Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
106. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her attention has been drawn to a campaign in Wales that seeks to require both Welsh and English labelling on all products for sale in that jurisdiction; if such an initiative could be considered in Ireland to encourage the use of the Irish language; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26736/21]
I note the Deputy's reference to a campaign underway in Wales, and I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the Government of Ireland's 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 contains a commitment to examine the feasibility of introducing a voluntary code for bilingual labelling and packaging of all goods sold in Ireland, as a mechanism to develop the range of areas available in which people can choose Irish as a language of exchange.
In addition, paragraph 188.8.131.52 of the Governments 2018-2022 Irish Language Action Plan states that Foras na Gaeilge, through its ‘Gnó Means Business’ programme, will deliver a wide range of initiatives to support the use of the Irish language in business and economic life, including:
- a funding support scheme focused on Small and Medium Enterprises: This is a grant scheme with matching funding of up to €3,000 to support the professional development of signage, stationery, printed marketing material, internet sites and other branding material in the Irish language or bilingually;
- a Business Support Resource Pack: There are 31 specialist business support resources available free of charge from the self-order system. As part of the support package, there is a choice of self-adhesive signs, badges, leaflets and other support resources to enhance the visibility of Irish in a business environment;
- a Guide to Best Practice: As part of a series of publications, two booklets have been published to give practical guidance to the business sector on the use of bilingualism: ‘Bilingual Signage' and 'Bilingual Packaging'. The next guidebook will focus on the use of bilingualism electronically and on websites; and,
- a Q-Mharc Gnó le Gaeilge is a voluntary code and newly-developed quality system for the Business Sector which focuses on giving official recognition to best bilingual practice based on the International Standard ISO 9001:2008. Small and medium sized enterprises throughout the island of Ireland can apply for this award.
Officials in my Department will continue to engage with Foras na Gaeilge, ensuring implementation of actions under Paragraph 184.108.40.206.
In addition, my Department provides funding to organisations such as Gael-Taca in Cork; Gnó Mhaigh Eo in Mayo; Gaillimh le Gaeilge in Galway, and more recently, Cill Dara le Gaeilge in Kildare, to support and encourage businesses in the use of Irish.
I have recently been contacted by the organiser of a campaign to promote the use of bilingual packaging on products sold in Ireland. My officials are engaging with him with a view to considering his proposals.