Foras na Gaeilge has facilitated the investment of over €4.1 million to date in the language planning process in eight areas that have recently received official recognition for the developments in their Irish language communities. These communities across the country have received this recognition and have been provided state support and funding in order to draft and implement language plans to further enhance the use of the Irish language in their area.
These communities, or Gaelphobail, are found anywhere a community is engaged in promoting Irish through creating and implementing language plans, including in Irish language networks and in Gaeltacht service towns. The aim of the Gaelphobal campaign is to support and celebrate the work of these communities and to make it easier for the public to find out about the Irish language in their own areas.
Language plans are being rolled out in the Irish language networks of Clondalkin in County Dublin, Ennis in County Clare, Loughrea in County Galway, Carntogher in County Derry and West Belfast in County Antrim, in addition to the Gaeltacht service towns of Letterkenny in County Donegal, Galway City, County Galway and Tralee, County Kerry.
Today, Monday June 20th, saw the official launch of the nationwide Gaelphobal publicity campaign in Letterkenny. Regina Uí Chollatáin, Chairperson of Foras na Gaeilge, officially launched the national campaign while also officially opening the new Líonra Leitir Ceanainn offices – one of the highlighted Gaelphobal communities.
A new website, www.gaelphobal.ie, is available as of today as a source of information for people to find out about Gaelphobal activities in their area and as a resource for groups and communities involved in the Irish language planning process in order to gain official recognition as either an Irish language network or a Gaeltacht service town.
As part of this campaign a series of videos have been produced which cast a spotlight on each of these seven areas, the work that they are doing and the importance of the Irish language to their community.
The campaign also includes the launch of new podcast series, Guthanna Gaelphobal, with conversations with language planning experts, committee members and language planning officers with direct experience in building Irish language communities on the ground.
Foras na Gaeilge CEO, Seán ó Coinn, said, “Foras na Gaeilge is excited to be launching our new awareness campaign which will shine a spotlight on the great initiatives being undertaken in Irish language communities across the country. These communities have worked tirelessly to develop language plans that will strengthen the use of the Irish language in their communities in the months and years to come. We are also delighted that to date there are eight areas that have successfully had their language plans approved and we look forward to co-operating with them and assisting them in implementing these plans over the next seven years. At present we anticipate that a further twenty areas currently receiving support through the flagship Foras na Gaeilge Irish Language Network Development Scheme will be in a position to work towards achieving this recognition through developing their own language plans in the future.”
Minister of State Jack Chambers said, “As Minister with responsibility for the implementation of the Gaeltacht Act 2012 I am pleased to see the significant progress that has been made in the language planning process throughout the country as a whole. In the communities I visit in towns and villages all over Ireland, I am always so impressed by the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication of local people who are so passionate about strengthening and promoting the Irish language. I congratulate Foras na Gaeilge on this new campaign and website which will be an excellent resource for the current language planning organisations and for those in the future. I am also delighted this initiative focusses on making it easier for the public to find out about the Irish language in their own areas. This is essential for getting more people to embrace the language and to ensure its growth into the future.”
Learn more about the exciting developments in Gaelphobail around the country and find out where your nearest Gaelphobal is by visiting www.gaelphobal.ie.
Note to editor
Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 and the language planning process
The Gaeltacht Act of 2012 provided legislative recognition and state support to networks outside of the official Gaeltacht who fulfil the criteria to implement a language plan among their community. Foras na Gaeilge is responsible for supporting organisations to prepare and implement language plans in the Irish language networks and Gaeltacht service towns outside of the Gaeltacht. This work is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. However, the Irish language networks in West Belfast and Carntogher are supported directly by Foras na Gaeilge.
Gaeltacht language planning areas and Gaeltacht service towns located within Gaeltacht areas are overseen by Údarás na Gaeltachta, more information can be found at www.udaras.ie.
Irish language networks
An Irish language network is an area that has achieved a critical mass of support in terms of community and state support for the Irish language. These areas agree Irish language plans based on community research and language planning principles in order to further enhance the use of the Irish language in that area. Currently West Belfast, Carntogher, Ennis, Loughrea and Clondalkin have been recognised as Irish language networks with more due to receive recognition in the coming years.
Gaeltacht service towns
Gaeltacht service towns are located in or near to Gaeltacht areas and play an important role in providing services to those Gaeltacht areas. These towns also prepare and implement language plans in order to increase the use of the Irish language in the town and to increase the services that are available through Irish within it. Currently language plans have been approved in Letterkenny, Galway City and Tralee. Language plans have been subitted to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media on behalf of Dungarvan and Castlebar. The drafting of language plans is currently taking place in Cahersiveen, Cork, Ballinrobe and Clifden and the towns of Macroom, Donegal, Navan and Athboy are due to begin drafting their language plans in the future.
About the podcast
The podcast Guthanna Gaelphobal is a series of conversations with people involved in the language planning process. It can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.