy context for the initial Draft Strategy derives naturally from existing policy, the Constitution and the Government
Statement of 2006 as well as from the national and international significance of the Irish language, historic and current, and
the value now attaching to linguistic diversity especially through the global work of UNESCO, in particular the nine criteria
of linguistic vitality drawn up by that body. These criteria comprise: the absolute number of speakers and their proportion
in the total population; intergenerational transmission; attitudes of the language community towards their own language;
materials for language education and literacy; shifts in domains of use and response to new domains, including media; official
attitudes and policies, comprising official status and use; and type and quality of documentation. The Draft Strategy also draws
extensively on the Fiontar analysis, on the Report on the Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht (2007), and on
the Mac Gril and Rhatigan survey (under Chapter 2, Republic of Ireland: Attitudes, above). It also mentions the relevant
experience of other countries as Wales and the Basque Country in sections of the Strategy.
The objective of Government policy is unequivocally stated under Vision.
The objective of Government policy in relation to Irish is to increase on an incremental basis the use and knowledge of Irish
as a community language. Specifically, the Government aim is to ensure that as many citizens as possible are bilingual in
both Irish and English.
Four other aims are also stated in further refinement of this general statement: increasing family transmission of the
language; supporting the Gaeltacht as a linguistic community; ensuring linguistic choice for the citizen in public service and
discourse (although with the proviso as far as practical) and that more people avail of the services as a result; ensuring the
visibility of Irish in society. The creation of a supportive framework is the overall approach. That people will make a positive
choice to avail of the opportunities to be created is the aspiration.

Interestingly, although the Strategy applies only to the Republic, the governmental position in relation to Irish in Northern
Ireland is clearly stated under Vision: promotion and protection of the language there is also a priority for the Government
and again under Policy Context, where support for the cross-border body, Foras na Gaeilge, is reiterated and the intention to
press for the introduction of a Language Act, inter alia.
Accepting that ability, opportunity and positive attitudes tend to favour use of the language, the Strategy is seen as the
long-term commitment of the Government to a comprehensive and coherent approach to ensuring the future of the language
as a vibrant medium in the education system, in the Gaeltacht, in the political system and in public administration.
The successive phases by which the Strategy is to be implemented follow those proposed by the Fiontar team: establishment
in the first year (2010) through setting up the required structures, including processes of evaluation, identifying resources and
communicating the Strategy itself; followed by three successive phases of increasingly intensive implementation laying the
foundations (2011-12), expanding and deepening (2013-25), consolidating (2026-30). All initiatives would hopefully be
mainstreamed in this final phase. The importance of independent rolling research had been emphasised in the Fiontar report.

As already adverted to, both documents differ in respect of the official supportive framework envisaged for the Strategy and
the location of the evaluation process (Structural Proposals 2009-2011, above and Criticism of the Draft Strategy, below).
They also differ slightly in the current base number of daily speakers outside the education system: Fiontar using the 72,148
figure of Census 2006 and the Strategy quoting approximately 83,000. While the census does distinguish in-school and extraschool speakers, there is also a group of in-school speakers who also use Irish outside the education context. Projections quoted
by Fiontar of possible future incremental growth from the 72,148 baseline, without any intervention or change in current
approaches, are not very encouraging, (Fiontar were working from the original timetable, 2008-2028). The figures serve to
emphasise the urgent need for focussed effective interventions to be commenced as soon as possible.

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Year

2006

2010

2016

2022

2028

Speakers

72,148

74,978

80,014

84,428

87,279

The Strategy outlines nine areas for action: education, including education in the Gaeltacht; the Gaeltacht; family transmission;
administration, services and the community; media and technology; dictionaries; legislation and status; economic life and
cross-cutting issues. Apart from a specific emphasis on the Gaeltacht, these broadly mirror the domains outlined in the Fiontar
report. Many of the Fiontar recommendations also appear. At first sight, however, the initiatives proposed in both the Fiontar
report and the Strategy are not new. At the same time, two factors do distinguish the current approach from previous attempts
at language revitalisation: (i) an emphasis on articulated co-ordinated policies across all domains based on rolling research; (ii)
the definitive nature of the language used in the Draft Strategy and the assigning of responsibility for the actions put forward.
This is shown in wording such as:
The Government acknowledgesis awarehas decided; [initiative] will be introducedwill be delivered;
[department/unit responsible] will preparewill be responsible for
Despite such certainty, the Strategy was a Draft Strategy until such time as it had gone through the various processes of official
and public consultation, underwent revision in the process, and was finally accepted by Government for implementation. It
is of note that the proposals of neither the Fiontar report nor the Draft Strategy were minutely costed; costing was not asked
of the Fiontar team. Nevertheless, the identification and allocation of the requisite resources, of all kinds, are envisaged for
the first year of the Strategy, the year of planning and of establishment of the structural and operational framework. Both
documents support the concept of normalisation as a prerequisite for increasing use.
The initial response of political parties, as observed at the first Oireachtas Joint Committee hearing on 20 January 2010,
appeared largely supportive with some reservations particularly in relation to possible structural changes that could leave the
Gaeltacht without a specific authority. A hearing of the Joint Committee in the Gaeltacht was arranged for 26 February 2010,
in Indreabhn (Inverin). The agenda included responses from each specific Gaeltacht area and from general Gaeltacht-wide
organisations. Public hearings, unfortunately, can tend to lend themselves more to set pieces. The eventual report from this
Oireachtas Committee in July 2010 in general supported the views expressed on the strategic and community significance of
the Gaeltacht.

Criticism of the Draft Strategy


Initial criticism focussed on the difference between the structural changes and site of evaluation proposed in the Fiontar report
and those in the Strategy. Four areas in particular drew argument with regard to these proposed structural arrangements:
- the siting of the programme office (Fiontar: Department of the Taoiseach) versus the strategy unit (Strategy:
Department with responsibility for the language);
- the removal of and change in dars na Gaeltachta and the subsequent lack of a specific support structure for
the Gaeltacht itself;
- the lack of more precise delineation of functions, particularly with regard to the operations and funding of the
voluntary sector, between the proposed dars na Gaeilge with a nation-wide remit and the existing Foras na
Gaeilge with an all-island remit;
- what was perceived as non-separation of planning, implementation and evaluation in the proposed departmental
unit, as opposed to the independence of the evaluation proposals in the Fiontar report;
- the lack of a defined rle for the Irish language voluntary sector.
When Foras na Gaeilge subsumed the existing Bord na Gaeilge as a result of the British-Irish Agreement Act 1999 (the
Good Friday Agreement), many in the Irish language sector outside the Gaeltacht (where dars na Gaeltachta protected
Gaeltacht interests) were of the view that a vital part of the support structure in the Republic had been removed. Foras na
Gaeilge became acceptable only in the context of ensuring official support for the language and its speakers in NI. Some degree
of tension still seems to remain between, on the one hand, language promotion on the part of the voluntary sector on an allisland basis where no serious divisions occur and, on the other hand, protective structures on a political basis in two different
jurisdictions. Now however, when the Draft Strategy proposed a new structure for the Republic on an inclusive State basis, it
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was the Gaeltacht sector which was of the view that it was losing in the re-arrangement.
In media articles in English and in Irish, the perceived emphasis of the Strategy on bilingualism, on learners of Irish as
second language, and on institutional support for that, drew unfavourable comment in the context of the Gaeltacht from
Gaeltacht researchers. They rightly sought a strategy more actively and dynamically centred on the home-school-community
nexus in the language heartland now under such severe threat. These arguments were further elaborated in the publication, An
Chonair Chaoch: An Mionteangachas sa Dtheangachas (The Blind Path: Minority language in Bilingualism), published during
Seachtain na Gaeilge (reported 8 March 2012).

Planned legislation arising out of the Draft Strategy


Domestic
Legislation would be required on several fronts to realise some of the structural proposals in the Draft Strategy. Initially, this
included two Acts, both of which had been expected for some time if not in the form proposed, once the Strategy moved
beyond draft form:
- an Act to restructure dars na Gaeltachta into a new entity, dars na Gaeilge this would require repeal of the
existing dars na Gaeltachta Act;
- an Act to delineate the linguistic criteria through which Gaeltacht status will in future be given to communities;
this will include not only the A, B, C categories recognised in the Report on the Linguistic Study of Language
Use in the Gaeltacht but an additional category D that will give recognition to communities and networks
outside the Gaeltacht which fulfil the required linguistic criteria.

Bille Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Bill)


In the event, the decision of 31 May (announced in June 2011) to leave dars na Gaeltachta solely as a Gaeltacht agency
permitted the use of one piece of legislation to cover all matters arising out of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language. A
Government decision of 7 February 2012 followed: to have a Bill in respect of the Gaeltacht drafted as a matter of priority. The
objectives of this Bill comprised:
- a new definition for the Gaeltacht on linguistic rather than geographic criteria, based on community language
planning and which may include areas outside the traditional Gaeltacht;
- a statutory role for dars na Gaeltachta in the implementation of the Strategy in the Gaeltacht;
- changes to the board of An tdars: reduced membership and no elections.
The latter received criticism on the basis of severing the link with local democracy. Of the previous 20 members, 17 had been
elected and 3 (including the chair) appointed by the Minister. The proposed board of some 10 to 17 members will have some
appointed members and the rest nominated by the seven County Councils which contain Gaeltacht regions. The Bill was
enacted on 25 July 2012 by Government majority, following a walkout by the Opposition, after a stormy passage through the
Houses of the Oireachtas.
This legislation has been discussed above, Chapter 2.

EU legislation
The current status of Irish in the EU (since 1 January, 2007) frees EU institutions through derogation from the obligation to
translate all EU legislation and texts into Irish. This derogation is, however, subject to review from time to time. The Strategy
states that the Government will work to create the circumstances in which a sufficient number of qualified graduates to meet
EU recruitment needs are in place so that this derogation can be ended during the lifetime of this Strategy. Since the Strategy
is of 20-Years duration, the derogation appears to be in for a relatively long life span.

FINE GAEL/LABOUR COALITION AND LANGUAGE POLICY


These are enumerated under various subsections, e.g. Programme for a National Government, Changes to the 20-Year
Strategy, Legislation, Logainmneacha. Unfortunately, to Irish speakers these proposals and subsequent decisions appear
more a weakening than a strengthening of political resolve on behalf of the future of the Irish language if not a gradual erosion
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of elements of the existing support structure for the language under the guise of necessary cost cutting measures. The view
is that short-term expediency, particularly if underpinned by no clear vision or commitment, may have irreparable future
long-term consequences. Hope and trust are traits that bring nations through difficult times. On the evidence of surveys and
responses to recent referenda, they are on the wane among citizens in general. The same appears to be true of Irish speakers
with regard to officialdom and the Irish language, an unwelcome development in what had been a much more positive stage
in fairly recent times.
This lack of confidence in official policy towards the Irish language continued to be further eroded by acts of officialdom
both small and large, from ensuring change in an EU directive to use of only one official language for directions on certain
drugs to waning use of Irish in public such as in branches of the Defence Forces or in the title of the new public water utility.
The introduction of small quotas of Irish speakers for entrants to the Civil Service or to the Garda in place of a bilingual
service proved another example of dismantling an existing support system, however fragile, rather than strengthening it. The
resignation of An Coimisinir Teanga in itself encapsulated these gradual steady eroding changes. The delay in providing any
actively visible manifestation of the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy was, however, the most urgent. By early 2014, the
Strategy was considered moribund to all intents and purposes. The Oireachtas Sub-Committee on the Strategy was, in fact,
engaged on considering ways of reviving it.
On reflection, Irish speakers could see only active negativity or inactive passivity towards the language from their
Government. This saw expression in a public march in central Dublin and a list of demands from some 10,000 people who
travelled from all four provinces on Saturday 15 February 2014.

LOGAINMNEACHA (PLACENAMES)
AN DAINGEAN AND RELATED ISSUES
According to the list of quangos for critical review by June 2012, published by the Minister for Public Expenditure and
Reform in November 2011, the function of An Coimisin Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission) was to be absorbed into
the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht. An Coimisin advises the Minister on the forms of placenames in Irish. An
area of concern to Irish speakers then was the tenure of the current membership of An Coimisin which was due to end in early
October 2012. Its future status could lie in any proposals being considered internally arising out of the review of the Official
Languages Act. The departmental review of An Coimisin was with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
On 31 October 2012, an announcement from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht provided the following
information:
- The Placenames Commission, currently operating with a membership of 17, will be replaced with an expert
committee with a membership of between 7 and 10 members operating pro bono.
- The work of this committee will primarily be undertaken online, with quarterly meetings being held to discuss
complex issues.
It was not immediately clear whether this expert committee would still be known as An Coimisin Logainmneacha, a body
established in 1946, hardly a time of wealth after the second world war. Both this body and the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga
(merged with the Office of the Ombudsman in the same announcement of 31 October 2012) were under the remit of the
Minister of State at the relevant department.
Eventually, almost a year after the initial announcement of change, the Minister of State announced, on 19 September
2013, the list of members nominated to the new Placenames Committee which was clearly stated to be in place of the previous
Placenames Commission. A note to the statement added that it was decided to disband the Placenames Commission and to
appoint a committee in its place. The change took place in accordance with a Government decision under the Public Service
Reform Plan.
The Commission, and now the committee, work in conjunction with the Placenames Branch of the department with
responsibility for the language, both bodies on researching authoritative Irish language versions of placenames. The Branch has
had a history of change also. It had been part of Ordnance Survey (Department of Finance) until that service was privatized when
it was moved to the department with responsibility for the language in the late 1990s. The Principal Officer of the Placenames
Branch retired in mid 2013. He was not replaced nor were any additional staff appointed to the Branch. Responsibility for
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placenames was added to the duties of a member of staff within the department. Irish speakers consider that this vital service
is being gradually downgraded.
The issue of An Daingean as a placename in the Gaeltacht continued from 2006 to 2011. In October 2006, Kerry County
Council, after conducting a plebiscite, applied to change to Dingle Daingean U Chis the Irish-only name for the Gaeltacht
town, An Daingean, as already set out in a ministerial Placenames Order (2004) under the Official Languages Act. The advice
from the Attorney-General at that time was that such a change was not legally possible. In mid-March 2010, a legislative
solution to this particular issue was proposed by the Green Party Minister of the previous administration as part of the Local
Government Act 2010 through a provision which allowed the English version Dingle and the Irish version Daingean U
Chis both to supersede the provision of the Placenames Order citing An Daingean. However, that legislation lapsed, leaving
the issue still to be resolved. In mid-July 2011, having already signalled the matter before the Seanad (Upper House) in June,
the Fine Gael Minister for the Environment brought forward an amendment to the Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill
2011. The amendment proposed was a more general approach instead of response to one particular issue: local government
law (in relation to placenames change) will supersede an order under the Official Languages Act (2003). Under the proposed
legislation, a local authority seeking change is required to specify the desired name in Irish only or in English and in Irish.
While the new amendment would mean the dropping of An Daingean in official terms, it cannot, of course, legislate for
popular usage. The proposed legislation will additionally require both a secret ballot in the case of a plebiscite and adoption of
a resolution by half of the members of the local authority in question. The amendment was approved on 21 July 2011 in the
Dil and the Bill became law on 2 August 2011. However, until that point when the Bill became an Act, road signs leading
to and within the Gaeltacht had to adhere to An Daingean. By October 2011, one of the Kerry County Councillors was
arranging a meeting between local representatives and the Councils Director of Roads and Transportation to discuss the delay
in implementation of the amended section of the Official Languages Act. The Council required a report on the change in signs
for several reasons: the Council and the National Roads Authority (NRA) are responsible for different signs; the name Daingean
Ui Chis is longer than An Daingean and legislation governs lettering size; cost was another factor (one which, apparently, had
not occurred to those involved in the original debate on the placename), approximately 10,000 for the Council; it awaits
funding from the Department of Transport for national secondary and local roads. A gradual implementation is envisaged to
begin in 2012. The NRA made a similar decision on the signs under its responsibility in early 2012.
The provisions on placenames in the final section of this Act 20 of 2011, PART 18, cover eight pages and two sections. Some
regard superseding of orders under the Official Languages Act as a weakening of the language legislation. Placenames orders are
usually put out for public consultation in advance of an order being made when objections or proposals made be made.
The counter-arguments to the sole use of An Daingean had centred largely on tourism issues and possible problems of
understanding of road signs. It is interesting then to compare the approach of Mullingar (County Westmeath) Town Council
of April 2010 when a suggestion was made to upgrade local signage through the use of new bilingual signage in the interests
of business and tourism. Promoting the town through Irish was viewed as important, given the wealth of local and county
folklore heritage as well as the presence of two gaelscoileanna in the town.
In December 2009, Dublin City Council passed a motion to the effect that every new development be given a name
in Irish only, developers to be provided with assistance on aspects of cultural history and topography. The policy met with
opposition from some media. This resolution was to form part of the 2011 development plan for the city Galway City
Council, Shannon Town Council (County Clare) and Navan Town Council (County Meath) have adopted similar policies.
Nevertheless, in parts of the Mayo Gaeltacht, and in other areas of the county, it is reported in the Irish language media (July
2011) that the Irish version of placenames are being defaced.
On the official front, a presentation before the relevant Oireachtas Committee in September 2009 reiterated the many
objections Irish speakers often make to the linguistic mistakes and general design of bilingual road signs. In December 2009,
An Coimisinir Teanga (Commissioner) issued a booklet on the duties of traffic authorities local authorities; An tdars um
Bithre Nisinta (National Roads Authority) in relation to Irish and road traffic signs as set out in the official Traffic Signs
Manual. A complaints form on the matter was also issued to enable citizens to make their concerns formal. An Coimisinir
will investigate any complaints made to him officially. One such complaint was made by a councillor of Castlebar (County
Mayo) Town Council in relation to a Council decision to erect a plaque in English only, on costs grounds, to commemorate
14 steerage passengers from the area who had sailed on the ill-fated Titanic, particularly since 11 were from an area that was
largely Irish-speaking at the time. The decision was reversed.
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At the end of 2011, signs paid for by the town council were erected by the localcommittee to celebrate Cill Airne
(Killarney) as the national winner of the 2011 Tidy Towns competition. Due to an editing oversight, and omission of a
preceding phrase, the signs read, wrongly, Chill Airne. The interesting result was what a local official described as tons of calls
from people pointing out the error before the signs were replaced. Similar complaints followed the erection by the tourist
organisation, Filte Ireland, of an unusual rendering into Irish of the well-known historical English Market in Cork City:
Barla sa Mhargadh, literally English in the Market.
In September 2010, An Coimisin Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission) began the process of public consultation,
as is usual, on the draft order concerning the Irish language version of the placenames of County Dublin. Recommendations
were requested before the end of November 2010. The Irish versions were provided by An Brainse Logainmneacha (Placenames
Branch) situated in the (then) Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. After study of all recommendations
received, in cooperation with An Brainse, advice would then be given to the Minister by An Coimisin. To date, eleven
placenames orders have been issued: seven for specific counties and four more general orders (Provinces and Counties 2003;
Gaeltacht areas 2004 and 2008; Centres of population and districts 2005).
An anomaly with regard to the use of Gaeltacht placenames in planning applications to Galway County Council was
highlighted in September 2012. While the language scheme of the Council includes adherence to the Placenames Order of
2004, the Planning Section of the Council apparently were not accepting Irish versions due to internal re organisation and staff
changes.
The task of archiving placenames continues. Up to 97% of placenames on the island of Ireland derive from the Irish
language. An example from County Westmeath might be St. Bigseachs church, Cill Bhigs, Kilbixy; kil being the anglicised
form of the Irish cill (church) and bixy the anglicised possessive form of the saints name, Bigseach/Bigs. Official funding
for Tionscadal Logainmneacha Thuaisceart ireann (NI Place-names Project) was unfortunately ended in 2010 but the archives
remain in the Irish and Celtic School (Modern Languages) at Queens University, Belfast and the results of research to date on
the website, www.placenamesni.org.
In June 2010, 10 years of work led to the launch of 80,000 placenames in 53 volumes for County Kerry. The list covers
even fields, piers, and lakes testament to the social and cultural history of every locality. Both the Irish and English forms and
their history have now been made available; the work continues on minor names. The archive for Cork is in 115 volumes. This
initial archiving of placenames was begun on the islands of West Cork by Dr amon Lankford, while still teaching fulltime,
in the 1970s. In December 2010, a collection of placenames from seven small islands off the coast of Donegal was launched.
These were prepared by the development committees on the islands which are under the aegis of Comharchumann na nOilen
Beag (Small Islands Cooperative). In October 2010, a seminar on the significance of townlands in placenames research was
held in Armagh organised by the Federation for Ulster Local Studies.
The organisation, An Taisce (literally treasure, hoard): The National Trust for Ireland, voluntary organisation founded 1948),
decided in April 2010 to begin using the Irish version of placenames in their submissions to local authorities, An Bord Pleanla
(Planning Board) and Government. It was hoped to increase use from an initial 20% as familiarity with the process grew.
The website Placenames Database of Ireland (www.logainm.ie) grows in popularity and has attracted over four million hits
to its 100,000 placenames since its launch in late 2008. In 2010 it was awarded a European Language Label and was also a
winner in its category at the 2011 Irish eGovernment Awards. Initiated in 2007 by Fiontar, the Irish language section of the
Business School at Dublin City University (DCU), the project operates now in collaboration with the official Placenames
Branch of the relevant Government Department. It was officially launched by the Minister with responsibility on1st October
2008. His successor launched the next phase of development in June 2010. The current Minister of State welcomed its
continuous development not long after his appointment in March 2011. These developments include an ever-improving
mapping interface; sound files in Irish and English; additional historic information; educational resources for schools and third
level; engagement with schools through competitions. The site also has an information section detailing developments by other
bodies such as the Historic Towns Atlas series of the Royal Irish Academy, or historic maps in Trinity College Dublin, or useful
bibliographic lists. It receives support through the National Lottery. A significant international congress on place names and
mapping in the digital age was organised by Fiontar (DCU) in August 2012.

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OFFICIAL STATUS OF IRISH IN THE EU: PRACTICAL OUTCOMES


20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030

The Strategy and practical outcomes for the Irish State


The current status of Irish in the EU frees EU institutions through derogation from the obligation to translate all EU legislation
into Irish except those arising from co-decision. EU directives are not translated and any orders or SIs arising from them are
the responsibility of the Irish Government which makes them. The terms of the derogation are, however, subject to review
from time to time.
There are still some among MEPs from Ireland, North and South, who question any investment through expenditure on
the Irish language in the EU.
The Strategy states that the Government will work to create the circumstances in which a sufficient number of qualified
graduates to meet EU recruitment needs are in place so that this derogation can be ended during the lifetime of this Strategy.
Since the Strategy is of 20-Years duration, the derogation appears to be in for a relatively long life span.

