Gaeltacht Minister to take refresher Irish course - Kenny

FF says some are concerned over Joe McHugh’s ability to conduct business in Irish

The Taoiseach said Joe McHugh (above) pursuing a language course would allow him to discuss the issues which mattered with Éamon Ó Cuív on TG4 or any other forum around the country.

The Taoiseach said Joe McHugh (above) pursuing a language course would allow him to discuss the issues which mattered with Éamon Ó Cuív on TG4 or any other forum around the country.

Tue, Jul 15, 2014, 18:47

The new Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs Joe McHugh is to take a refresher course in the Irish language, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Mr Kenny told the Dáil today that Mr McHugh’s first action was to book in for an Irish language course in Donegal.

He was replying to Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív, who said there was concern in Irish language circles over the Minister of State’s capability in conducting comfortably the daily business through Irish.

The Taoiseach said Mr McHugh’s language course would allow him to discuss the issues which mattered with Mr Ó Cuív on TG4 or any other forum around the country.

“I think it is an example… as I saw before in the House over the years… of somebody whose Irish might be a bit rusty getting back into action and bringing it up to standard,” Mr Kenny added.

Mr McHugh, from Carrigart, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, replaced fellow Donegal TD Dinny McGinley, who has fluent Irish, in the Gaeltacht post. He was first elected to the Dáil in 2007, having previously served in the Seanad.

He was formerly a geography and maths teacher, and community worker.

In a statement earlier today, Mr Ó Cuív said that having fluent Irish should be an absolute prerequisite for a Minister with responsibility for the Irish language.