Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Joint Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Irish Speaking Community

Beart na Breatnaise agus Caighdeáin Teanga: Coimisinéir Teanga na Breataine Bige

Photo of Barry WardBarry Ward (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Cuirim fáilte roimh an gcoimisinéir. Croeso, if that is the right way to say it. The commissioner is very welcome and I thank him for joining us. I have a Welsh brother-in-law who, I am sorry to say, does not speak Welsh but who has a few words, which he has passed on to me. All of us look at Wales with great envy in respect of the extent to which the national language is enjoyed and seen as a cultural asset to the country. We would love to have the same strength of numbers among native speakers of the Irish language. This may not be something which falls under the commissioner's remit but, from what he has said and his written statement, it seems he focuses more on the enforcement of standards and rules regarding the proliferation of the Welsh language. Is he involved in any schemes or programmes to promote the language or is that something that is done elsewhere? If he is, can he point us to anything he feels has worked particularly well in promoting Welsh? I say that particularly in the context of Welsh being a kind of commonality among Welsh people linguistically while Irish is not or not as much as we would like it to be.


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