Efforts being made to retain the Irish language in south Donegal

By Michelle NicPhaidin

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By Michelle NicPhaidin

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news@donegaldemocrat.com

Efforts being made to retain the Irish language in south Donegal

A series of meetings will take place across south Donegal in a bid to achieve community consensus in relation to securing a positive future for the Irish language.
The Irish Language Planning Strategy for the Sliabh a’Liag peninsula, which includes the parishes of Cill Chartha, Gleann Colm Cille and parts of Ard a’Rátha, is being developed at present and will be finalised by the end of January 2018.
There are more than 1,200 houses in the area. The chairperson of Béal an Phobail, the planning and steering committee in the south Donegal area, Eunan Cunningham, said the Irish language exists in the area and the population have a healthy and positive attitude towards the Irish language, according to a survey that was carried out in the area ahead of Christmas.
“It may be one of our final opportunities to save the Irish langugage. We have to be realistic. People have it but they aren't speaking it as often as they should. In our survey we found people were positive about the Irish language,” he said.
The meetings will take place in January.
Mr. Cunningham said the strategy is all-inclusive and opinions and suggestions are sought from non-Irish speakers as well as native speakers.
The committee's mission is to adopt the ethos of languages co-existing rather than letting any disappear from the landscape.
The committee are exceptionally eager that everyone in the area contributes to the plan.
“We also want to make the language more visible in the area. The feedback that we have received from people and parents is positive. We want to get their opinions and take their thoughts on board,” he said.
The Language Planning Strategy is being driven by Lár Chomhairle Pharóiste Ghleann Cholm Cille and people are being encouraged to call in to one of the public meetings listed or to contact the office.
The committee hope to introduce language emmersion into schools in the future by using a gradual process.
“It is in some schools and it will be a gradual process. Irish can exist beside English, they can co-exist,” he said.
A meeting will be held in Coláiste Aodh Mhic Bricne, Teileann on Tuesday, January 9th at 7pm; in Seanscoil na Carraige, An Charraig on Tuesday, January 9th at 7pm; in Áislann Chill Cartha, Wednesday, January 10th at 7pm; Ionad Phobail Mín an Aoire, Wednesday, January 10th at 8.30pm; Oideas Gael, Gleann Cholm Cille, Thursday, January 11th at 7pm; and Ionad na Paróiste, Ard an Rátha, January 11th at 8.30pm.
You can contact the office by email on oifiglcpg@gmail.com or call on 074-9730894.