Co-operation and the Irish language

Mon, Feb 13, 2012, 00:00

Sir, – Your newspaper contains an article concerning a proposal by Foras na Gaeilge for a new funding model based on schemes rather than organisations (Home News, February 9th).

Some of the assertions by the chief executive of Foras na Gaeilge cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

Services required by Irish speakers are as diverse as those of the general population. It is, therefore, not excessive that 19 organisations serve those needs on an all-island basis.

Furthermore, there is no basis for the assertion that there is duplication of provision.

As to the assertion that organisations “flatly refused” to co-operate, a report commissioned by Foras na Gaeilge from Mazars identified that collaboration did already exist but that it could be improved. While organisations reviewed do collaborate with other organisations it would appear that this is largely done from a bottom-up perspective, ie each individual organisation collaborates with others to the level of breadth and depth that it as an organisation or they as a group see fit.

A request by Foras na Gaeilge, in 2008, that organisations establish committees to effect greater co-operation between them was well-intentioned but doomed to failure in the absence of an overarching plan or any external facilitation.

I believe that the interest of the current public consultation process would be best served if meaningful engagement were to occur between Foras na Gaeilge and the sector, as requested by the North-South Ministerial Council. – Yours, etc,

ANTOINE Ó COILEÁIN,

Príomhfheidhmeannach,

Gael Linn,

Dame Street,

Dublin 2.