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Mayor of Ennis Clare Colleran Molloy and Ursula Ní Shabhaois, Domhnal Ó Loinsigh. MacDara Ó Conaola , language Planning officer, Ennis Network and Chairperson of An Clár as Gaeilge, Dónal Ó hAiniféin pictured at an event at the Old Ground Hotel , Ennis where the Ennis, Irish Language Network proposal was officially started.

Language Planning Officer to nurture mother tongue in Ennis

ESB Apprentice Moneypoint

AN innovative project aimed at encouraging the use of the Irish language within the community of Ennis has officially begun with the welcoming of a newly appointed Language Planning Officer for the county capital.

At a special event recently the Ennis – Irish Language Network Town initiative, in which Ennis town will be part of the ‘Gaelphobal’ (Irish language community) national campaign, announced the appointment of Macdara Ó Conaola to his new position.

Foras na Gaeilge has facilitated the investment of more than €4.1 million to date in the language planning process in eight areas, including Ennis, that have recently received official recognition for the developments in their Irish language communities.

These communities throughout the country gained this recognition and were given state support and funding to draft and implement language plans to further improve the use of Irish in their areas.

Ennis’ designation as a national Irish Language Network Town is the result of continual work over the past five years by An Clár as Gaeilge and marks the beginning of a new era in the organisation’s development work.

In 2016, An Clár as Gaeilge, the lead organisation with responsibility for the promotion of Irish at community level in the county, compiled a submission to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, to have Ennis recognised as an Irish Language Network Town. This was accepted and on September 24 last year, Minister of State, Jack Chambers, launched the plan.

Since then, the work to recruit and appoint a Language Planning Officer has been ongoing and now, Macdara from Inis Oirr has been appointed as Language Planning Officer for the Ennis Network.

Macdara will be based in the offices of An Clár as Gaeilge in Barrack Street in Ennis and will be interacting with State Agencies, public bodies, commercial organisations and community groups, to promote the use of Irish in everyday life.

Cathaoirleach of An Clár as Gaeilge, Dónal Ó hAiniféin, welcomed Macdara to Ennis and said that the Language Planning Officer will be ploughing in fertile ground as a result of the work that has been done in promoting the language in the town over that past four decades.

He referred to the many national awards that the town has won over the years and he was sure that there would be more to follow in the years ahead. He explained that the launch was the result of the research and the preparatory work undertaken to achieve the Network Town status.

“Seo todhchaí forbairt na Gaeilge in Inis agus i gContae an Chláir. Mar sin, tá dualgas orainn go léir páirt a ghlacadh sa phróiséas pleanála a bheidh faoi stiúr ag Macdara anseo,” a dúirt sé.

Macdara said that he was delighted to be a part of such an innovative project as this to promote the use of Irish at community level in Clare. He was looking forward to getting to know all the groups that were active in Irish affairs in the county and to working with them.

Minister of State Jack Chambers said, “As Minister with responsibility for implementing the Gaeltacht Act 2012, I am happy to see the significant progress made in the language planning process throughout the whole country.

“In the communities I visit in towns and villages throughout Ireland, I am so excited 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 campaign and website which will be an excellent resource for the language planning organisations in existence now and in the future.

“I am also delighted that the focus of this initiative is to make it easier for the community to get information about the Irish language in their own areas. This is vital if more people are to embrace the language and ensure that it continues to grow in the future.”

The Ennis Language Plan is focussed on developing Irish in the following areas: Learning opportunities outside of the Educational System; Youth Services and Family Supports; The business and commercial sector; Community groups and associations; The Local Authorities and Public and Planning Services; The Social and broadcast media; Social and Leisure Services and the use of Irish in the community in general.

As the lead organisation in developing Irish in the County, An Clár as Gaeilge will be co-ordinating the work and is issuing a welcome to all in the community to become involved in it.

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