NON-MINISTERIAL MOTIONS. - THE IRISH-SPEAKING DISTRICTS.
CATHAL BRUGHA (Waterford Co.) moved:
"That a Committee for the preservation of the Irish Language in the Irish-Speaking Districts be appointed; and that £1,000 be appropriated for this purpose."
He said that the Irish Language was slowly dying, and if something drastic was not done immediately the state of things would be deplorable. The Gaelic League classes were not coping with the situation, as not five per cent. of the persons who attended these classes were able to speak the language afterwards. He suggested that a Committee be formed to deal with the matter, and that the Dáil vote a sum of £1,000 to be applied to stimulating the language in the Irish-speaking districts. The idea was to allot prizes in these districts to the best Irish-speaking families. The Committee would formulate a scheme. The Deputy Speaker and himself might be included in the Committee. A somewhat similar proposal was sent up to the Ard-Fheis but was turned down for the reason that the real facts in connection with the proposal were not discussed.
EARNAN DE BLAGHD (Monaghan North) seconded the motion.
T. MAC SUIBHNE (Cork Mid.) suggested that no English be spoken by Deputies at meetings in the Irish-Speaking Districts.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER referred to the motion before the Ard-Fheis of the Gaelic League, and stated that the published Press reports did not give the actual facts of the discussion. The motion was discussed with the greatest frankness. It was stated that there might be a sum of £1,000 forthcoming from the Dáil. The Gaelic League had done a great deal of useful work for the Language, but it had been greatly hampered. It had been left for two years without a Secretary. Three years ago Eoin Mac Neill was elected President, but from the time of his election he did not attend three meetings of the Coiste Gnotha. Two of their organisers had been "on the run" for a considerable length of time. It had been suggested that the Gaelic League had done nothing to speak of in the last ten or twelve years. That was not so. It had done a great deal.
Upon the suggestion of the DEPUTY SPEAKER the motion was deferred until the request made at the Ard-Fheis —that a Minister for the Irish Language be appointed—should come up for decision at the next Session.