Written Answers. - Gaeltacht Commission.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin


119 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the progress made to date in implementing the report of the Gaeltacht Commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3680/03]

In order to advise me on the actions necessary to give practical implementation to the proposals contained in the report of Coimisiún na Gaeltachta, I established an advisory committee last October. The committees recommendations will form the basis of action plans which will have deliverable targets and will be aimed at strengthening the Irish language in Gaeltacht communities. Considerable progress has been made to date.

For instance, the commissions report contained various recommendations, one of which related to the need to conduct a comprehensive linguistic survey of Irish usage in the Gaeltacht. This issue was discussed by the advisory committee at its most recent meeting on 13 January and on foot of that discussion, I have decided to commission such a study as the basis for the linguistic development of the Gaeltacht as an Irish-speaking area and a review of the Gaeltacht boundaries. In addition a sub-group of the committee is currently preparing an action plan which will be targeted specifically at parents of young children in the Gaeltacht with the aim of heightening awareness of the advantages of choosing Irish as the home language.

Discussions relating to various issues raised in the commissions report have also been initiated with relevant Departments, for example, the Department of Health and Children, the Department of Social and Family Affairs and the Department of Education and Science, and meetings have already been held to progress these issues further. As Minister with responsibility for the Gaeltacht, it is my intention to implement, in so far as possible and within the context of the resources available to me, whatever measures are considered to be necessary and effective for promoting and strengthening the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht.