A NEW €560,000 Irish language plan for Ennis was launched by Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport Jack Chambers on Friday.
The plan comes with a guarantee of €80,000 in expenditure each year ofr seven, years, while there will be a language planning officer recruited, and an attempt to connect the language across public services and businesses. in Ennis.
Speaking at Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg on Friday, the Minister said, “It’s a really important morning for Ennis, we’re launching a language plan which will strengthen and promote the language, it’s a seven year plan with €80,000 per year. There’s the recruitment of a language planning officer and there will be an attempt to connect the language across public services and businesses. These plans are being rolled out across the country and it’s great to see a county and a town with such a tradition of language and culture, have all the groups work together to get to this day.”
He said that the move will help give an outlet to younger people to use the language outside of the education setting in the future. “We are trying to promote and strengthen the language outside the core Gaeltacht areas. At the school this morning you can see the great love of Irish among the younger people and we want to give them the strong message that they’ll have a lot of opportunities to use the language, whether through future work or public services. Bringing that certainty with multi annual funding will really help grow the language and give everyone the chance to use it in their daily lives.”
He said that attempts will be made to widen the spread of Irish across different parts of local society. “Take sport, music, public services, education, it’s to get a language planning officer to connect all these groups together and try to encourage people to use the language. It’s working; if you take Clondalkin for example, there’s a huge growth in the language there. It’s to try and connect a lot of the existing language networks, to allow the language to grow in the town and to spread.
“It’s to try and make Irish available in people’s daily lives and putting a structure and framework on that with a funding system over a number of years. That’s part of the language planning process, to try and do that. There is a strong bedrock of the language in Clare and Ennis as it is, but it’s to try and give that greater strength over the coming years.”
The Minister said that work is also ongong on a new official Irish language bill that would set new standards and obligations for public bodies.
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.