Irish in the EU and ICT research


In a final section of the Strategy headed Cross-Cutting Initiatives, there is a commitment to ensuring that Irish (as an official
language) is included in all research and development programmes, both domestic and in the EU, particularly in areas dealing
with language, whether processing, learning, machine translation or other technologies. In addition, advantage will be taken
of platforms already developed for other languages. No specific agent is designated, however, to ensure implementation and, as
an official language both at home and in the EU, Irish is already fully eligible for all such programmes.
FIONTAR REPORT
In section 6 on Education of the report prepared by the Fiontar team for the Department towards the 20-Year Strategy, a
specific recommendation is made on third level education:
that it be of high quality and delivered in a strategically organised fashion in order to ensure, inter alia, that it provides
an output of highly qualified candidates with the specific skills set to service the national and European Union status
of the Irish language.
SOME CRITICISMS AND DEVELOPMENTS

Application of the derogation


The initial temporary derogation (part of the decision of the Council of Ministers in June 2005) was due for review at the end
of 2010 (five year period). In fact, it was renewed for a further five years.
The group STDAS made a presentation to the (then) Commissioner for Multilingualism at the end of January 2009 on
the unsatisfactory situation then pertaining with regard to the interpretation of derogation by the EU institutions, on the basis
of the existing legal position of Irish in the EU, and on grounds of equality and non-discrimination. Public reference to this
was still necessary in mid-July 2010, particularly to the perceived tendency of the EU institutions to apparently disregard the
fact that derogation concerned solely legislation, apart from co-decision regulations of Parliament and Council which must be
translated; derogation does not extend to any other types of texts (including press releases). Irish should, as of right, be used
on the website of the European Parliament and an Irish version of the Iris Oifigiil (Official Journal of the EU) should be
published. The EU also seemed tardy (at that time) in organising selection processes for Irish-competent personnel. The EU
maintains specific translation and interpretation departments for all official languages (23) except, at that time, Irish (some
arrangements are, of course, available for Irish; it is the Permanent Representation for Ireland whose responsibility it is to seek
budgetary provision for these services). The response of the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs made
two basic points:
- The Lisbon Treaty ensures that a much larger body of legislation will in future be translated by the EU (arising
out of increased significance for the EU institutions).
- The conditions for relaxation of derogation, i.e. a sufficient number of Irish competent translators (in law) and
interpreters being available, had not yet been attained.
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However, the accreditation system organised by Foras na Gaeilge had by mid-2010 ensured a cohort of almost 160 translators,
a large percentage of whom would be available full time. The number of these who might be also competent for legal translation
purposes was not clear. At that date, mid-2010, it was reported that the EU institutions had employed 15 translators in the
European Council and 8 in the Commission. It is reported that the total complement had reached 50 at end 2012.
By September 2011, the website of the European Parliament, despite its introductory avowal of multilingualism, was not
yet available in Irish although it is published in all other 22 official languages. This omission led to an official complaint to
the European Ombudsman and to an organised protest from Irish MEPs to the president of the parliament in February 2013.
The Ombudsmans reply in August referenced lacks in administration in that the EU Parliament offered the excuse of lack of
translation staff for Irish instead of ensuring open competition to source them. The reply also referred to proposed gradual
improvement of the website in Irish in accordance with a timetable made publicly available. Nevertheless, there is regular use of
Irish in parliamentary sessions and other meetings and most EU institutions do offer Irish. It is reported that the terminology
base for Irish maintained by Fiontar (DCU) for IATE, the EU overall facility, is in receipt of just under a million searches
monthly.
The current situation with regard to the existing derogation has been well outlined by the expert who advised the group
STDAS. He has made the position in writing also to the relevant authorities. Since the extended derogation expires at the end
of 2016, arrangements must be made well in advance to have appropriate staff in place if the Irish State decides to request an
end to derogation. The EU Council had apparently asked the State for its intentions by end 2013 so that the lengthy process
of recruitment by open competition may be set in train. The issue is primarily for the Department of the Taoiseach but aspects
also involve the Department with responsibility for the language and the Department of Foreign Affairs. By early 2014 no
public statement on the States intentions on derogation had been made.
The domestic aspect would also involve continuation of funding for appropriate education and training for applicants to
the EU recruitment competitions (translators, interpreters, lawyer linguists, administrative personnel) as well as for ongoing
development of the terminology project at Fiontar (DCU). The expert has pointed out that the initial entrance examinations
for these EU posts are broadly based and require specific mentoring of applicants in order to ensure that they do not fall at the
first hurdle.

Job opportunities
With regard to personnel and language competencies, distinction is made between eligibility of Irish speakers as speakers
of an EU official language for general posts and eligibility for posts requiring competencies in specific Irish language skills.
Translation and interpretation are also to be distinguished, the former generally offering more job opportunities.
Aonad na Gaeilge (Irish Language Unit) within the European Commission maintains an information service on upcoming
job opportunities as, for example, in the case of posts as permanent translators in the second half of 2012, www.facebook.com/
aistritheoir.
Towards the end of 2009, the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the EU (established in 1994) advertised a selection
procedure for a panel or reserve list of temporary staff with English as main language, an excellent command of German, and
a very good knowledge of at least one other official language. This latter list included Irish.
In March 2010, the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) began a cycle of graduate recruitment with new
streamlined procedures and open to all 27 states, hoping to strengthen the calibre of EU officials given the numbers retiring in
the coming years. Areas of expertise sought included economics, information technology, law and auditing, as well as European
public administration. Tests could be taken in either English, French or German but mother tongue speakers of either language
would take the test in one of the other languages. No more than 320 posts were available at the time but this would increase
in the near future. However, Irish speakers could put Irish as their mother tongue, take the test in English, and also undergo a
test in Irish proficiency.

The (then) Minister for Foreign Affairs organised an information seminar to publicise these job opportunities. In particular,
the Minister wished to strengthen the numbers of Irish people working in the EU institutions (then approximately 290), some
of whom would be retiring.

From time to time, groups tendering for European Commission contracts, may request the inclusion of an Irish-competent
person in whichever discipline is required.
In 2011 and 2012, the Translations Directorate recruited for Irish translators (permanent posts) from English and another
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official language to Irish. Written and oral tests were held in Dublin. Temporary contracts for suitably qualified personnel were
advertised for work in the EU Parliament in October 2011; the examination would consist of translation from English to Irish.
The Directorate General for Legal Services of the EU were recruiting for the position of Irish Lawyer-Linguist at the end of
2011 and for 18 posts as qualified Secretary with English and Irish.

In October 2012, the Secretary-General of EU Interpretation Services visited NUIG, where a course is run for interpreters.
TRAINING COURSES FOR LANGUAGE COMPETENCIES
Given the continuing need for high calibre linguists in the institutions of the EU, the Education Directorate (which now
includes Multilingualism) organised a conference in October 2010 on the recognised qualification, European Masters in
Translation (EMT), introduced by the Commission in 2009. Some 250 institutions currently offer courses in translation across
the EU. Over 30 are members of the EMT network; this entails external expert scrutiny of the courses offered.
In Ireland, the long-established Honorable Society of Kings Inns offered several new courses with some funding from the
Department with responsibility for the language, to help cater for vacancies and opportunities at home and in the EU. In July
2010, Kings Inns advertised for a Course Coordinator for these new part-time courses which included:
- Ardchrsa sa Dltheangeoaocht agus san Aistrichn Dlthiil (advanced Lawyer-Linguist and Legal Translation
Course)
The EU has a dearth of lawyer-linguists for Irish.
- Ardchrsa san Aistrichn Dlthiil (Advanced Legal Translation Course)
- Ardchrsa sa Dl-Chleachtadh tr Ghaeilge (Advanced Course in Legal Practice through Irish)
This third course arises out of changes in the law governing the qualifications system for both solicitors and barristers in the
Legal Practitioners (Irish Language) Act 2008.
The courses were advertised for the period from January to July 2011 preceded by a qualifying examination for prospective
candidates in December 2010. A preparatory course was also advertised for intending applicants.
Two intensive 6-week courses, free of fees, in the translation of legal and other state documents, were organised during
2010 by the Gaeltacht-based translation company, Europus, in conjunction with Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. It was
funded by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

CORPUS PLANNING: DICTIONARY PROVISION


DICTIONARY PROVISION 2008 2011
PROPOSALS IN THE 20-YEAR STRATEGY FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE 2010-2030

Dictionary provision
The Strategy points to the initiatives already under way and pledges continued support for them: dictionary provision no
completion date is given (it is assumed that this refers to work in hand by Foras na Gaeilge); ongoing terminological provision.
The Strategy does, however, surprisingly, give a date of completion for the historic dictionary project in the Royal Irish
Academy as 2037. No commitment is given on the issue of a modern Irish-Irish dictionary.

Foras na Gaeilge: Foclir Barla-Gaeilge (English-Irish Dictionary)


Phase II of this work, collating and writing of entries, is ongoing with some interruptions caused by staff embargos. Nevertheless,
advertisements for support staff appeared as follows:
- September 2009 and April 2010 panel of qualified translators to supply Irish translations of English entries.
- June 2010 Chief terminologist and assistant editors (three full time posts and one on 18 month contract).
- November 2010 Dictionary editors (two posts) to the end of the project.
The end of this dictionary project was envisaged for 31 December 2012, focus being on the provision of an electronic version
before going into print. It is intended to keep access to this version as inexpensive as possible for users. However, as would be
required in such lexicographic work, it is hoped to continue then with a permanent staff to continually update and amend the
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new dictionary. The Implementation Plan 2011 of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (2 November 2011) for
the 20-Year Strategy also gave this date for completion of the electronic version and 2013 for the hard copy version.
In the event, the project lasted from 2000 to 2012, employed some 70 persons at different stages of the project and cost
6.088m. The entire online version (www.focloir.ie) is reported to include 7,000 headwords, 40,000 sample phrases, sound
files and information on grammar. This online version is compatible with computers and mobile devices. The initial phase
of 30% of the entire content (said to cover up to 80% of general English usage) was launched by the President of Ireland on
24 January 2013. Following regular additions, the entire will be online by end 2014 allowing for the preparation of a printed
version to commence during 2015.
Naturally, this dictionary includes modern terminology and usage. The previous most recent dictionaries (with subsequent
additions) available in print were de Bhaldraithe (English-Irish) in 1959 and Dnaill (Irish-English) dated 1977. The editor
of the Foras na Gaeilge project, Mianin, listed some of the challenges encountered: lack of lexicographic expertise and issues
of dialect and official standard. This dictionary is based on contemporary use of both Irish (in the Gaeltacht) and HibernoEnglish in Ireland.
The dictionary is being augmented by the preparation of an electronic version of Nua-Chorpas na hireann (New Corpus
of Ireland) which will contain 30 million words in Irish and 25 million in Hiberno-English, or the English of Ireland. The
largest English corpus available (1.7 billion words) is also being drawn on in this endeavour.
This phase of the dictionary project is based on the provision of an English-Irish dictionary. Since dictionary provision is
a statutory duty of Foras na Gaeilge, it is hoped that an Irish-English dictionary may follow. Plans for an Irish-Irish dictionary,
however, appear rather further in the future. Nevertheless, the supply of lexicographic skills is increasing.
RIA DICTIONARY INITIATIVES

Dictionary of the Irish Language (1913 1976)


The website associated with eDIL was launched on 28 June 2007, www.dil.ie.

