Dónal Ó Cnáimhsí, Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal Máire Uí Fhearraigh, Gaoth Dobhair, Pearse Doherty TD SF and Micheál Máirtín, Belfast, at Clinic na Gaeilge 2018 at Buswells Hotel, Kildare Street.
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge, Gaeltacht Minister Joe McHugh, Sorcha Ní Chonghaile, Irish Officer at DCU Students’ Union and Máirtín Ó Méalóid, Oileán Chléire, Cork, at Clinic na Gaeilge 2018 at Buswells Hotel, Kildare Street. Organised by Conradh na Gaeilge, the 10-hour mobile clinic saw members of the Irish-speaking community from around the country sit down with their constituency TDs in a bid to secure budget funding for an Irish Language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan which could create over 1,000 new jobs. Pic: Sasko Lasarov, Photocall Ireland.
Conradh na Gaeilge members from Donegal met with their local Oireachtas members to voice their concerns around Irish language and Gaeltacht funding as Clinic Na Gaeilge came to Kildare Street in Dublin.
The ten-hour mobile clinic at Buswells Hotel saw Dónal Ó Cnáimhsí and Máire Uí Fhearraigh, Gaoth Dobhair, sit down with local Gaeltacht Minister Joe McHugh and Pat The Cope Gallagher TD to ask for their support for Conradh na Gaeilge’s Irish Language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan which could create over 1,190 new jobs.
Local representatives from 20 constituencies across Ireland travelled to the capital to meet 83 TDs, Senators and representatives in a bid to secure funding of €9 million for the plan in Budget 2019.
“Clinic na Gaeilge brings the voice of the Irish-speaking community to the seat of power, where they can air the local issues that matter to them most,” said Dónal.
“It was good to sit down as Gaeilge with Joe and Pat and encourage them to make investment in the Irish language and in the Gaeltacht a priority for the Government in Budget 2019.
Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge said that the Irish Language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan has been agreed by 87 Irish language and Gaeltacht groups, and would create over 1,190 new jobs.
“It will also provide essential resources towards the language planning process, and afford the public many opportunities across the country to use Irish,” said Dr Comer.
“Irish language and Gaeltacht employment authorities have seen their resources slashed by up to 70% since 2007.
“It is time to honour the Programme for Government and invest in our Gaeltachts and in our language.”
The event was held as part of Conradh na Gaeilge’s #SEAS18 (seisiúin eolais agus spreagtha) pre-budget campaign, which involves information and progress sessions on Irish language and Gaeltacht affairs.
“As well as the representatives of many constituencies who are joining us today, other Irish speakers have been phoning their local politicians, calling into their local drop-in clinics, and sending personal emails or tweets,” said Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha, Advocacy Manager with Conradh na Gaeilge.
“Like Clinic na Gaeilge, this is all tremendously enormously important work before the Budget is decided.
“We are stronger as a community when we work together on these core issues - ní neart go cur le chéile.”
Conradh na Gaeilge and their local representatives are calling on the Government and on the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, to allocate €9 million in funding to the Irish Language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan, as agreed by 87 Irish language and Gaeltacht groups, in Budget 2019.