Thursday, 24 February 2022
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
54. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the language planning process; the outstanding plans that still have to be ratified; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10443/22]
Of the 26 Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas as defined under the language planning process, language plans in respect of 25 areas have been approved to date. The only outstanding language plan relating to Oileáin Árann, is currently being reviewed by my Department. To date, 20 Language Planning Officers and 4 Assistant Language Planning Officers have been engaged at community level to advance the implementation of agreed plans.
It should be noted that a total allocation of €5.8m has been allocated in Budget 2022 to directly support the process. This represents an additional €800,000 over the 2021 allocation.
Language plans in respect of four Gaeltacht Service Towns - Daingean Uí Chúis, Letterkenny, Galway City and An Clochán Liath - have been approved to date while language plans in respect of the towns of Tralee and Dungarvan are currently being evaluated by my Department.
The process of preparing language plans is underway for the following towns - Cahersiveen, Cork City, Castlebar, Clifden and Ballinrobe, while the preparation of plans has yet to begin in respect of Donegal Town, Béal an Mhuirthead, Macroom, Athboy and Navan.
In addition to the above, language plans in respect of three Irish Language Networks have been approved under the language planning process, namely, Ennis, Clondalkin and Loughrea. Foras na Gaeilge has also approved two Irish Language Networks north of the border which, although falling outside the scope of the Act, form an integral part of the language planning process.
A broader overview of the advances being made in support of the language and Gaeltacht regions - including the language planning process, is set out in the second progress report on the ongoing implementation of the Government's 5-year Action Plan for the Irish Language which my Department published on behalf of Government in October 2021.