Foclir na Nua-Ghaeilge (FNG, Dictionary of Modern Irish)


In an interview (Irish Times, 27th March 2010), before her retirement in May 2010, the Chief Editor of Foclir na NuaGhaeilge spoke of the painstaking research involved in the preparation of such a work. She noted the distinction between a
standard dictionary, which provides the definition of words, and an historical dictionary which traces the history of a word
back to its earliest written citation. Foclir na Nua-Ghaeilge covers dialect also. At that time (March 2010), a staff of ten was
working full-time on the project, seven in the Donegal Gaeltacht and three in the Dublin offices of the RIA.
The current emphasis is on the provision of corpora representative of the Irish language in the 20th century as a resource
for lexicographers. In practical terms, this means inputting texts across a range of genres to include much more than 20 million
words, perhaps at least 100 million. Given the immensity of the research task involved, and the small staff allocated to it, it
may be years before this preparatory work is completed. Other countries have taken 50 to 100 years with a large staff. The final
result, in digital format, will provide the basis, not alone for more research, but for specialised dictionaries on various subjects.
All the ongoing research work on the bibliographical databases underpinning the work is now being computerised. Given that
the project is long term, interim publications are provided, usually in digital format. Staff is now at seven.
On 15 November 2011, the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht launched an online
archive of 44 texts published by Conradh na Gaeilge (Gaelic League) from 1882 to 1926. This follows the CD-ROM production
of Corpas na Gaeilge 1600-1882 in 2004. It is intended to continue providing further material in the series.
The current focus is on compiling a wide range of different text types from the period 1882-2000. A corpus of texts will
then be derived from this archive. Both corpora (1600-1882 and 1882-2000) will provide the basis for the next steps on
producing the historical language dictionary. The project is being supported by the Department, dars na Gaeltachta and the
Higher Education Authority.

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DEVELOPMENTS IN CORPUS PLANNING


TRANSLATION

Lr-Aonad Aistrichin (Central Translation Unit) and related matters


A High Court judgment in 2004 found it a constitutional duty of Government departments to provide translations of SIs. At
the time, the lack of suitably qualified translators had formed part of the States defence.
In November 2008, a Government policy decision was taken to ensure translation into Irish of the many statutory
instruments and regulations arising out of the various legal acts. No specific policy had existed on the issue of secondary
legislation as was the case with regard to translation of legal acts. In addition, court cases might be taken by legal practitioners
or by citizens on the lack of such translated secondary legislation proving a hindrance to them or of thwarting their rights under
the law. To give effect to this November 2008 policy, a Central Translations Unit was established during 2009, in the (then)
Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to implement a strategy for the translation of Statutory Instruments
[SIs] in line with constitutional requirements. This Unit reported in an affidavit to the court (in an instance requiring such
information) that overall some 60,000 pages remained (from the period 1993-2004) to be translated since the vast majority
of departments did not provide translations of SIs emanating from them. It was 2010, however, before a staff of translators
was employed for the new Unit. Translation then began on the statutory instruments of the host department and of all other
departments on request. Translation for other departments was on a commercial basis. The Minister also gave responsibility at
the time for examining the existing Language Standard (Caighden) to this new Aonad. The existing long established (1922)
Ranng an Aistrichin (Translation Section) was still part of the apparatus of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
In February 2009, the State itself appealed the High Court judgment of 2004 to the Supreme Court. On 6 May 2010, the
Supreme Court decision set aside the High Court judgment and Orders of the High Court. However, a declaration was also
made that there was a constitutional obligation to provide the respondent, in his capacity as solicitor, all Rules of Courtin
an Irish language version of the same, so soon as may be practicable after they are published in English. The lengthy judgment,
which was delivered in Gaeilge (as stated on the Courts website) appeared to make a distinction on the basis of constitutional
obligation on the one hand and, on the other, the issue of any and all legislation rather than those portions directly applicable
to particular instances, including specific SIs.
Changes, both legislative and structural, were made following new arrangements by the incoming administration (March
2011). Firstly, in June 2011, a Bill was introduced entitled An Bille um an Dl Sibhialta (Forlacha Ilghnitheacha), Civil Law
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2011. Part 15 of this Bill, entitled Miscellaneous, contains six sections. The fifth, Section 38 of
the Bill, is an amendment to Section 7 of the Official Languages Act 2003, (which came into effect July 2007), which provided
for simultaneous printing and publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in both official languages. This amendment, described
as technical, in the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum, allows for electronic publication of Acts of the Oireachtas in
advance of official translation which could take weeks or even longer. The professed aim of the amendment is to help avoid
the risk of a constitutional challenge from somebody whose rights are affected by a piece of legislation which is not readily
accessible. The Memorandum goes on to say that the constitutional obligation to publish in both languages is not affected.
The timescale, however, is not clarified.
The immediate results of the amendment to the Official Languages Act were pointed out by An Coimisinir at Tstal na
Gaeilge. From 14 July 2006, when the Act came into effect, until 2 August 2011, all Acts were published simultaneously except
that setting up NAMA (National Assets Management Agency) when a special arrangement was made. From August 2011 to
14 January 2012, despite the passage of legislation, none had been published simultaneously in both languages.
The Implementation Plan 2011 of the D/AHG for the 20-Year Strategy, published on 2 November 2011, states:
The Departmentwill take the relevant steps to draft legislation which will consolidate the States translation services.
This bill will amend the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003 in order to transfer the functions and staff
of the Departments Central Translation Unit to the Translation Section in the Houses of the Oireachtas for the
translation of Statutory Instruments [work the Unit had been set up to do].
Progressing the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill appears among the targets for 2012 in the
Revised Estimates (23 February 2012) of the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht. The Bill also appears in Section A
(Bills expected to be published from the start of the Dil Session to the beginning of the next Session) of the list of intended
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legislation for 2012, described thus:


To amend the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Acts 2003-2009 in relation to the rationalisation of the States translation
services and An Caighden Oifigiil (Official Standard), responsibility for which are to be transferred to the Houses of the
Oireachtas.
This Houses of the Oireachtas Commission was formally established on 1 January 2004 in order to:
To provide for the running of the Houses of the Oireachtas, to act as governing body of the Service, to consider and determine
policy in relation to the Service, and to oversee the implementation of that policy by the Secretary General [also Clerk of the Dil].
The Service currently comprises some 380 staff, civil servants, for the 226 members of the two Houses of the Oireachtas and
their staff (including party staff and advisors); for the media, and for visitors from the public. Among the specific functions of
the Commission listed in the legislation is:
Providing translation services from one official language into the other in respect of Acts of the Oireachtas.
A list of other measures relating to Corpus Planning are also included in the Implementation Plan 2011 of the Department
for the 20-Year Strategy (2 November 2011):
- Director of Translation Services in the Department to participate in the Terminology Committee of Foras na
Gaeilge (transferred from Education in 1999) to ensure co-operation on outputs to support Irish at home
and in the EU. [Given the imminent legislation to transfer the Departments Central Translation Unit to the
Commission of the Houses of the Oireachtas, this may be an arrangement a priori].
- Use of translation technology in collaboration with relevant bodies at home and in the EU to provide high
quality material in a cost-effective manner.
- Ongoing monitoring of EU projects on status of Irish in EU, e.g. the terminology project LEX.
- Through collaboration with relevant bodies, explore the provision of an online collection of existing sources of
folklore.
It is reported that the terminology base for Irish maintained by Fiontar (DCU) for IATE, the EU overall facility, is in
receipt of just under a million searches monthly.

Translation to Irish from legislation initiated in English appears to be almost always the issue. Once legislation is introduced
in English (whether in Dil or Seanad), all debate and amendments are consequently in English also. Until this changes, the
use of Irish in the Houses of the Oireachtas is unlikely to improve.
Two useful publications are available on matters relating to the law. For practitioners, the wide-ranging Sil ar an Dl (An
Eye on the Law), launched by An Coimisinir in March 2010, constitutes an invaluable professional tool. The bilingual leaflet,
An Ghaeilge sa Chirt (Irish in Court), issued by the office of An Coimisinir, sets out clearly the rights of those who wish to
use Irish in court, as in the Official Languages Act 2003. It also refers to the Irish language rights of the citizen if arrested.
In relation to the courts and interpretation/translation in general for those with little or no English, concerns have been
raised both by some judges and by the Irish Translators and Interpreters Association. This body called for auditing of contracts
or some form of quality control. A system of accreditation for court interpreters through tested minimal requirements and
membership of a national register is internationally accepted as a requirement for a reliable service in the case of governments
and public service providers.
There are now up to 158 accredited translators from the scheme initiated by Foras na Gaeilge. Others have emerged from
other courses.
ISSUES OF STANDARD, GRAMMAR, MORPHO-PHONOLOGY AND SIMPLIFICATION

Official standard
Publication of the Official Standard dates back to 1958. On 10 March 2010, at the beginning of Seachtain na Gaeilge, the
Minister with responsibility for language affairs announced in Seanad ireann that the newly established Central Translation
Unit in his department would undertake a review of the Official Standard with the assistance of a Steering Committee drawn
from various fields: lexicography, education, law, translation, terminology, media and academia. The review would be completed
by June 2011. The Minister wished:
this historic initiativeto strike a balance between preserving the status of the language and nurturing its vitality
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to consider the needs of the learner..[and] of the competent speaker.


The Steering Committee was promised for late April 2010. By late May, the (then) new Minister was writing in the
Irish Times on the venture, pointing out the distinction between a standard to ensure consistency of terminology for public
documents and one which might provide direction of a kind to speakers. The work was completed within the time frame and
rested with the host department. It was intended for publication before end 2011. The review provided a series of proposals or
recommendations. The official adoption of these recommendations is another issue. As the body responsible for the development
and promulgation of the official standard, the role of Ranng an Aistrichin (Translation Section of the Legislature, 1922) in
this stage would come into play.
As planned, the review work proceeded in stages, with subcommittees as required and through feedback from a public
consultation process on proposals at each stage. The first consultation stage began in mid-May 2010 on identification of
principles and areas needing attention. It was not announced until 9 June 2010, one day after a press release on 8 June
concerning the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs:
Minister Carey has announced the formal establishment of the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht
Affairs with effect from the 2nd June 2010. This change comes as part of the restructuring of Departments and
agencies announced by the Taoiseach in Dil ireann on 23rd March last to ensure greater coherence and produce
more efficient delivery.
The second consultation period was announced on14 July 2010 on the noun: genitive case, plurals, dative case; the third on
6 October 2010 on numbers; the fourth (final) on 1 December 2010 on initial changes: lenition and eclipsis.
There was, apparently, no lack of public input. However, the difference between a written and a spoken standard were
not clear to all commentators. The salient question was asked in one article: the purpose of the new standard. Fears were
also expressed that over-simplification of the language might result, or a levelling of dialectal variation to some standard not
available in any community, or, indeed, to a set of new rules where the list of exceptions would dominate.
The Review was completed within the timescale. The results were not, however, published in their final composite form
as a public document although it is understood that they were accepted as house style for An Gm. It did not go unnoticed
that this review was being conducted by the newly established Central Translation Unit, whose initial remit was translation of
secondary legislation, and not by the long established Ranng an Aistrichin. In announcing (9 June 2010) the membership
of the 22 strong Steering Committee of the review and the then ongoing first consultation period of the process, the (then)
Minister for Language Affairs said:
Particular acknowledgement must be given, of course, to Ranng an Aistrichin for its historical central role regarding An
Caighden Oifigiil. We can be certain that their diligence in this undertaking provides a sold foundation for this review.
In the event, An Ranng Aistrichin made available its own An Caighden Athbhreithnithe dated January 2012. It is
accessible online and in a limited run of hard copy. The foreword states that it incorporates the larger dialects and some recent
changes in the spoken Irish of native speakers. It seeks feedback from the public as another updated version is planned within
three years. Reference is also made to the previous version of 1958. It was noted that 54 years separates the first two editions
while a third is now already being planned.
There are differences and similarities between the process used by the now defunct Unit and the 2012 Standard published
by An Ranng Aistrichin. Both works sought opinions. This situation has led to what some commentators regard as no small
degree of uncertainty, particularly for those working professionally as writers, journalists, translators or editors.
In an ideal world, one official institution would be appropriately resourced to pronounce authoritatively on language
forms as required. The example of An Coimisin Logainmneacha and Brainse na Logainmneacha for placenames might be
appropriate: an expert committee and an operations branch.
TERMINOLOGY
The terminology database, www.focal.ie, maintained by Fiontar at Dublin City University (DCU), has had many millions of
searches since being established in 2006. It now provides links to the 30 million words in Nua-Chorpas na Gaeilge, part of the
Foclir Nua Barla-Gaeilge being developed by Foras na Gaeilge. Translators using recognised translation software now have
the facility to import lists directly through downloading to personal computers (www.focal.ie/Corpas.aspx). Fiontar has also
provided illustrated charts for schools and clubs giving sports terms. In August 2010, it advertised four contract research posts
in the areas of terminology and placenames: two research editors and two assistant research editors.
204 More Facts About Irish


