Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
The Deputy will be pleased to learn that I recently approved a once-off emergency measure worth €4.7m to support the stabilisation of the Gaeltacht Irish summer college sector.
The stabilisation fund is being provided as a specific once-off measure with the overall objective of ensuring the ongoing viability of the sector, thereby enabling it to continue to contribute to the systematic effort being made to support the language and Gaeltacht regions in line with the overarching objectives of the Government’s 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and the accompanying 5-Year Action Plan for the Irish Language 2018-2022. The measure follows the cancellation, on 20th April 2020, of Irish summer college course by my Department in the interests of protecting public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this measure, up to €3.1m will be directed at supporting the college authorities to refund fees/deposits to parents while a further €1.6m is being allocated under the measure towards supporting the c. 700 certified Gaeltacht householders who normally keep students attending one of the recognised 42 colleges during the summer months.
My Department will continue to engage with the sector, namely the relevant college authorities as well as the Gaeltacht households recognised under the Department's Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge in order to administer the application process in relation to the measure. It is expected that the processing of payments will commence at the end of June.