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Joe McHugh TD

An tAire Stáit um an Diaspóra agus Fhorbairt Idirnáisiúnta
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Joe McHugh TD

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Minister of State McHugh welcomes budget allocations for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and Islands for 2018

Ráiteas ó Phríomh-Aoire an Rialtais agus Aire Stáit don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht agus do na hOileáin, Joe McHugh TD

Mar Aire Stáit dár dteanga dhúchais, dár gceantair Ghaeltachta agus dár n-oileáin, tuigim go rímhaith an dualgas atá orm úsáid na Gaeilge ar fud na tíre, agus ar fud na bpobal atá ina lár, a chosaint agus a fheabhsú.

Fáiltím roimh an maoiniú breise do mo Roinn i gCáinaisnéis 2018 a fógraíodh inniu, le méadú breise de €2.5m á chur ar fáil – rud a fhágann maoiniú breise de níos mó ná €5m thar dhá bhliain.

Tá an Rialtas seo dírithe ar theacht leis an tiomantas dár gcultúr atá le feiceáil i mórán de na heagraíochtaí díograiseacha atá ar fud an Stáit, taobh istigh agus taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht.

Tá aitheantas tugtha don obair chrua seo sa Cháinaisnéis le suim iomlán an bhliain seo chugainn de €62.595 milliún don teanga, don Ghaeltacht agus do na hoileáin.

San áireamh i mo chuid pleananna don bhliain seo chugainn tá:

  • €1.4m breise chun tacú leis an Phróiseas Pleanála Teanga faoin Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge;
  • €400,000 de mhaoiniú breise d’Údarás na Gaeltachta chun infheistiú ina chláir caipitil agus chun tacaí a mhéadú do chomharchumainn agus d’eagraíochtaí forbartha pobail na Gaeltachta, rud a fhágann go bhfuil an maoiniú caipitil don Údarás méadaithe go €7m;
  • Leithdháileadh breise de €687,000 do Scéimeanna Tacaíochta Teanga na Roinne lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht.

San áireamh i mbuiséad na bliana seo chugainn tá suim shuntasach de €14.028 milliún le cur ar fáil don Fhoras Teanga, a chuimsíonn Foras na Gaeilge agus Gníomhaireacht na hUltaise. Is figiúirí táscacha iad seo atá faoi réir fhaomhadh na Meastachán amach anseo agus faoi réir chomhaontú na Comhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas i gcás an Fhorais Teanga.

Beidh tacaíocht don Ghaeilge agus forbairt inbhuanaithe phobail na n-oileán ina bpríomhthosaíochtaí domsa go fóill in 2018. Tá grá dár dteanga agus dár gcultúr ag dul i méid i gcónaí; is é seo a fhágann gur dream ar leith muid. Bíonn an sárobair a bhíonn ar bun i gceantair Ghaeltachta chun úsáid na teanga a chaomhnú agus a fhorbairt ar siúl taobh leis an obair inár n-earnáil oideachais ar fud na tíre agus an t-éileamh ar áiteannta i nGaelscoileanna agus in institiúidí dara agus tríú leibhéal Gaeilge ag dul i méid achan bhliain.

Is príomhthosaíocht do mo Roinnse é cur i gcrích na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge agus is cúis áthais dom go bhfuil méadú ar an maoiniú don Ghaeilge, de réir an ghealltanais atá tugtha i gClár an Rialtais.

Tá mé sásta ach go háirithe leis an €1.4m breise atá curtha ar fáil chun tacú leis an phróiseas pleanála teanga.  An mhí seo a chuaigh thart, d’fhógair mé go bhfuil an chéad trí phlean teanga Gaeltachta ceadaithe, rud a thugann deis anois na pleananna sin a bhogadh ar aghaidh go dtí an chéim is tábhachtaí den phróiseas pleanála teanga, is é sin cur i bhfeidhm na bpleananna teanga.  Beidh an maoiniú breise seo ríthábhachtach de réir mar a bheidh breis pleananna teanga á gceadú agus á mbogadh ar aghaidh go dtí an cur i bhfeidhm sa bhliain atá amach romhainn.