The database, www.acmhainn.ie, has a very varied collection of material with many useful links, including to the Dictionary
of Duinnn.
The continuing work of the International Academy of Astronautics in the production of a multilingual space dictionary
led to the publication in September 2010 of An English-Irish Lexicon of Scientific and Technical Space-Related Terminology
initiated by Prof. Susan McKenna-Lawlor (Space Technology Ireland). It contains some three and a half thousand terms.
Lmhleabhar Gaeilge an Gharda Sochna (Handbook) is another useful addition to the work of the police force as Tarma
Mleata is to the Defence Forces.
In Autumn 2009, Foras na Gaeilge advertised for suitably qualified persons for a panel of occasional researchers/editors
in terminology, this being one of the statutory duties of An Foras since transfer of this function to it from the Department of
Education.
Digitisation of materials, including manuscripts, whether by Irish Script on Screen or CELT or others, is adding to
accessibility of materials.

FUNDING FOR IRISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE


LANGUAGE AND THE ECONOMY 2007 ONWARDS

Context and background


This section attempts to put in perspective the actual continuing effects on the State and on those working on behalf of the
Irish language of the wider economic crisis described in the Introduction above.
Clearly, in times of recession when the State is in debt and the effects are community-wide, there are less opportunities for
expenditure in all areas of State policy. The emphasis tends to be on blunt cuts and savings, without any sophisticated impact
analysis of the immediate or long-term consequences in different policy areas. Hard-won gains may be lost and take years to
be recovered or reversed. Language matters may not be exempted from the exercise and may suffer accordingly. More telling,
perhaps, than merely practical considerations of finance or personnel, are the attitudinal obstacles encountered in the case of
expenditure on language promotion when other areas of social need may be perceived to have more urgent and immediate
importance. Such sentiments may then have a boomerang impact not only on political, legislative or financial support but may
change previously held positive or neutral community attitudes to more negative ones.
At the practical level, the reduction in disposable income for households led to clear effects on language matters in some
areas in the period under review. Despite some State subsidy, several of the Irish language Summer Colleges initially suffered
reduced intake leading in some instances to cancellation of courses. This resulted in a proportion of students not receiving the
brief immersion experience which so benefits those in schools where Irish is a subject only. This reduction also affected the local
Gaeltacht economy in certain regions.
Both the language-specific and more general recommendations of recent government action and of governmentcommissioned bodies on reducing State expenditure are recounted below as background and context to recent events in
matters linguistic. The wider context has been given above (Introduction: Economy and Politics).
At a time when the State was struggling, as happened at its inception, Irish speakers were hoping that the determination
which existed in 1922 would ensure that in 2010-2012 the proposed 20-Year Strategy for Irish would not lose either impetus or
enthusiasm; the assumption being that mature politicians rarely allow short-term expediency to take the place of policy, even
if expectations might have to be tempered to accommodate fiscal shortcomings.

Budgets, programmes and plans


The continuing response of government to the economic crisis was of necessity severe: three harsh budgets announced in
2008-2009-2010 (for the following years), a revised Capital Investment Programme, a Recovery Plan and the establishment
of various bodies to identify possible savings in State expenditure. The Pre-Budget Outlook of November 2009 stated that the
adjustment process began in July 2008. Budgets for 2011 and 2012 continued that process.

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Budget 2009 (14 October 2008)


The General Election of 24 May, 2007, returned the members of the 30th Dil (Lower House) which met on 14 June, Bertie
Ahern having been elected Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and appointed by the President to that position. In less than a year,
he had resigned from the post and been replaced by the Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, who appointed Brian Lenihan
as his successor in Finance. By mid-May 2008, the new Minister for Finance, in an address to the Seanad (Upper House)
was signalling corrective action on the economy and warning of priorities and impending changes. In a change from normal
procedure, the Budget for 2009 was issued, not in December for the following year, but brought forward to the earlier date of
14 October 2008. In ending his presentation of that Budget to the Dil, the Minister spoke as follows.
This Budget serves no vested interest. Rather, it provides an opportunity for us all to pull together and play our part
according to our means so that we can secure the gains which have been the achievement of the men and women of
this country. It is, a Cheann Chomhairle (Speaker of the House), no less than a call to patriotic action.
Some of the consequences of that Budget were recounted above (Introduction: Economy) with regard to instances of public
unrest. However, as time went on, citizens appeared to begin to accept the inevitability of the situation, albeit with a degree
of resentment against those who had appeared to have brought it about or seemed to have unduly profited at others expense.
Among the Appendices to that Budget for 2009 was Appendix D on the rationalisation of State Agencies. It could be called
the bonfire of the quangos (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations). A raft of changes would be introduced across
a range of government departments. In summary, agencies were or would be either deprived of funding, subsumed into their
host department or amalgamated with other agencies (not always compatible), or closed or disbanded. Agencies earmarked
for statutory status were downgraded. This move had been prompted in part by an OECD report which had highlighted the
possibilities for a more strategic approach to the aims and rles of State agencies. The terminology used by politicians referred
to rationalisation, evaluation, multiplicity, duplication, overlapping, similarity and the proper locus for decision making
(departments) as well as the proper source for advice (civil servants). While there was substance to much of this, there was little
discussion of the differences between State-initiated arms-length quangos and civil society organisations nor of the rle of the
latter in a democracy.

Some examples of the practical outcomes of Budget 2009 on State-funded bodies


The random examples given below in this subsection show a sample of the practical results of this Budget 2009 policy in the
areas of both State-initiated bodies and voluntary State-funded organisations. Since several of these examples concern citizens
rights, and there are laws protecting citizens rights, a brief background to this issue of rights is given first.

Citizens rights
Firstly, The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, an international treaty, began in 1950
with the newly formed Council of Europe. This Convention came into force in 1953 in member states of the Council.
States may accept whichever protocals of the Convention they consider appropriate. The European Court of Human Rights
followed in 1959 as a mechanism to enforce the Convention and citizens are entitled to take their case before this court on
issues of human rights if they are of the view that domestic law has proved insufficient. In 2003 Ireland passed the European
Convention on Human Rights Act. In November 2010, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Public Interest Law Alliance
launched an information pack on the European Convention on Human Rights. Interestingly, in referring to the provisions of
the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement on human rights protection being brought into harmonisation North and South, Lord
Lester who launched the pack was of the view that the European Convention on Human Rights Act (2003) in the Republic
was weaker than the Human Rights Act (UK) and the Northern Ireland Act (1998).
Secondly, after the demise of the proposed European Constitution, a Charter of Fundamental Rights, gathered from various
sources, was proclaimed at the Nice European Council meeting of December 2000 and received legislative underpinning when
the Lisbon Treaty [Article 6 (1)] came into operation in December 2009. In May 2010, the College of Commissioners of the
EU included the Charter in their solemn declaration to uphold the Treaties. From October 2010, the EU Commission brought
in measures to ensure that the Charter is effectively implemented in member states in relation to EU law. These measures
include an impact type assessment at all stages of the evolution of EU legislation; an information portal for citizens from 2011;
a monitoring system to ensure compliance which includes an annual report and infringement procedures if required. The
European Court is one of the institutions of the European Union.
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It is usually accepted that childrens rights, which were passed by referendum on 10 November 2012 to be inserted into the
Constitution of the Republic, are part of the protection system of both the EU and international rights.
Clearly, the Council of Europe and the European Union, while different institutions, nevertheless both have legal means to
protect the human rights of citizens in their member states. However, unless a citizen has and takes a valid case on human
rights grounds, neither institution may interfere in sovereign states.
Thirdly, the United Nations also keeps a watching brief on human rights issues. By August 2011, more than 60 organisations
had made submissions to the UN Human Rights Council on Irelands progress in human rights issues, in advance of the UNs
universal periodic review in Geneva in October. In mid-September 2011, 130 visiting human rights activists from 85 countries
joined Irish members at an international conference in Dublin.
Interestingly, a bilingual educational resource for second level schools, encompassing language rights and Irish, within
a human rights context, was prepared by the Office of An Coimisinir Teanga and launched, in multi-media format, on 27
September 2011.

Instances of public debate


The instances which follow of cutbacks after the 2009 Budget irked many citizens and led to much public debate.
The Consultative Committee on Racism was changed to another format. A cutback of 43% in the budget of the Equality
Authority led to the resignation of its director in December 2008 and reference to a campaign of misinformation in the
Authoritys report for 2009. A cut of 32% was made in the budget of the Irish Human Rights Commission. The Combat
Poverty Agency was dispensed with as a stand-alone agency. These changes led to ongoing complaints up to late 2010 from
the Equality and Rights Alliance (a coalition of 140 civil society groups and others) to the European Parliament on noncompliance by Ireland with European law in the area of equality. The importance of this stance lay in the upcoming review
(October 2011) by the United Nations of the States record on human rights. A new Minister of State (Junior Minister)
with responsibility for Equality, Integration and Human Rights was appointed at the re-named Department of Community,
Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs in June 2010. She made clear her wish that no further cuts be made in Budget 2011; she also
intended to bring recommendations to Government by the end of 2010 on a review of the Equality Tribunal, the Human
Rights Commission and the Equality Authority.
By August 2011, a possible merger of the latter two agencies was still under discussion; the Chair of the Equality Authority
justified such a merger in a media article. The tenure of the board of the Authority had expired in July 2011 but it had not
been replaced or renewed; the tenure of the 14 members (but not the Chair) of the Commission would expire in September
2011. In the meantime over the years of recession, the Commission had suffered a 40% budget cut since 2008 and its staff
fell by almost 50% (from 21 to 11). It had, however, continued to be an impartial actor, independent of both Government
and NGOs, since its inception. The Attorney-General was of the view that the lack of funding was putting the Commissions
remit at risk. Its incumbent Chair, given that the current tenure of Commissioners was near its end, requested even more
independence for the body in future, through accountability to the Oireachtas, not to a Government Department. Unlike the
Equality Authority, in the Republic the Commission was a result of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, with a sister body in
Northern Ireland. Finally, in September 2011, a new merged Human Rights and Equality Commission was announced, on the
now familiar grounds of better value for money; leaner more streamlined body able [to function] more effectively, efficiently,
cohesively. The Minister had spoken with the NI authorities on the change. The new board of 12 would be less than half that
of the two combined boards. Legislation to effect the merger was to be enacted before the end of 2011. In this, the Government
is following a proposal of the previous administration. Calls are now being made for changes to the Constitution, in advance
of the 2016 commemoration of the Rising, in order to strengthen human rights in relation to domestic and international
legislation. By February 2012, Ireland was engaged in lobbying for one of three seats, for the period 2012-2015, to be voted
in Autumn 2012 on the UN Human Rights Council; the other contenders were Germany, Greece, Sweden and the US. In the
event, the votes from the UN General Assembly ensured election for Ireland (US 131; Germany 127; Ireland 124; Greece 78;
Sweden 75).
The point to be noted is the insistence on independence but the imposition of a merger.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission had its new Chief Commissioner appointed in July 2011. In September
2011, the appointment of Chief Commissioner to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland was re-advertised, the
Secretary of State for NI having decided not to appoint after previous advertising in February 2011. Both bodies were
207 More Facts About Irish

established under the Northern Ireland Act 1998.


