Gaelphobal aims to bring together all of the groups working on the language planning process outside of the official Gaeltacht. Language planning is a process which strengthens and supports the Irish language in local communities and includes Irish language networks, Gaeltacht service towns and groups involved in the Irish Language Development Scheme (ILDS).

The Gaeltacht Act 2012 provided a legislative footing for the language planning process and is the basis upon which the work is carried out today. The Gaeltacht Act makes provisions for language plans to be prepared at a community level in areas which are recognised in the Act as potential Gaeltacht language planning areas, Gaeltacht service towns or Irish language networks.

Once a community has drafted a language plan for their area, this plan must be approved by the minister in order to achieve official status and to begin the implementation of their language plan.

Find out more about the steps involved in preparing an Irish language plan here.


Irish Language Networks

An Irish language network is an area where a critical mass of public and state support for the Irish language has been achieved. Recognition under the Gaeltacht Act 2012 is given to Irish language networks once they have agreed language plans with the communities in those areas. These plans must fulfil the language planning criteria in order to be approved.

Find out more here. 


Gaeltacht service towns

A Gaeltacht service town is a town with a population of at least 1,000 that is located in, or near to, a Gaeltacht language planning area and that has a significant role in providing social, economic and leisure services to people in that area.

Find out more here.


The Irish Language Network Development Scheme (ILDS)

The Irish Language Network Developmetn Scheme funds groups to employ an Irish language development officer for an area to promote the Irish language within it with the hope of going on to engage in the language planning process and producing a language plan for that area, ultimately receiving recognition as an Irish language network.

Find out more here. 


Gaeltacht language planning area

There are twenty-six Gaeltacht language planning areas named under the Gaeltacht Act 2012. The language planning process is taking place in them so that they can retain their status as Gaeltacht areas.

Údarás na Gaeltacht provides support and assistance to the Gaeltacht language planning areas . More information can be found at

Find out more here. 

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