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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 29, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    Foras meets and greets

    Pól Ó Muirí

    A group of international language experts have written an open letter to the newspapers in which they have attacked Foras na Gaeilge  for its plans to introduce a New Funding Model to promote Irish.

    The experts believe the model is “deeply flawed and will prove detrimental to the development of Irish”. They argue that foras “have not carried out any review of the effectiveness, or the efficiency of the Irish language organisations, and their proposal is completely at odds with international language planning principles”. They want “a permanent funding structure, based on strategic planning and long-term goals, for the Irish language voluntary sector”.

    Foras issued a statement to The Irish Times yesterday, saying they had read the letter and had invited the experts to meet with them. They would not comment on the proposed funding model in case they influenced the ongoing public consultation on the subject.

    Under the model, schemes rather than individual organisations will be funded. Foras say it will result in more Irish for your euro; 19 groups affected say it will destroy the voluntary sector and its work.

    And talking of consultations. That process was to start at the beginning of January and end at the beginning of April. As part of the consultation process, FnaG will hold public meetings in:
    Meadowlands Hotel, Trá Lí, Co Kerry, Monday 5th March, 7pm
    Cultúrlann MacAdam-Ó Fiaich, Belfast, Thursday, 8th March, 7pm.
    Páirc Mionlach Hotel, Galway, Monday, 12th March, 7pm
    Foras na Gaeilge HQ, Merrion Square, Dublin, Wednesday 14th March, 7pm.

    It all seems very late and I have not seen any great publicity campaign to alert people to these meetings. Certainly, I did not receive any press release and found these, by chance, on FnaG’s website. One wonders how well attended they will be and how exactly these meetings will inform the final decision on the new funding arrangement.

    • Antoine Ó Coileáin says:

      While the meetings are a welcome addition to the process, it is regrettable that they come so late and that the focus is very much on the model being proposed by Foras. I feel that the April 2 deadline will refer only to accepting submissions and that the review process has a long way to go.

      When they met the Oireachtas Committee yesterday, it was notable that Foras indicated thay were now amenable to other proposals. If the ‘new funding model’ is off the agenda then we are into a whole new excercise.

    • Grma. “Foras” and “amenable” are not words that usually appear in the same sentence! What’s the Irish for Glasnost?! As an update, FnaG have released a press release this afternoon on meetings, confirming dates. Do you think someone in hq reads this blog? The power of Béarla!

    • btw, you have good English, Antoine. Nice to see bilingualism in operation!

    • Seosamh O Blaganna says:

      Fáilte ar ais. Good to see this forum is active again. It is important to open up the debate on Irish language issues and to keep our English speaking fellow citizens informed of developments in relation to the ‘First Official’.

      Hopefully it will be a while at least before someone makes an appearance complaining about how Irish ‘was rammed down their throats at school’ or how countless billions of euro are wasted yearly on trying to revive ‘a dead language.’

      I am looking forward to some rational debate for a change and all the better if we get to practice the ‘cúpla focal Béarla’ at the same time.

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