Members and supporters of the Celtic League and the Irish Language are being asked to sign two petitions that are currently circling in Ireland that aim to oppose the drastic cuts proposed in the level of support that is available to Irish.
The first petition calls on the Irish language funding body, Foras na Gaeilge, to scrap proposals to restructure the way it funds language organisations. Under the proposals Foras na Gaeige aims to abolish annual core funding for language organisations and replace it with a three year schemes in a limited range of activities. Under the proposals 19 long standing Irish language organisations will cease to exist, including Pobal , Conradh na Gaelige, Gaelscoileanna and the nursey schools body FNT. All the organisations that have done the work on the ground and founded nursery schools, primary and secondary schools and established Irish language networks will be affected.
The petition organisers, supported by a group of international linguistic experts from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and New Zealand, complain that no review has been undertaken into the effectiveness of the organisations that will be effected and that the proposals are at odds with international language planning principles. It is felt that the new funding model is deeply flawed and will prove detrimental to the future development of the Irish language. To sign the petition and show your support, please click on the website link below.
The other petition calls on the Irish Government to reverse its proposed policy to cut the pupil/teacher ratio in Irish medium schools (Gaelscoileanna). The petition organisers argue that if the changes are implemented then up to 31 schools in the Republic will lose one teacher, leading to a dilution of provision and the effectiveness of the Irish immersion school experience.
To sign the petition and show your support, please click on the website link below.
In November 2011 the Government commenced a review of the Official Languages Act 2003 and in May 2011 the Government announced that it had decided to merge the Office of the Language Commissioner with the Office of the Ombudsman. According to the League’s Convenor:
“This would be a serious downgrading of this important independent role which has benefited those trying to do their business with State bodies through Irish. It would have no financial savings at all”.
Regarding the most recent proposals the Convenor adds “the proposals would leave the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language in shreds”.
Review of the Official Languages Act 2003:
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:
Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.