In August 2011, the Minister for Jobs an Innovation announced a proposal to create a single structure to replace the
existing five bodies on employment rights: the Labour Relations Commission, the Employment Rights Authority, the Equality
Tribunal, the Employment Appeals Tribunal, and the Labour Court. The new body would not affect statutory mediation and
conciliation processes in collective disputes. The argument for change was based on haphazard development over the years (by
Government decision, presumably) and cost. A consultation period of a month was given on the content of the proposal.
The point to be noted is the provision to interested parties of a specific proposal for consultation, even though the period for
consultation was brief.
By 1 April, 2010, the National Economic and Social Forum (NESF) and the National Centre for Partnership and
Performance (NCPP) had been dissolved and their work programme absorbed into the National Economic and Social
Council (NESC) within the National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO, An Oifig Nisinta um Fhorbairt
Eacnamaoch agus Shisialta), established under the National Economic and Social Development Act in 2006. This decision
had the input of many stakeholders, including the social partners, who were consulted (Taoiseach, 1 April 2010). The NESF,
established in 1993, had up to 60 members representing not only the social partners but the voluntary and community sector.
Unusually, members of the Oireachtas (Legislature) were also among the membership. The NCPP dated from 2001. The NESC
has a longer history, going back to 1973 and the beginning of new economic approaches.
In his speech on the 1 April 2010, the previous Taoiseach had made clear the extent of Government commitment to public
service transformation. A Minister of State serving both the Departments of the Taoiseach and Finance had been appointed in
March 2010 to strengthen the political leadership of the process and a Public Services Board was planned in order to bring
focus and energy to the task. In fact, the incoming administration of March 2011 established a new ministry, the Department
of Public Expenditure and Reform alongside the Department of Finance.
Another ongoing discussion reached conclusion in July 2011, when the new Government approved draft legislation with
the intention of amalgamating the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency in 2012.
The issues to be noted in these decisions on semi-official bodies include dissolution, streamlining the work of policy advice, and
references to consultation with stakeholders. They will be noted again in reference to the funding of the Irish language sector, both
semi-state and voluntary.
In the voluntary grant-aided culture sector, the Arts Council took some decisions (considered drastic by former recipients)
on funding groups and organisations. The (then) Minister for the (then) Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport announced
the establishment of Irish National Opera in March 2010, a merger of two companies representing opera brought about through
a consultative process involving the companies, the Arts Council and the department. An interim board was appointed and
advertisements for a new Director appeared in August 2010. One of the companies, the Opera Theatre Company, closed at the
end of 2010, its last performance (Autumn 2010) being Grigory Frids The Diary of Anne Frank. The first performance under
the new entity was expected in early 2011. Unfortunately, this did not occur and the so recently established Irish National
Opera was itself disbanded, responsibility for opera being returned to the Arts Council which is now (late 2011) engaging in
further consultation,
Future Provision of Opera, a discussion document which has not generated much enthusiasm
The issues to be noted in the voluntary grant-aided culture sector are withdrawal or reduction of funding or amalgamation to
form a new entity. In the event, all were relevant to funding decisions for the Irish language voluntary sector.
Before and after Budget 2009 (issued in October 2008), reviews, re-structuring and streamlining of all State-funded
agencies and organisations were called for in the interests of value for money, cost-benefits and efficiency. There was, however,
little analysis of effectiveness, whether actual or its potential loss, nor any attempt at impact analyses nor even the provision of
inclusive criteria by which to judge results. Language, culture and the arts would not escape.

Supplementary Budget 2009 (April 2009)


Six months after Budget 2009 (from October 2008), in April 2009, another Supplementary Emergency Budget was necessary
given what the Minister described as severe economic distress. This budget included, inter alia, the establishment of NAMA
(National Assets Management Agency to take over bad loans by banks), increased taxes and the reduction of the number of
Ministers of State from 20 to 15.

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Budget 2010 (December 2009)


In the Pre-Budget Outlook of November 2009, the current expenditure figures for the (then) Department of Community, Rural
and Gaeltacht Affairs were given as follows (000s):
2009
Estimated
Outturn

2010
Pre-Budget
Estimate

2011
Pre-Budget
Estimate

2012
Pre-Budget
Estimate

342,995

330,178

329,778

329,778

The downward trend into the future was clear.


The Budget for 2010 was issued at the traditional time of December of the preceding year, 2009. The Minister for
Finance said that in framing this Budget, he was guided by the McCarthy Groups report (full account below), the Special
Group signalled in the budget for 2009 (October 2008) and set up in December 2008. More cuts were then inevitable in
departmental allocations with associated consequences for activities, including language. The effects on the department with
responsibility for language affairs were widely if fairly unevenly spread. The overall allocation (current and capital expenditure)
went down by 13% from 475.701m for 2009 to 415.426m for 2010; current expenditure reduced by 32.1m (9%) and
capital by 28,175m (21%). In practical terms of expenditure on Irish, almost every area was affected.
Area

Allocation (m) & Year

% Reduction

2009

2010

Office of An Coimisinir Teanga

960,000

875,000

9%

Gaeltacht & Islands (in toto)

85,918

62,501

27%

Gaeltacht Schemes

66,267

47,500

28%

dars na Gaeltachta

19,651

15,001

24%

*Language Promotion & Maintenance (in toto)

8,415

5,716

32%

An Foras Teanga (North/South body)

16,830

16,780

0.3%

*This includes the office of An Coimisinir, activities under Ciste na Gaeilge (Fund for Irish, part-funded by the National
Lottery), and the Advanced Irish Language Skills Initiative or grants for courses through Irish at third level, some to service the
ongoing requirements of Irish in the EU.
In other areas where Irish was an issue, actual Budget changes also occurred. The Irish language television station, TG4,
suffered a 3m loss in current expenditure although 900,000 was allocated for capital expenditure. However, the promise
made of additional expenditure measures to provide for Government commitments resulted in 3m for the Department of
Education for Irish in schools as part of the proposed 20-Year Strategy for Irish 2010-2030.
Given the economic situation, however, adjustments and revisions continued throughout the year and calls to Government
departments to reduce expenditure were heeded. The Office of An Coimisinir Teanga is a case in point.

Office of An Coimisinir Teanga (from Annual Reports)


Year

Budget

Drawn down

Staff

2008

1,040,000

830,000

2009

960,000

864,438

2010

796,000

743,966

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Infrastructure Investment Priorities Programme 2010-2016 (July 2010)


In advance of Budget 2011, massive reductions were made in the revised 7-year capital investment programme. This 20102016 programme launched in July 2010 was the latest version, given the new economic problems, of The National Development
Plan 2007-2013. Among the projects to go ahead were public transport particularly in the Dublin area (a year later, in August
2011, the new Coalition Minister for Transport deferred both Metro North and Dart Underground, on foot of a review);
upgrading of public services and the encouragement of energy-smart policies with the intention of creating jobs in the sectors
most hit by the recession. Proposed decentralisation plans were postponed.
However, it was the reprioritisation under this Infrastructure Investment Priorities Programme 2010-2016 in future capital
investment for the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs (D/CE&GA) that received comment from Irish
language media and organisations, particularly insofar as changes might affect the economy of the Gaeltacht. Proposed total
infrastructural allocation for the department fell from 105m in 2010 to 86m (2011, 2012, 2013) and then more than halved
for 2014 at 40m, followed by a further reduction to 30m in 2015 and 2016. The official rationale given was, in effect, twofold:
the fact that some investment had already taken place in preceding years; more ominously, that some programmes were the same
as those administered by other departments (Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Enterprise, Trade and Innovation)
to which responsibility would now return, even if in consultation with the D/CE&GA. In future, ongoing investment for the D/
CE&GA would focus on the EU LEADER programme. One comment, in particular, seemed to echo a recommendation from
the Snip report: that dars na Gaeltachta provides enterprise supports similar to other enterprise agencies.
Speaking on radio (July 29, 2010) the CEO of dars na Gaeltachta made clear that the recommendations of the Capital
Spending Plan, as published, would mean the demise of his agency as a functioning body. The Minister, while still hoping that
the agencys enterprise role would continue, clarified that the matter had yet to be discussed by Cabinet.
Community and voluntary sector objections to these cuts centred on several arguments: that, of all departments, the D/
CE&GA received the highest percentage reduction (calculated at up to 70% since 2008); that the enterprise function of dars
na Gaeltachta seemed destined for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, despite the language community focus
of An tdars. Guth na Gaeltachta (Voice of the Gaeltacht) reiterated the arguments it had consistently made in relation to the
Gaeltacht section of the 20-Year Strategy and in its oral and written submissions to the Oireachtas (Parliamentary) Committee on
the Strategy. In a letter published in the Irish Times (26 August 2010), and in local newspapers the Donegal Democrat and the
Donegal News, a letter signed by 29 community and local Gaeltacht organisations made the case that the preservation of Irish as
a living community language in the Gaeltacht cannot be made conditional upon global economic conditions. This letter was also
sent to the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and to the (then) Tnaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), a local Donegal politician. It called
for all the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee report on the 20-Year Strategy to be implemented in their entirety.
Another fear articulated was that, in fact, the recommendations of the Snip report (see next section) were already being
implemented, to the detriment of the language, through a capital investment policy which was firm Government policy and
that, unfortunately, in advance of any firm decisions being taken on the 20-Year Strategy for Irish, which was still at the time no
more than a Draft policy. In addition, the projected increases over the period of the capital investment programme both in
primary school enrolments and in higher education enrolment could have implications for Irish-medium education and courses.

