There is a national campaign underway by Foras na Gaeilge to encourage communities outside of the Gaeltacht areas to get involved in promoting the Irish language. The project aims to generate more Gaelphobal (Irish language communities) so that they can develop a language plan to increase the use of Irish in their region.
We have the largest and strongest Gaeltacht region in the country on our doorstep, and this has a lasting impact on Galway City, on its cultural and linguistic identity as a bilingual city. In Galway, there is a strong community of fluent Irish speakers and numerous institutions and organizations have been working for a long time to promote Irish language in the city, including Gaillimh le Gaeilge. It was a great day for both the Irish language and Galway when Galway City councillors took the big step of granting the city official bilingual status in 2016.
Speaking on the Gaelphobal campaign, Bernadette Mullarkey, Chairperson of Gaillimh le Gaeilge said,
“I welcome this campaign to present the Galway City Gaelphobal to the world. It gives proper recognition and broad publicity to the vigorous Irish language community in Galway city. With this campaign we have yet another opportunity to give a platform to all the bilingual work and Galway City’s vibrant Irish language community. It also gives us a unique chance to see what is happening in other bilingual centres across the country, and to collaborate and exchange ideas to further promote the Irish language on a national level.”
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.”
Foras na Gaeilge is investing over €4.1 million in language planning in eight areas, which have been officially recognised for local developments in the Irish language. Jack Chambers TD, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, approved Galway City’s Irish Language Plan, thus recognising Galway as a Gaeltacht service town. He also announced that an annual fund of €100,000 will be provided to support the implementation of this language plan over seven years.
Gaillimh le Gaeilge, in partnership with Galway City Council, has been given the responsibility for preparing and implementing the language plan for the city. Support will be provided by an advisory committee, which will have representatives from the organisations and institutions involved in implementing the thirty six measures specified in the plan. The language plan highlights the importance of providing services in Irish to those who wish to conduct their business through the medium of Irish in both the public and private sectors.
Gaillimh le Gaeilge is pleased that the most important stage of the plan to date has now been completed with the announcement from Jack Chambers TD, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Seosamh Ó hÓgartaigh Prize presentation that Máire Uí Dhufaigh (Ní Chonghaile) has been appointed as a full-time Language Planning Officer with Gaillimh le Gaeilge.
One of the measures in the language plan is the creation of an online directory of the Irish-speaking personnel in local businesses and organizations. The directory, which is due to be available online this autumn, will also include information on upcoming Irish language events in the city.
Additional Information: Máire Uí Dhufaigh, Language Planning Officer, Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Teach Uí Chiaruáin, Flood Street, Galway. 091 568876 firstname.lastname@example.org
Note for the editor
Gaillimh le Gaeilge works with Galway City Council, Galway Chamber, and other groups to develop and strengthen the image of the Irish language in the city and to promote Galway as a bilingual city. Gaillimh le Gaeilge receives funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, through the National Lottery, Galway City Council and Cairde Ghaillimh le Gaeilge in association with the Galway Chamber.