Thomas Pringle TD

Polasaí Gaeltachta – Pringle

an ghaeltacht

Deir tuarascáil i ndiaidh tuarascála go bhfuil an bás i ndán don Ghaeltacht. De réir chóir a bheith achan saineolaí,  tá deireadh ag teacht léi mar aonad sochtheangeolaíoch.  Ghlac an rialtas seo agus an ceann a bhí i gcumhacht roimhe seo leis na tuarascála seo agus ní dhearna siad faic fúthu.

Gearradh an maoiniú do Údarás na Gaeltachta le €14 milliún ó bhí 2008 ann, ó €32 milliún go dtí €18 milliún anois. Is ionann sin agus beagnach leath de bhuiséad a bhí ag údaráis a bhí ag déanamh riaracháin ar cheantar atá ar leaba an bháis.

Tá liosta thrí éilimh eisithe ag Conradh na Gaeilge d’iomaitheoirí sa toghchán. Seo iad na héilimh.

Go ndéanfaí infheistíocht €18 milliúin sa bhreis i bplean phobal na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta le borradh a chur faoi úsáid na Gaeilge agus le 1,175+ post nua a chruthú

Go gceapfaí Aire Sinsearach don Ghaeilge agus don Ghaeltacht, le Gaeilge, chun go mbeadh ionchur ag an Ghaeilge ag Bord an Rialtais

Comhchoiste Oireachtais seasta don Ghaeilge agus don Ghaeltacht ar comhchéim leis na Comhchoistí Oireachtais eile

Aontaím leis na héilimh uilig seo, ach chuirfinn leo.

Tá fadhb mhór sa Ghaeltacht agus i bpobal na Gaeilge i gcoitinne leis an oideachas. Éilím go gcuirfear moltaí na dtuarascála is déanaí maidir leis an oideachas as Gaeilge i gcrích, go háirithe COGG a chur ar ais mar eagraíocht riaracháin do scoltacha Gaeilge ar fud na tíre. Tá gá fosta le infheistíocht mhór le Gaelscoltacha áirithe a thabhairt suas go dtí an caighdeán cuí. Amharc, mar shampla, ar Ghaelscoil na gCeithre Mháistrí i mBaile Dhún na nGall, atá ag déileáil le foirgnimh “prefab” in áit foirgneamh ceart scoile a gealladh dóibh cúpla uair. Nó Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha atá suite in Ionad Pobail, áit nach bhfuil smacht  ag na múinteoirí ar cé a chastar ar na páistí taobh amuigh de na seomraí ranga.

Sa Ghaeltacht, is í an dífhostaíocht an fhadhb is mó ó thaobh í a choinneáil mar aonad sochtheangeolaíochta. Bíonn ar dhaoine óga an ceantar a fhágáil le obair a fháil agus bíonn sé iontach deacair cinntiú go n-aistrítear an teanga ó ghlúin go glúin, rud a mhíníonn agus a thugann a charachtar féin don Ghaeltacht. Le díriú asr an cheist seo, creidim go gcaithfear athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar an dóigh a chruthaíonn Údarás na Gaeltacht poist. Fá láthair, caitear  formhór a chuid fuinnimh agus airgid ar comhlachtaí móra idirnáisiúnta a mhealladh chuig  an cheantar. Cé gur éirigh leo sin a dhéanamh ar cúpla ócáid le gairid, tá sé le feiceáil sna monarchana folmha ar fud na Gaeltachta nach polasaí buanaithe é. Beidh mise ag moladh gur chóir don Údarás bheith ag cur fhoireann meantóirí nó comhairleoirí le Gaeilge le chéile a rachadh thart ar an Ghaeltacht, ag labhairt leis an phobal agus á spreagadh le comharchumainn  a bhunú ina gceantar féin agus gnónna a thoiseacht san earnáil fuinnimh in-athnuaite mar bithmhais (biomass) agus fuinneamh ón taoide agus ó na tonnta. Agus ón turasóireacht chultúrtha, le leas a bhaint ó chur chun cinn Shlí an Atlantaigh Fhiáin agus an borradh a tháinig ar an líon daoine, idir dhaoine fásta agus theaghlaigh, atá ag foghlaim na Gaeilge taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht.

 

ENGLISH VERSION:

Gaeltacht policy

Report after report has declared that the Gaeltacht is on its last legs. As a socio-linguistic unit, almost every expert has said that is becoming increasingly unsustainable. This government and the one preceding it have accepted the findings of these reports and have effectively done nothing about them.
Funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta has been cut by €14 million since 2008, from €32 million to €18 million now. That is almost 50% cut from the budget of the authority administering an area under threat of extinction.

Conradh na Gaeilge have issued a list of three demands for candidates in the election. These demands are:

An increase of expenditure in the Gaeltacht and on the Irish language of €18 million. This would bring spending on Irish and the Gaeltacht back to 2008 levels.

The appointment of a senior Minister for the Gaeltacht, with a place on the Cabinet.

A full Oireachtas committee for Irish language and Gaeltacht affairs, which will provide oversight in language affairs.

I agree with all three of these demands, but would go further.

Education is a serious issue in the Gaeltacht and in the Irish language sector generally. I would demand the implementation of all the recommendations of the recent reports into Irish language education, especially the reinstatement of COGG as the administrative body for Irish language schools throughout Ireland. Serious investment is needed to bring the various Gaelscoileanna up to proper standards. One only has to look at Gaelscoil na gCeithre Mháistrí in Donegal Town, that is still operating from prefab buildings despite countless promises. Or Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha which is operating out of a community centre, where they have no control over who has access to the children when they leave the classroom.

In the Gaeltacht, one of the biggest threats to the sustainability of the area as a socio-linguistic unit is unemployment, which forces young people to leave the area and makes it very difficult to ensure that the language carries on from generation to generation, which is what makes the Gaeltacht unique and gives it its character. To address that issue, I would recommend a complete rethink on Údarás na Gaeltachta’s strategy on job creation. At present, most of their energy and money is spent on trying to attract foreign direct investment to the area. Although they have had some success recently, you only have to look at the empty factories in the Gaeltacht area to realis that it is not a sustainable model. I will be recommending that Údarás should be focussing on developing a team of Irish speaking mentors who can go around the Gaeltacht, speaking to local people about forming cooperatives to address unemployment in their own area and advising them on the best ways to go about setting up cooperative businesses in sectors such as renewable energy, such as biomass, wave and tidal energy and cultural tourism, to derive proper community benefit from the advances made by the Wild Atlantic Way and the growth in the number of people, adults and families, who are learning Irish outside the Gaeltacht.

ENDS

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