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 Marc Ó CathasaighMarc Ó Cathasaigh (Waterford, Green Party) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Commissioner for the presentation and I apologise for being slightly delayed in coming along. I agree with Senator Ward and we might have rose-tinted glasses looking in from the outside but it feels the Welsh linguistic situation is much better, certainly in the positivity towards the language and in the use of the language within communities. I am particularly interested in that idea of having local authorities make local promotion plans. That would map well onto our context.

One of my big interests is that a well-being framework is being worked on in Ireland in terms of accommodating well-being budgets. It is something we have spoken to the ambassador of New Zealand about and they have a linguistic and cultural dimension within their well-being framework. It is something the Welsh have done well in terms of having the seven dimensions accounted for. I am looking at the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and it jumps out at me that the role of the Welsh Language Commissioner is identified in a number of places in that Act in terms of his or her role within those well-being measures. It sets out how the commissioner should interact with the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. I would be interested in the commissioner's commentary about whether placing Welsh and Welsh culture front and centre in terms of well-being indicators within a Welsh context has worked well in strengthening his position as a language commissioner? Does it sit well within this broader reporting framework? Has it strengthened the legislative basis of the language to have that particular indicator used to measure the well-being of the Welsh nation?


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