Sinn Féin

04/06/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/06/2017 08:34

Irish cultural institutions failing Irish language – Tóibín

6 April, 2017 - by Peadar Tóibín TD

Leagan Gaeilge thios

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Irish Language Peadar Tóibín TD has expressed his dismay at the lack of compliance of public bodies in the development of Irish language schemes, some of whom have not complied with requests submitted over a decade ago.

Under the Official Languages Act 2003, public bodies are requested to prepare a language scheme in order to improve services provided in both official languages, Irish and English.

Many of these public bodies, which are under the auspices of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Rural, Regional and Gaeltacht Affairs, have not complied with these requests.

An Teachta Tóibín said:

'Language schemes are a vital mechanism in which to increase and improve services in the Irish language. However analysis recently carried out by the office of the Coimisinéir Teanga has shown that the scheme is failing. This has been compounded by the non-compliance of public bodies in drafting schemes.

'It is outrageous that so many supposed bastions of Irish cultural heritage - the Abbey Theatre, The National Museum of Ireland, The National Library, The Heritage Council and the National Concert Hall - after been requested to provide a draft language scheme ten years ago, have not complied.

'The Arts Council was requested to draft a new scheme in 2008 after their initial one expired but has not yet done so. These prolonged and persistent failures have not been a cause of concern for the Minister who has never broached it in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

'With the publication of Census figures today showing a decrease in Irish speakers across the state, this would surely act as a wakeup call for the Government. Their policy of persistent cuts, neglect and lip service is resulting in the very real erosion of our cultural heritage and language rights.

'It is clear that we need to take stronger action and enact more robust legislation to protect our language and our Gaeltacht regions. The Irish Language Bill 2017 which is hoped will be introduced shortly will include a number of decisive measures to protect the language including the granting stronger powers to the Commissioner for enforcement of schemes.'

Teip ar ionaid chultúrtha na hÉireann maidir leis an nGaeilge - Tóibín

Léirigh urlabhraí Gaeilge Shinn Féin, Peadar Tóibín, a chuid díomá ar an sárú atá déanta ag forais stáit maidir le cur chun cinn scéimeanna teanga. Tá neamhaird déanta ag cuid acu ar iarratais a rinneadh thart ar deich mbliana ó shin le scéim teanga a bhunú.

Faoi Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003, tá dualgas ar chomhlachtaí poiblí scéim teanga a dhréachtú le seirbhísí a fheabhsú idir Bhéarla agus Ghaeilge - na teangacha oifigiúla.

Faraor, tá sárú déanta ag an-chuid de na forais stáit seo, atá faoi bhráid na Roinne Ealaíon, Oidhreachta, Gnóthaí Réigiúnacha, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, ar a gcuid coinníollacha.

Dúirt an Teachta Tóibín:

'Tá scéimeanna teanga rí-thábhachtach le seirbhísí teanga trí Ghaeilge a mhéadú agus a fheabhsú. De réir taighde a bhain Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga amach le déanaí áfach, is léir go bhfuil ag teipeadh ar an scéim. Tá an scéal imithe in olcas de bharr go bhfuil roinnt mhaith forais stáit ag déanamh sárú ar an dhlí maidir le dréachtú scéimeanna teanga.

'Tá sé scannalach go bhfuil urdhún oidhreachta cultúrtha na tíre - Amharclann na Mainistreach, Ard-Mhúsaem na hÉireann, Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, An Chomhairle Oidhreachta agus an Cheoláras Náisiúnta - tar éis neamhaird iomlán a dhéanamh den iarratas scéim teanga a ullmhú i ndiaidh deich mbliana.

'Iarradh ar an Chomhairle Ealaíon scéim nua a dhréachtú sa bhliain 2008 tar éis dul in éag an chinn roimhe, ach tá faic déanta acu. Ní cúis imní don Aire na teipeanna leanúnacha, fad-bhunaithe seo agus ní luach riamh i dTithe an Oireachtas iad.

'Le foilseachán an Daonáirimh inniu, feictear dúinn go bhfuil laghdú ar líon na gcainteoirí Gaeilge ar fud an stáit. Caithfear gur baineadh geit as an rialtas ina thaobh, cé nach haon amhras é ach go bhfuil creimeadh ar ár n-oidhreacht chultúrtha agus cearta teanga mar gheall ar a bpolasaithe de ghearrthacha, neamart agus béalghrá don Ghaeilge.

'Is léir gur gá dúinn gníomhartha níos dhochta a dhéanamh agus reachtaíocht níos láidre a achtú chun ár dteanga agus an Ghaeltacht a chaomhnú. Tá súil agam go bhfoilseofar Bille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2017 go luath ina mbeidh bearta cinniúnacha ann leis an Gaeilge a neartú, cumhachtaí níos láidre a thabhairt don Choimisinéir Teanga san áireamh.'