The National Recovery Plan 2011 2014 (November 2010)


As recounted above (Chapter 1, Economy), this Plan was eventually published on 24
November 2010. As a four year corrective plan to the increasing level of public debt, it had already been announced in
December 2009 with the 2010 Budget. It was hoped to achieve current expenditure savings of 7 billion over the period of the
Plan. The (then) Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs was expected to deliver 35 million of this: 27
in 2011 and 8 million over the three years 2012 2014. This was described as front-loading. The measures to achieve this
included, for 2011, under language matters:
Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs
- Reduced funding for Gaeltacht schemes/services by 1.4 million.
- Savings across Irish language support programmes by 0.6 million.
- Over the period to 2014, the full range of grant assistance programmes to be reviewed for further efficiencies
and consolidation to secure an additional 8 million in savings.
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Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources


- Exchequer funding for TG4 will be reduced with the shortfall made up from RT licence fee income yielding a
net programme saving of 6.2 million. (Proposed by Bord Snip Nua in July 2009).
At the time (November 2010), according to TG4, it had already undergone budgetary cuts of 16% in the previous year and a
half; it had cut salaries by 10% and made reductions also for the independent sector providers (calculated at 320 full time and
some 800 part time workers). While the 6.2 million from the RT licence fee would not increase the TG4 budget, it would
decrease the RT budget. It was hoped that the proposed context would not change the existing arrangement whereby RT
supplies one hours programming without cost daily to TG4. This recommendation was still in
mid-2011 a matter of discussion between the current Minister for Communications and TG4. The licence fee arrangement is,
however, now included in Part 4, Amendments to Broadcasting Act 2009, of the Communications Regulation (Postal Services)
Act 2011, signed into law on 2 August 2011. The accompanying press release from the Department of Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources states that:
The bill also enables almost 10 million to be transferred from the TV licence revenue to help fund TG4.
No actual sum appears in the Act itself.
In fact, the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, popularly known as An Bord Snip Nua
(below), July 2009, had recommended partial funding for TG4 from the TV licence fee with reciprocal reduction in Exchequer
funding but no increase in the TV licence to compensate. This Group also recommended that scarce resources such as radio
magnetic spectrum should be allocated through auctions to maximise the return to the State. The Review Group on State Assets
and Liabilities was established a year later in July 2010 under the chairmanship of the university economist, Colm McCarthy,
who also chaired the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes. It reported in April 2011 and its
proposals were under Cabinet discussion in September 2011; the official line seemed to be to realise through sales of certain
assets, or certain parts of assets, some 2 billion but the troika of the bailout institutions were seeking 4 billions worth. With
regard to the public service broadcasters, RT and TG4, this second Review Group echoed the previous recommendations of
An Bord Snip Nua:
- In the interests of transparency, the Group recommends that RTs provision of Irish language content to TG4
under the provisions of the Broadcasting Acts is transacted on a commercial basis and funded by TG4 from
within its revenues. The respective Exchequer support of each broadcaster should be adjusted accordingly to
take account of the transaction.
- In line with the position taken by the Group generally on allocation of radio frequency spectrum, the Group
recommends that rights to use spectrum for broadcasting purposes are allocated using a market-based approach
that promotes the most efficient management and use of the spectrum resource.

Budget 2011 (December 2010 onwards)


Budget 2011 was awaited with both hope and trepidation, given the thrust of the revised capital expenditure programme to
2016 as outlined in the next section. On general issues, as expected, social welfare payments fell except the old age pension;
ministers salaries were reduced and a ceiling of 250,000 put on public servants salaries; a universal social charge of 11%
replaced existing charges; third level registration fees increased to 2,000. Three items were significant: a huge 6 billion
adjustment was being made; this budget signalled the first instalment of the 4-Year Plan (see Economy above); the Minister
referred to a traumatic and troubling time for the people.
In terms of language as in other areas of State expenditure, the decisions had ongoing impact. The reduction in the funding
of Foras na Gaeilge had continuing effects not only on the agency itself but on the voluntary organisations it had traditionally
funded as discussed below. For dars na Gaeilge, the decline in funding had been meant to be partially offset by sale of assets;
not always feasible in a recession. In an interview with the Irish newspaper Foinse (17 November 2010), some time before
Budget day in December, the then Minister with responsibility for the language referred to expected cuts. However, he also
believed that, in the greater scheme of things, his small but historic department for language had accomplished much due to
the efficient use of funding by the organisations, including Foras na Gaeilge. Since their funding was not great, they had to be
efficient, he believed.
Several factors rendered the ongoing budget situation for 2011 even more complex than usual. These included a
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change of Government after the February General Election and an ensuing redistribution of departmental functions. The
functions, personnel and associated funding of the previous Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs were
then redistributed as appropriate, those relating to Gaeltacht (former Vote 27) to the newly named Department of Arts,
Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Vote 35 plus Vote 33, the National Gallery). In addition, the Revised Estimates of the previous
administration laid before the Dil (Lower House) in February 2011 were not voted on and had no legal force. In fact, while
a press release states that they were lodged in the Oireachtas Library on 15 February 2011, these Revised Estimates (from those
of 7 December 2010, Budget 2011) are apparently no longer in the public web domain. The newly established Department for
Public Expenditure and Reform thus issued updated Estimates for 2011 in July 2011. The table below on language estimates
compares Estimates for 2010 with two sets of estimates for 2011: December 2010 Estimates for 2011 and the Revised version
of July 2011, under the specific subheads relating to language items. However, these may not always neatly correspond since
the layouts in the original documents are not exactly similar. Sufficient information is available, however, for purposes of broad
comparison.

Estimates (000s) for Public Services 2010-2011


Irish Language & The Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht Capital (total only)
Cultural & Social Schemes
Subtotal
Gaeltacht Support Schemes (total)

2010
(Dec 2010)

2011
(July 2011)

10,000

2,500

9,327

8,500

19,327

11,000

2011

9,076

dars na Gaeltachta
Administration

11,000

10,324

6,848

3,915

3,300

2,475

18,000

6,000

5,500

32,916

19,625

14,824

796

670

471

*An Foras Teanga

16,634

16,647

12,434

Islands (some of which are Irish-speaking)

16,700

9,400

6,713

7,216

4,600

5,379

93,589

61,942

48,897

Current Programme Expenditure


Grants for Projects & Capital Exp. Premises
Election
Subtotal
An Coimisinir Teanga

Irish Language Support Schemes (total only)


Total

* An Foras Teanga comprises two bodies: Foras na Gaeilge (ROI contributes 75% and NI 25%) and the Ulster-Scots Agency or Boord o
Ulstr-Scotch (NI contributes 75% and ROI 25%. The figure of 12,434 m euro above will then be increased by the NI contribution).
The July 2011 Revised Estimates give the following breakdown for totals given above.

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(a) Gaeltacht Support Schemes 2011 (000s)


Housing

637

Community & Recreational Facilities

1,128

Roads

126

Water/sewage

20

Marine works

50

Gaeltacht Educational & Cultural Schemes

2,410

Parents/Guardians Irish main language

326

Households accommodating Irish language Students

4,379

Total

9,076

(b) Irish Language Support Schemes


Current

667

Capital

84

Comhaltas Ceoltir ireann

1,409

Third level education in Ireland & Overseas

2,583

Terminology, Translation & Placenames


Projects

636

Total

5,379

(c) An Coimisinir Teanga


Pay

290

Non-Pay

181

Total

471 (based on the reduced number of 5 staff)

Under other Departmental estimates the following figures are given for other subheads relating to language.
Department of Public Expenditure & Reform

2010

2011 (July)

Gaeleagras na Seirbhse Poibl

*233

120

*34,050

33,550

Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources


Teilifs na Gaeilge (Grant-in-aid)
* Provisional outturn

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Preparations for Budget 2012


It was announced in August 2011 that, unusually, the annual publication of the pre-budget outlook would in 2011 be
accompanied by a 4-year medium-term fiscal consolidation plan for the period 2012-2015. The four-year plan of the previous
administration, the basic elements of which were retained by their successors for the moment, was intended to reduce the
GDP deficit to the 3% required by 2014. The current administration initially extended the period for reduction to 2015.
This inevitably meant continuation of austerity measures to at least that year. In the meantime, the Minister holding the new
portfolio of Public Expenditure and Reform (2011) engaged in the preparation of a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure
(CRE) across all departments, accompanied by public consultation on ideas for savings, as basis for a revised 3-year plan, 20122014. Departments were requested to think in terms of reductions in the order of 15% to 20%. Background documents for
this exercise were put in the public domain. Such CRE exercises are to be the keystone of public financial management, the
next to take place from Autumn 2013 to Spring 2014.
The thinking underpinning such an approach was:
Not solely achieving spending reductions but getting priorities right and embedding expenditure policy within the
reform agenda.
In conducting a CRE, other considerations were also made:
Among the thematic evaluations of a number of topics which span several departments in relation to specific policy
areas and the delivery of critical public services is listed Rationalising Multiple Sources of Funding to the Not-forProfit Sector.
Expenditure on matters relating to language and culture would, of course, be included in any reductions. The concept of
rationalising is not quite the same as removing, however, in the view of the Irish language funded Sector. Value for money
(VfM) tests were an integral part of prioritisation. Among the criteria for such tests were:
- VfM Test 1: Rationale, Objectives, Relevance
What are the objectives of the programme? Is there a valid rationale for undertaking the programme? Is the policy
consistent with the Government Programme?
- FfM Test 2: Effectiveness
Is the programme achieving its objectives?
- FfM Test 3: Efficiency
Is the maximum being delivered with the resources invested? How can greater efficiency be achieved in the context of
a lower level of expenditure?
Other possible criteria included more specific ways to realise savings and maximise impact. These included:
Rationalisation of grant and subsidy schemes; simplification of systems; rationalisation, merger or abolition of
agencies; potential for shared services or external service delivery; and more widespread use of eGovernment.
The scene was set for change as the Voluntary Irish Language Sector was soon to discover. However, the tools to ensure
harmonisation with Government objectives were given, as above, and could be applied without difficulty to the operations of
the Sector by the Sector itself, if it so chose or if it chose to publicise the ongoing positive results of its own strategic plans
and VfM tests.

Budget 2012 and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (D/AHG)
This section attempts to follow the various iterations of the Departmental Budget from September 2011 to early 2012.

Report on the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure (CRE): D/AHG Submission and CRE
Allocations 2012-2014
The September 2011 submission (published in December) for the CRE from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the
Gaeltacht contained the following arguments and figures on the four major aspects of its current brief. Overall, the submission
provided two scenarios: figures based on the 15% reduction requested and figures based on half that, a 7.5% reduction in
expenditure. The document also provides arguments for the lower figure based on the Governments policies in relation to
cultural tourism, the smart economy and Irelands international reputation, while also keeping in mind streamlining of services
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and compliance with EU directives in the area of Heritage. In addition, cuts already suffered by the various elements of the
Departments brief are outlined, all of which impact on the core functions of the Department:
Decline in
- current expenditure by some 21% between 2008 and 2011 explained as:

Arts, Film, Music, Cultural Institutions & National Gallery by 17%

Heritage by 62%

Irish Language, Gaeltacht & Islands by 14%

North/South Co-operation by 9%

- total 262,729,000 (2008) to 207,340,000 (2011) or by 21%


The September 2011 CRE submission from the D/AHG explains that there are nine National Cultural Institutions under
the aegis of the Department as currently constituted. Under legislation there are the National Gallery, National Museum,
National Library, National Archives. Four others are limited companies (without share capital): Irish Museum of Modern Art
(IMMA), National Concert Hall, Abbey Theatre, Crawford Art Gallery Cork. The Chester Beatty Library is a charitable trust.
The document considers the option of a single board for all but opts instead for other possibilities towards rationalisation. For
discussion and possible legislative change, the following are raised (page 25):
- Subsume Irish Manuscripts Commission and move its functions to the National Library.
- Amalgamate the National Archives [1702] with the National Library [1877] [this amalgamation had been
mooted in the 2008 Budget] and abolish the National Archives Advisory Council.
- Abolish the boards of the National Museum and National Library and revert to the situation, which pertained
prior to 2005, where the two organisations were effectively divisions of the Department.
- Assimilate the Irish Museum of Modern Art [Dublin] and the Crawford Gallery [Cork] into the National
Gallery of Ireland and abolish the boards of both institutions.
While not all proposals suggested in the Departmental submission to the CRE towards reduction, streamlining or amalgamation
appeared in the final budgetary allocation, they nevertheless still remained for possible future consideration.
By 18 November 2011, the media were carrying news of what was described as the quango cull or critical review intended
by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform by end June 2012. With regard to changes for the D/AHG, Culture
Ireland and the Placenames Commission (An Coimisin Logainmneacha) together with the Heritage Council were marked for
absorption of their functions into the Department. The potential for the Chester Beatty Library to share services with other
cultural institutions was also put forward. The Office of the Ombudsman would absorb Data Protection and the Office of An
Coimisinir Teanga.
The entire November 2011 list was of very disparate institutions, from old to new, from statutorily established to those
of fairly recent quango status. From small to large, from background-type bodies to those in much greater interaction with
citizens. The savings as a result of the cull were estimated at some 20m per annum but increasing over time. The incongruity
of some of the proposed mergers drew much media comment, together with the lack of rationale and, in some cases, very
little saving of public moneys. From the perspective of those involved in language and culture, it appeared from some of the
proposed changes that the supportive official structure, fragile though it might seem, was now being systematically taken apart
without impact analysis or any new edifice being proposed.
The eventual composite Report on the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure and Expenditure Allocations 2012-2014 of
December 2011 includes the following figures for 2012 Estimates in the case of the D/AHG. The report states that the
figures reflect the expenditure aggregates set out in the Medium-Term Fiscal Statement of 4 November 2011; that most of the
Estimates have been restructured on a Strategic Programme basis; and that the 2012 Estimates will be supplemented with key
performance information.

