Summer Gaeltacht courses cancelled due to coronavirus

Department confirms Irish-language studies in communities will not take place this year

Minister for  the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

No Irish-language courses will be run in the Gaeltacht this summer because of the coronavirus crisis, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has confirmed.

In a statement, the department acknowledged that the decision was a major blow to the Gaeltacht areas and to the many thousands of students who were looking forward to attending courses over the summer.

“The health of our communities is the priority, however, and everybody has a role to play in the efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

The department also confirmed that households in Gaeltacht areas would not have to submit new engineering certificates this year under the scheme governing the summer courses, as had been previously requested.

The decision came in the wake of consultations with the health authorities and was made in the interest of protecting public health in the context of the pandemic.

Conradh na Gaeilge said the move was a huge blow for the Gaeltacht, the “mná tí” and the colleges. “But the health of students, communities & families has to come first,” it said in a post on Twitter.