Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Irish Language

Photo of Cian O'CallaghanCian O'Callaghan (Dublin Bay North, Social Democrats)
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145. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if additional supports and resources will be provided for Foras na Gaeilge, Údarás na Gaeltachta, TG4 and Raidió Rí-Rá in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30870/20]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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The Deputy will be pleased to learn that, in line with Programme for Government commitments, it was announced in Budget 2021 that additional funding of €14.8m will be provided for the Gaeltacht and Irish language sector next year, bringing its funding allocation to over €78m. This includes an increase in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s capital allocation for job creation, taking it to just under €14.5m, thus going beyond a commitment made in Project Ireland 2040. This will assist An tÚdarás in protecting its client-companies from the full impact of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Gaeltacht will also benefit from increased allocations for the statutory language planning process and for community and language supports, in line with the Government’s 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language. Additional funding of €1.799m will also be provided for cross-border co-operation in the languages sector, thus ensuring that An Foras Teanga will see its first funding increase since 2016 and allowing the southern Government fulfil its financial commitments to the Irish language under the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

The Government has also provided an additional allocation of €1m for the Department’s Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht. These schemes have contributed greatly to innovative Irish language technology projects in recent years and I look forward to seeing ogress in this area over the coming year, in particular with regard to the popular music radio station targeted at teenage Irish speakers, Raidió Rí-Rá.

I can also inform the Deputy that, under my Department’s Media allocation, funding to TG4 is being increased by €3.5m to bring it up to its recommended level of funding of €40.7m.

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