New initiative to increase use of Irish in Dublin city gets funding approved

Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge is joint scheme between council and Conradh na Gaeilge

Funding has been announced for Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge, which aims to encourage the use of Irish in public spaces around Dublin city. Photograph: Photocall Ireland

Funding has been announced for Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge, which aims to encourage the use of Irish in public spaces around Dublin city. Photograph: Photocall Ireland

 

Funding has been approved for a joint initiative between Dublin City Council and Conradh na Gaeilge aimed at increasing the visibility and use of the Irish language in Dublin city.

The programme, Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge, aims to encourage the use of Irish in public spaces around the city, and funding of €415,000 is being provided for it by the Department of the Gaeltacht and Dublin City Council. The funding has been allocated to support the development and implementation of the plan over the next three years.

Dublin has a large Irish-speaking community and demand for Irish-language services such as the provision of Irish-medium schools has grown in recent years. It is intended under Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge that partnerships and collaborations will be built with the city’s business community, and two full-time staff have been employed by Conradh na Gaeilge to work on the project.

Initiatives to encourage the use of more Irish in signage, websites, advertising, and menus in cafes and restaurants are among the measures planned by Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge.

Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport Jack Chambers said of the programme: “This project is of particular importance to ensure that the Irish language thrives in the city, that the language is promoted in the business sector and that it is given economic recognition. It is good also that this work will be done in partnership with Dublin City Council.”

Previous success

Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge will hope to repeat the success of Gaillimh le Gaeilge, a similar scheme that has been in operation in Galway since the 1980s.

As part of the plan, Conradh na Gaeilge’s offices located at 6 Harcourt Street will be used as a centre for businesses and the public to access information about services available in Irish and to encourage them to use those services.

Welcoming the announcement of funding, Conradh na Gaeilge’s Julian de Spáinn said: “Interest in the language and the use of Irish in Dublin is growing, especially among young people, and Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge is now in place to ensure that the language is seen, heard, and used more in ordinary city life.”

“Among various actions being taken by Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge, the benefits of the use of Irish will be presented to the city’s business community and they will be encouraged to provide services in Irish in the future,” he said.

Funding totalling €90,000 is being provided by Dublin City Council over three years, with the remaining €325,000 being provided by the Department of the Gaeltacht.

Direct result

Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland said: “The department’s funding is a direct result of their partnership with the Irish-language subcommittee of Dublin City Council.

“I commend the chair and members of the subcommittee for the progress that has been made during 2021. The city council is pleased to increase the funding announced today and I look forward to a comprehensive and creative programme that supports the use of the Irish language in the capital.”

Niamh O’Kennedy, of Murphy’s Ice Cream, which is supporting the programme, said: “More and more we have been seeing a huge increase in interest from both our customers and staff in the Irish language. So much so we are now offering all our staff the opportunity to avail of free Irish-language lessons. With support of organisations like Baile Átha Cliath le Gaeilge we believe the Irish language can be accessible and enjoyable for all.”