Tá mé sásta fosta gur éirigh liom €400,000 de mhaoiniú breise a chinntiú d’Údarás na Gaeltachta chun infheistiú ina chláir caipitil agus chun méadú ar a thacaí do chomharchumainn agus d’eagraíochtaí forbartha pobail na Gaeltachta.  Tabharfaidh an méadú seo ar mhaoiniú figiúr bunlíne caipitil na heagraíochta suas go €7m agus méadófar fosta an t-allúntas do chomharchumainn agus d’eagraíochtaí forbartha pobail na Gaeltachta. Tá ról lárnach ag an Údarás sa phróiseas pleanála teanga, i gcoinneáil poist ina chliantchuideachtaí agus i mealladh níos mó infheistíochta isteach sna ceantair Ghaeltachta agus tá mé muiníneach go dtabharfaidh a n-allúntas foriomlán deis dóibh a sainchúram a chomhlíonadh sa bhliain atá le teacht.

Tá allúntas breise de €687,000 ceadaithe fosta do Scéimeanna Tacaíochta Teanga na Roinne taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht.  Tá curtha go mór ag na scéimeanna seo le cuid den obair is nuálaí atá ar bun maidir leis an teanga le blianta beaga anuas agus tá mé ag dréim le níos mó dul chun cinn sna réimsí seo in 2018.  Bainfear úsáid fosta as an maoiniú breise atá á chur ar fáil i mbliana chun cláir éagsúla foghlama Gaeilge a mhaoiniú taobh istigh agus taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht, rud a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leis líon na gcainteoirí laethúla Gaeilge a mhéadú.

Críoch

 

Statement by Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD

As Minister of State for our native language, our Gaeltacht areas and our islands, I know all too well my duty to protect and enhance the use of Irish throughout the country and the communities at the heart of this.

I welcome additional funding to my department in Budget 2018 announced today with another increase of €2.5M being provided – taking additional funding to more than €5M over two years.

There is a dedication in this Government to match the dedication to our culture across so many hard-working organisations across the State inside and outside the Gaeltacht.

This hard work has been recognised in the Budget with a total sum next year of €62.595 million for the language, the gaeltacht and the islands.

Included in my plans for next year are:

  • An additional €1.4m to support the Language Planning Process under the 20 year Strategy for the Irish Language;
  • €400,000 in additional funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta to invest in its capital programmes and to increase supports for Gaeltacht co-operatives and community development organisations, bringing capital funding for An tÚdarás up to €7m;
  • An additional allocation of €687,000 for the Department’s Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht.

Included in next year’s Budget is a substantial sum of €14.028m to be provided for An Foras Teanga, comprising Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency. These are indicative figures which are subject to the Estimates being approved in due course and subject to the agreement of the North South Ministerial Council in the case of An Foras Teanga.

Support for the Irish language and the sustainable development of our island communities will remain key priorities for me in 2018. There is a growing love for our language and our culture; it is what sets us apart. The incredible work in Gaeltacht areas to preserve and grow use of our language goes on alongside the work in our education sector throughout the country with demand growing every year for places in Gaelscoileanna and in secondary and third level Irish institutions.

The delivery of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language is a key priority for Government, and I am pleased to see an increase in funding for the Irish language, in line with a commitment given in the Programme for Government.

I am particularly pleased with the additional €1.4m which has been provided to support the language planning process.  Last month, I announced that the first three Gaeltacht language plans had been approved, allowing those plans to move on to the  most important phase of the language planning process, that being the implementation of the language plans.  This additional funding will be vital as more language plans are approved and move into the implementation phase over the coming year.

I am also pleased to have secured over €400,000 in additional funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta to invest in its capital programmes and to increase supports for Gaeltacht co-operatives and community development organisations.  This increase in funding will bring the organisation’s capital baseline figure up to €7m while also increasing the allocation to Gaeltacht co-operatives and community development organisations. An tÚdarás has a key role to play in the language planning process, in retaining jobs in their client companies and in attracting further investment to Gaeltacht areas and I am confident that their overall allocation will enable them to fulfil their remit over the coming year.

An additional allocation of €687,000 has also been provided for the Department’s Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht.  These schemes have contributed greatly to some of the most innovative work being done in relation to the language in recent years, and I look forward to further progress in these areas in 2018.  The extra funding being made available this year will also be used to fund various Irish language learning programmes both within and outside the Gaeltacht, thus aiming to increase the number of daily speakers of the language.

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