A newly appointed member to the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta has said companies must offer an incentive for young people to stay in the Gaeltacht in order to halt the extinction of the region.
Sinn Féin Councillor and Údarás member, John Shéamuis Ó'Fearraigh said that incentives, such as jobs of a higher calibre and a satisfactory wage have to be offered by companies coming into Gaeltacht areas in order to encourage young people to come home and live.
Councillors in the area have asked that a task force is established to examine issues within the Gaeltacht regions.
“We need to look at companies that can offer a 'living wage - 'a wage that people can survive on in order to keep young people in the area and to encourage young people to come home and live,” Cllr Ó'Fearraigh said.
The Brinalack-based councillor said such an incentive is needed to keep the language alive and well in the Gaeltacht.
Should this not happen he fears that the Gaeltacht regions in Donegal may be left on the brink of extinction.
“This is extremely important if we want to focus on keeping the language alive.
“If we don't we could see the extinction of the Gaeltacht.
“Incentives are needed and that means reasonably paid jobs and a better standard of jobs for a highly educated workforce,” he said.
“Young people need to know that if they need a mortgage and they go to the bank with their wage-slip they might be given a mortgage. Let's focus on paying companies rather than companies that are looking at a huge profit at the end of the year,” he said.
He said that at an earlier Municipal District Meeting held in Glenties, his colleague, Cllr. Marie Therese Gallagher called for the establishment of a task force.
“It is important that this task force is established.
“We need to have Údarás na Gaeltachta, Roinn na Gaeltachta, the Road Safety Authority, educational organisations and other groups all working together and focusing on what we need to have done in this area.
“All organisations working with one objective in mind - to improve matters in this region,” he said.
Applications have been sent in relation to the task force to both Ministers Joe McHugh and Michael Ring.
“Young people will move away if the jobs are not here for them.
“We need to do what we can to keep them here and that means looking at companies that will provide a reasonable wage,” he said.