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06/16/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/16/2017 09:29

Gaeilge agus an Ghaeltacht maolaithe ag an Taoiseach nua – Tóibín

16 June, 2017 - by Peadar Tóibín TD

Gaeltacht and Irish language diminished by new Taoiseach - Peadar Tóibín TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Irish Peadar Tóibín TD has said that the new appointments made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar are a continuation of the Fine Gael agenda of bit by bit diminishing the importance of the Irish language and the Gaeltacht regions.

Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said;

'There are a number of reasons to be disappointed with the decisions made last night by an Taoiseach Varadkar, especially in light of the positive comments he had made as regards the Irish language.

'Taoiseach Varadkar says he wants to inspire people to use Irish in everyday life. Well, he has to begin to appreciate how his actions are everyday diminishing this aspiration.

'Minister Heather Humphreys remains the senior Minister with responsibility for Irish, the Gaeltacht and the Islands. This is a Minister who has met only two Irish language bodies in the three years since her appointment and clearly has no interest in this area. She has not fulfilled this role to date.

'Joe McHugh, who is Chief Whip has been appointed Minister for State with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands. Although technically Irish now has a voice at the cabinet table - it comes as the Irish language is being sidelined in the wider sphere.

'Seán Kyne, who previously occupied this Minister for State position, had done some considerable work in progressing the Official Languages Bill and I am concerned that this vital piece of legislation will not be given the priority as is due.

'The role of Chief Whip is usually a standalone one. This Fine Gael coalition with Independent Alliance supported by Fianna Fáil is a particularly precarious one, adding to the workload of the Whip. I am very concerned that Irish, Gaeltacht and the Islands will be totally neglected.

'Despite Joe McHugh's own personal success with the language, his record shows that he did not employ the same approach in his role as Minister - leaving the department in a poor state.

'Though Fine Gael have elected a new leader, we are left with the same sorry state of affairs as regards the gradual State led erosion of the Irish language and the Gaeltacht communities.'
Gaeilge agus an Ghaeltacht maolaithe ag an Taoiseach nua - Peadar Tóibín TD

Dúirt urlabhraí Shinn Féin ar an nGaeilge Teachta Dála Peadar Tóibín nach raibh sna hainmniúcháin aireachta ag an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar ach leanúnachas ar chuspóirí Fine Gael an Ghaeilge agus an Ghaeltacht a chur faoi chois.

Ag labhairt dó inniu dúirt an Teachta Tóibín:

'Is iomaí cúis díomá leis na cinntí a rinne an Taoiseach Varadkar aréir, go háirithe agus é chomh dhearfach ag labhairt faoin teanga. Dúirt sé go raibh sé mar aidhm aige daoine a spreagadh chun Gaeilge a labhairt go laethúil. Ní mór dó a thabhairt san áireamh go bhfuil a chuid gníomhaíochtaí ag cur constaicí móra roimh na cuspóirí seo a bhaint amach.

'Is í an tAire Heather Humphreys an tAire sinsearach le cúramaí don Ghaeilge, an Ghaeltacht agus na hOileáin. Seo aire nár bhuail ach le dhá dhream Gaeilge agus í mar aire le trí bliana anuas.

'Is léir nach bhfuil suim dá laghad aici sa réimse seo. Níl ag éirí léi a cuid dualgais a chomhlíonadh sa ról seo.

'Tá Joe McHugh, a bhí ceaptha aréir mar phríomh aoire, ina Aire Stáit don Ghaeilge, an Ghaeltacht agus na hOileáin chomh maith. Cé go bhféadfá a rá ar bhonn teicniúil bhfuil 'guth' ann don Ghaeilge sa chomh-aireacht, measaim gur dhroch-chinniúint a bhí ann.

'Dhein Seán Kyne, mar Aire Stáit, roinnt mhaith oibre ag cur Bille na Teangacha Oifigiúla (Leasú) chun cinn. Tá imní orm anois nach dtabharfar tosaíocht don reachtaíocht rí-thábhachtach seo.

'De ghnáth is ról lán-aimseartha é bheith mar phríomh aoire. Is é comhghuaillíocht ghuagach atá ag Fine Gael, an Comhghuaillíocht Neamhspleách Leanúnaigh agus Fianna Fáil ag tacú leo.

'Cuireann an neamhsheasmhacht seo go mór le ualach oibre an phríomh aoire. Táim buartha go gcuirfear cúrsaí Gaeilge, an Ghaeltacht and na hOileáin go mór ar an imeall.

'In ainneoin an dul chun cinn pearsanta a rinne Joe McHugh maidir leis an teanga a fhoghlaim, is léir óna thaifead mar aire nach raibh an cur chuige céanna aige - agus an roinn fágtha i ndroch stad ina dhiaidh.

'Cé go bhfuil ceannaire nua tofa ag Fine Gael táimid fágtha leis an sean scéal céanna maidir leis an gcreimeadh leanúnaigh Stáit don Ghaeilge agus pobail Ghaeltachta.'