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Irish Language

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The Green Party want to preserve our invaluable language heritage

The protection of Irish is in keeping with the founding principles of the Green Party. We want to reverse the decline in Irish language usage by fostering best practice language education and promoting Irish language media. We support the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030. We also support the implementation of the Official Languages Act in the Republic of Ireland, and will continue to campaign for the Irish Language Act in Northern Ireland

 

Prioritising Irish language education

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of how Irish is taught in schools.
  • Teach one primary school subject (in addition to Irish) through Irish.
  • Establish a national system of scholarships to enable children to access Irish language summer schools.

The Green Party believes in supporting meaningful Irish language development from a young age. Bilingualism is proven to be a major asset to a child’s intellectual development, and something worth investing in. We want to equip teachers to teach Irish with confidence and enthusiasm. As part of this, we propose the establishment of a dedicated teacher training college in the Gaeltacht.

 

A vibrant Gaeltacht

  • Develop an emergency action plan for the Gaeltacht to combat Irish language erosion.
  • Prioritise the establishment of the National Centre for Irish Language Education in Baile Bhuirne in the Cork Gaeltacht.
  • Introduce tax incentives for adults who wish to take Irish classes or spend time in the Gaeltacht.

The use of Irish language continues to decline in Gaeltacht areas. The Green Party believe that any Irish language policy must make a concerted effort to reverse this trend. We want to make the Gaeltacht centres for Irish language learning, and to heavily incentivise those who live and work in the Gaeltacht. We would propose implementing three distinct categories of Gaeltacht, based on the percentage of daily Irish speakers, and provide targeted support for each category.

 

Broadcasting Irish

  • Increase the grant for TG4, and ensure this is index-linked.
  • Encourage TG4 to broadcast more programmes aimed at Irish learners.
  • Re-establish the Irish Language Unit within the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.

In order to promote the Irish language effectively, the Green Party is calling for a concerted effort to maintain and develop Irish language public broadcasting. In addition to providing additional funding for dedicated Irish language broadcasters, we would support a policy to encourage all private and public radio and television stations to include some Irish language programmes in their schedules.

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