Thursday, 18 November 2010
Straitéis 20 Bliain Don Ghaeilge: Ráitis
Fergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
I have no problem giving him a few minutes. In fact, I will give him my second preference in the presidential election.
Caithfimid athrú bunúsach a dhéanam i dtaobh an Ghaeilge éigeantach. Caithfimid a chinntiú go mbeidh múineadh na Gaeilge i bhfad níos bríomhaire.
Tá ceist againn freisin faoi imill na Gaeltachtaí. Chuala mé go bhuil na Gaeltachtaí roinnte anois idir zones A, B agus C agus i zone C tá cónaí ar na daoine nach bhfuil an Ghaeilge á labhairt acu go laethúil ach ar feadh céatadáin níos lú ná 39% den am. Chun an fhírinne a rá, sílim go bhfuil an Ghaeilge á labhairt níos lú ná 10% den am i chuid den Ghaeltacht. Caithfimid díriú ar dúichí nach Gaeltachtaí iad ar chor ar bith. Tá cuid mhór de chathair na Gaillimhe sa Ghaeltacht, ach ní chloistear aon Ghaeilge san áit sin. We must look at these issues and face them head on. Caithfimid níos mó cabhrach a thabhairt do dhaoine, do theaghaigh agus do na scoileanna ina bhfuil an Ghaeilge á labhairt go laethúil.
We need to change the way we do things. The policy is a failure. The Gaeltacht is getting smaller, year after year. While more people are opting to speak Irish, we must examine our Gaeltacht policy. We must get rid of our compulsory Irish after the junior certificate. We must offer people choice after the junior certificate rather than having it compulsory. Students love the subjects they want to do, not the ones they have to do. That is the challenge we face. I am not happy with what I heard in a debate on "Seacht Lá" on TG4 the other day where the person was saying as a statement of fact to Deputy McGinley that it would kill the Gaeltacht. I challenge his view. That old thinking is destroying the Irish language and the Gaeltacht. It is old hat at this stage. It just does not work anymore. We must change the way we do things. By radically changing some of the things we do, Irish will be a much more popular and used language.