‘Can Gaeltacht schools be saved from extinction?’

Sir, – In asking if the Gaeltacht can be saved from extinction, Peter McGuire quotes Bláthnaid Ní Ghréacháin to the effect that these supposedly Irish-speaking areas are in a "linguistic crisis" ("Can Gaeltacht schools be saved from extinction?", Education, May 1st).

The crisis is not just linguistic.

Here in Donegal, in the heart of the largest Gaeltacht, the problems are manifold.

Ireland’s most northerly county has no train or motorway connections; the labour force is declining; unemployment is 18 per cent; marginalisation, deprivation and disadvantage remain consistently high.

The lack of a dual carriageway to Dublin entrenches the disadvantage of this isolated county.

The €400 million promised by the Irish government in the 2006 St Andrews Agreement to upgrade the A5 Derry/Dublin roadlink has been forgotten.

Donegal’s young people have shown their ambition and resilience by emigrating – 16 per cent of them in five years.

Only a thriving local economy can revive the language. Time is short. – Yours, etc,


Cnoc an Stollaire,

Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.