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Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Estimates: 2011 & 2012 000s
Irish Language, Gaeltacht & Islands
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

2011

38,926

12,354

51,280

2012

37,379

8,927

46,306

Change 2012 over


2011

10%

North-South Co-operation (includes An Foras Teanga/Foras na Gaeilge)


2011

41,076

6,002

47,078

2012

38,216

4,502

42,718

9%

The other areas of the core activities of the Department, all of which have implications for language, were given as follows
in these allocations.
Arts, Culture & Film
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

Change 2012 over


2011

2011

115,923

29,612

145,535

2012

109,450

20,102

129,552

11%

Change 2012 over


2011

Heritage
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

2011

41,249

10,847

52,096

2012

38,952

9,469

48,421

-7%

National Gallery (Net Total)


Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

2011

7,847

2,000

9,847

2012

7,335

1,000

8,335

Change 2012 over


2011

15%

Departmental figures early 2012


The next set of figures below shows some proposed, presumably fairly definitive, allocations for 2012 as at early February
2012, displayed on the website of D/AHG. There are some changes from those in the CRE above since the outturns for 2011
were probably more precise and internal changes between items may have occurred since some functions of the Department
had changed.

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Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Estimates: 2011 & 2012 000s
Irish Language, Gaeltacht & Islands
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

Change 2012 over 2011

2011

34,471

12,300

46,771

2012

32,871

8,874

41,745

5,026

Change 2012 over 2011

North-South Co-operation
Current

Capital

Total

An Foras Teanga

16,600

16,600

Waterways Irl

24,300

6,000

30,300

Total

40,900

6,000

46,900

An Foras Teanga

15,438

15,438

1,162

Waterways Irl

22,599

4,500

27,099

3,201

Total

38,037

4,500

42,537

4,363

2011

2012

Some other elements of expenditure in the core activities of the Department, all of which have implications for language,
showed as follows on the Departmental website (February 2012).
Arts, Culture & Film
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

Change 2012 over 2011

2011

110,341

29,550

139,891

2012

104,006

20,040

124,046

15,845

Change 2012 over 2011

Heritage
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

2011

*13,528

10,539

24,067

2012

*13,260

9,164

22,424

1,643

*Areas listed include: Grant for An Chomhairle Oidhreachta (Heritage Council); Built Heritage; National Parks & Wildlife;
Irish Heritage Trust.
In fact, since 2008, the area of Heritage had suffered a 62% reduction (from 35,396m); the Heritage Council by 46%;
Built Heritage by 75%; National Parks & Wildlife by 62% and the Irish Heritage Trust (under review) by 28%.
Unfortunately, whatever the basis for the figures presented above, one stark truth remains constant: the trend is towards
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reduction in expenditure by whichever means will best accomplish that end. Nevertheless, the D/AHG September 2011
submission to the CRE process had considered some critical issues, among which were:
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in fulfilling its mandate to support and promote the arts and
culture, the built and natural heritage, the Irish language, the Gaeltacht, and the islands, recognises the intrinsic and
unique value of all of these to Ireland, as well as the benefits they bring in enriching the lives of all our citizens. The
Department, in carrying out this work, is delivering on the Governments commitment to ensure that every one of
our citizens has an effective rightto contribute to thecultural life of the nation.
The chapter on the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the islands begins with the high level objective:
To support the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and, within that framework, to
support the use of Irish as a community language in the Gaeltacht.
To sustain vibrant island communities through the provision of lifeline access services to inhabited offshore islands.
These are all critical issues and objectives which do not always lend themselves so readily to the kinds of future assessment
the final Report of the 2011 Comprehensive Review of Expenditure envisaged. Firstly, the new process will be based on a new
standard of programme evaluation or common standard report across all Governmental programmes based on three main
headings with accompanying set of criteria: quality of programme design; implementation of programme/scheme; crosscutting aspects (page 84). Performance budgeting requires performance indicators appropriate to the programme or scheme
which is the subject of assessment (page 87). Consideration is given to the following:
For any programme, there are many different PIs [performance indicators] that might be chosen. The challenge is to select
indicators that are useful to policy-makers, and to those whose role is to scrutinise the effectiveness and efficiency of public
spending. Less useful are indicators of mere activity or process, or qualitative measures that are hard to verify (e.g. continue
to provide high quality advice to Minister).
While this is useful to Government, the real challenge will probably lie in agreeing and selecting an appropriate set of
criteria for what qualifies as effectiveness in judging the outcomes of language or cultured-centred programmes or interventions.
In some aspects such criteria can only be qualitative as they are often engaged more in assessing process
than product. Otherwise the exercise becomes a mere numbers game.
The final set of figures given in the next section demonstrate the ways in which the D/AHG dealt with PIs in its area of operations.

Revised Estimates for Public Services 2012 (23 February 2012)


This final set of figures is from the Revised Estimates for Public Services as published by the Department of Public Expenditure
& Reform on 23 February 2012. Again they differ somewhat from those given above with regard to the 2011 outturns (not
given here) and, more significantly in the slight increase across all programmes. Additionally, in these Estimates is found the
identification of expenditure relating to the numbers of Public Service employees (including pensions) and to the percentage of
total allocation going on pay under expenditure for each departmental programme. Key target outputs expected are also listed
under each programme as promised in the CRE Report. Total allocation for the Department is now 263,772,000 (Vote 33).

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Revised Estimates: 2012 000s
Irish Language, Gaeltacht & Islands (Programme C)
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

Change 2012 over 2011

2012

35,853

8,927

44,780

11%

Previous 2012 totals on the D/AHG website


2012

32,871

8,874

41,745

5,026

The revised Estimates show an increase on previous figures, which may be related to the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy
for Irish or to other considerations. It is unclear whether Comhaltas Ceoltir ireann (now under Programme A) had been
removed from the previous totals. If so, the increase is even higher. The Key Outputs and Targets listed show no surprises while
the context and impact indicators are all couched in quantitative terms and refer to the years 2009-2011 as comparative baseline.
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D/AHG: Key Outputs and Output Targets for 2012: Programme C


- Implement the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030
Deliver Departments 2012 implementation plan.
Deliver language planning process in context of proposed new statutory definition of the Gaeltacht.
Progress Gaeltacht Bill and *Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill through the Oireachtas.
*{Amalgamation of translation agencies].
Support dars na Gaeltachta in assisting enterprise development and maintaining employment base in the
Gaeltacht.
Complete review of Official Languages Act.
- Facilitate the delivery of services to island communities
Continue provision of lifeline transport services to offshore islands.

Context and Impact Indicators


Indicator/Year
Number attending Irish colleges in the Gaeltacht
Number of jobs created in the Gaeltacht
Number of jobs maintained in the Gaeltacht
Number using subsidised travel services to offshore islands

2009

2010

2011

27,586

25,120

24,714

710

704

734

7,472

7,074

7,000

496,337

537,778

586,234

North-South Co-operation (Programme D)

*2012

Current

Capital

Total

Change 2012 over 2011

38,244

4,503

42,747

-8%

*Includes both Waterways Ireland and the overall body, An Foras Teanga. These estimates are subject to the approval of the
North South Ministerial Council.
Previous 2012 totals on the D/AHG website
2012

38,037

4,500

42,537

4,363

The previous totals on the Departmental website were somewhat lower.


North-South Co-operation (Programme D): An Foras Teanga 000s
Current

Total

2011

15,873

15,873

2012

15,438

15,438

Change 2012 over 2011

435,00 (2.74%)

The Key Outputs and Output Targets for 2012 for Programme D are the promotion of North South co-operation through
the holding of meetings, agreeing business plans and budgets for the two agencies and, in the case of Foras na Gaeilge, through
implementing the external review completed in 2011 of IS, the book distribution agency of FNG. No mention is made of
the completion or implementation of the outcomes of the ongoing third consultation process on the New Funding Model
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Schemes in the case of the Core-funded Sector (discussed below). Under the context and impact indicators are the number of
organisations and festivals supported by Foras na Gaeilge over the three previous years: 2009 (155); 2010 (303); 2011 (377).
The number of joint projects supported by both parts of the Language Body increased from 8 (2009) to 10 (2010 and 2011).
The breakdown of Programme C was given as follows. A somewhat similar table is found above under Budget 2010 for
the years 2009 and 2010.
Area of Programme

Allocation (000s) & Year

Change

2011

2012

630

650

+ 20 (+3.17%)

Gaeltacht Schemes

10,878

9,123

1,755 (-16%)

dars na Gaeltachta

19,918

19,082

836 (-4.2%)

*Irish Language Support Schemes

5,028

4,625

403 (-8%)

Islands

9,475

6,863

2,612 (-27.5%)

Office of An Coimisinir Teanga

* Part-funded by the National Lottery


Some other elements of expenditure in the core activities of the Department, all of which have implications for language,
are as follows in these latest (23 February 2012) Revised Estimates 2012. It is also noted that funding for the traditional music
organisation, Comhaltas Ceoltir ireann, has now been moved from Programme C (Irish language etc.) to Programme A
(Arts, Culture, Film). This may account for some of the increase noted in Programme A. Expenditure of 1m has been included
for a cultural programme during the EU Presidency by Ireland.
Arts, Culture & Film (Programme A)
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

Change 2012 over 2011

2012

112,278

20,101

132,379

10%

Previous 2012 totals on the D/AHG website


104,006

2012

20,040

124,046

15,845

Outputs
- To nurture and develop artistic ad creative talent; enhance arts access, national cultural institutions, regional
arts infrastructure and cultural tourism countrywide, in co-operation with national/local authorities and other
partners (including Arts in Education initiative).
- To promote Irish arts worldwide and develop a strategy for philanthropic-type funding in the Irish arts and
cultural sector (including cultural programme planning for EU Presidency).
- To develop and promote the Irish audiovisual content creation industry (Irish Film Board; Creative Capital
Report implementation).

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Indicators
2009

2010

2011

Number of visitors to cultural institutions

2.89m

3.1m

3.5m

Aggregate output level film/tv production sector

247m

243m

388m

Participation arts/culture nationally (a) no (b) % adult population

2.3m

2.0m

2.0m

66%

58%

58%

Heritage (Programme B)
Year/Exp.

Current

Capital

Total

Change 2012 over 2011

2012

39,076

9,469

48,545

4%

Previous 2012 totals on the D/AHG website


2012

*13,260

9,164

22,424

1,643

*Areas then listed include: Grant for An Chomhairle Oidhreachta (Heritage Council); Built Heritage; National Parks &
Wildlife; Irish Heritage Trust. Valid comparison is not then possible between the Revised Estimates and figures previo