Last Tuesday (21st December 2010) Taoiseach Brian Cowan launched a strategy for the Irish language.
Launching the strategy, Taoiseach Cowan, said that he was very hopeful that there is a future for the Irish language. The 20 year strategy includes a commitment that Irish will remain compulsory for students until Leaving Certificate level (between 16 and 19 years old).
A Fine Gael spokesman said that his party was fully behind the strategy, but the party had previously held the position that the language should only be compulsory until Junior Leaving Certificate (between 12 and 16 years old).
Even though the 20 year strategy is a positive development for the language, Irish in the north of Ireland still lacks sufficient protection, despite continuing efforts to bring in a language act.
Last month an attempt to call on the (NI) Culture Minister to bring forward a strategy to protect the development of the language in the north failed. Following a debate on Irish in Stormont, Sinn Fein MLA Billy Leonard said:
“The drive to get an Irish language act will go on…”
Press statement from Irish government here:
Strategy document in pdf form here:
This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:
Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information