‘Absolutely essential that Irish is taught effectively’
Pól Ó Muirí
The Irish-language group, Conradh na Gaeilge, want an integrated course for Irish in schools to be established immediately. President of Conradh na Gaeilge, Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, said that it was “absolutely essential that Irish is taught effectively throughout our education system, and we are recommending that a proper fully integrated and graded course for the Irish language, from pre-school to third level, be put into effect without delay.”
Mac Fhearghusa made his comments as a delegation from Conradh na Gaeilge, Ireland’s oldest Irish-language group, prepares to meet the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Gaeltacht Affairs tomorrow in Dublin to discuss the Government’s Draft 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language.
The group will also argue that equal status be given to Irish on bilingual road signs; that the public service adopt a recruitment policy that encourages the employment of bilingual members of staff and that the new language authority, údarás na Gaeilge, mentioned in the strategy continues to support enterprise and employment in Gaeltacht areas.
General Secretary of the organisation, Julian de Spáinn, said that the public have a vital role to play in the implementation of the strategy and the group believed it was vital that Irish-language institutions were responsible for the Gaeltacht and Gaeltacht communities: “In terms of our language and culture, the people of the Gaeltacht are entitled to special recognition; the long-term sustainability of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht would be at risk if the general public treat the language with indifference and if the State refuses to accept its importance. We believe that it is crucial that the new authority noted in the strategy continues to have a responsibility for the creation of employment in the Gaeltacht areas, as Údarás na Gaeltachta has done to date, and that adequate resources are provided for the Authority to do so.”
The meeting of the joint committee will be broadcast live on TG4 between 2pm and 4.30pm