Other Questions

To clarify the terms of engagement, the rules are that there are two minutes for the Minister's reply and four minutes overall for any Deputy present to have an exchange with the Minister.

National Archives

Michael Moynihan

Question:

6. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht the progress that has been made regarding the mergers and amalgamations of national cultural institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41775/12]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to today's Priority Question No. 1.

The Government announced a series of rationalisation measures in the public service reform plan, which was published on 17 November 2011. A number of the measures announced related to certain national cultural institutions, funded from my Department's Vote group, and these are currently being progressed, as required under the reform plan. These include combining the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Crawford Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Ireland, while retaining separate identities; merging the National Archives and the Irish Manuscripts Commission into the National Library, while maintaining separate identities; and examining the issue of shared services and the board structure of both the National Library and the National Museum.

As I mentioned in the context of the earlier priority question, the priorities set out in the programme for Government for the rationalisation of State agencies provide that such rationalisation must be cost effective and lead to a more transparent, accountable and efficient public service. The implications arising from the rationalisation process have been considered within my Department with a view to identifying savings, as well as opportunities for efficiencies and more effective service delivery. In this context, my Department has been engaged in ongoing consultations with each of the relevant institutions. In addition, I have met the chairs of the various institutions involved in this process to afford them an opportunity to express their views on the actions in the Government's public sector reform plan. Meetings have also taken place with a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties on these issues. In progressing matters, my Department has taken into consideration the various proposals put forward by the institutions and other interested parties. There has also been extensive debate in both Houses of the Oireachtas.

In July last, I forwarded a report to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform setting out the progress made to date, and the proposed way forward, in respect of the implementation of the Government decisions on the rationalisation of the relevant national cultural institutions. I am advised that the material submitted by me to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform is currently being assimilated and I anticipate that it will be submitted to Government for its consideration in due course.

I wish to remind Deputies that we have four minutes now and each supplementary question and reply is limited to a minute each.

We are returning here to Question No. 1, where I set out our opposition to this issue. How does the Minister respond to someone as eminent as Professor Diarmuid Ferriter describing as offensive the amalgamation of these organisations when he resigned from the board of the National Library and stating that he objected to the Minister treating them as quangos, or to Senator Fiach Mac Conghail, who described it as a tsunami of desecration that could potentially undermine the entire cultural structure of the nation?

The Minister rightly said in his earlier response that 3.6 million people come to this island to participate in cultural tourism and he talked about the success of the National Museum. Many of us stick to the old maxim that if a thing is not broken, do not fix it. If what we have is working, and the Minister has indicated that is the case, why does he want to interfere with it? If he is going to interfere with it, has he looked at the New Zealand and Canadian experience where the indications are amalgamations of this sort have cost millions?

I was delighted Professor Ferriter did not resign from the Archives Commission because he has so much to offer and is a well respected historian. I have set up an expert group to look at the decade of commemorations and he has continued to work on that group and his services are very important. Senator Mac Conghail had a motion on this topic in the Seanad but I ask all these people to reserve judgment until they see the final result of the process.

It will be too late then.

The process was undertaken on the advice of Government; it was a Government direction outlined in the programme for Government.

The Department set up a reform unit and a reform committee and took the entire process very seriously. A vast amount of consultation was carried out by people who have been dealing with these national cultural institutions for the past 20 years in many cases and who know precisely what is going on within them. Consequently, I believe the result the Department comes up with will be in the best interest of the aforementioned cultural institutions and I have absolute confidence in the people who carried out this review. They have served with many Ministers, most of them from the Deputy's own party, over the past 20 years. I reiterate I have the highest confidence in and esteem for these people.

National Museum

Michael McGrath

Question:

7. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht the progress that has been made in the appointment of a new director of the National Museum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41806/12]

I can advise the Deputy that my Department has recently received approval from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to fill the post of director of the National Museum of Ireland and this news has been communicated to the chair of the National Museum of Ireland.

Fianna Fáil certainly welcomes that announcement. Is there a timescale for that process? Obviously, leadership of such institutions is vital, not least at a time of phenomenal change as advocated by the Minister.

It goes through the normal process. Over the past 16 months, I have appointed new directors of the Arts Council and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, as well as directors of the National Concert Hall and National Gallery of Ireland. Overall, I have appointed a large number of directors, all of whom are new, very energetic people who bring a lot of new ideas into the national cultural institutions. This is the reason they are thriving and doing very well at present. A range of new approaches is being adopted that will enhance further the national cultural institutions and I hope the new director of the National Museum will be appointed as soon as possible to work with the other directors in promoting collectively the national cultural institutions, which are a huge asset to the country.

It would be remiss of Members to mention this particular matter without referring to the work done over an extended period by Dr. Patrick Wallace. I imagine the Minister would wish to join me in paying tribute to him for his distinguished service to the museum and the State.

Absolutely. I might add that Dr. Pat Wallace and I have been personal friends for many years, probably for the past 30 years or more. While he has been a major loss to the museum, I am delighted his book on Wood Quay will be published shortly. Obviously, he took the incentive to retire from the job earlier than was necessary but I am delighted it probably has given him more time to finish that important book on Wood Quay. Everyone is looking forward to that, especially-----

Will the Minister launch it for him?

I hope so. However, it will be especially welcome, given that 2014 also will mark the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf.

I join in the tributes to Dr. Pat Wallace. In a related question, I note there have been requests from some cultural institutions for funding for upkeep of and improvements to their buildings. Has the Minister had time to respond to those requests?

This will depend on what budget the Department will have. I note huge improvements were made over the previous ten years but, unfortunately, as is evident in the Estimates, there has been a dramatic reduction since 2008 in the funding made available to the national cultural institutions. However, I am very much aware of the importance of providing funding for improvements. There may be different ways of approaching this question but I will do my utmost, within the tight budgetary constraints in which the entire Government must operate next year, to ensure the national cultural institutions will not be neglected. In addition, I intend to examine other ways of trying to encourage funding for the institutions. I will refer to this point later during my contribution to the statements on philanthropy.

And the Abbey Theatre?

We are making progress.

Arts Funding

Bernard Durkan

Question:

8. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which he has been in a position to offer financial incentivisation to various amateur groups and or societies involved in the promotion of the arts in the past year; the extent to which he has engaged with musical, dramatic or historical societies at local level throughout the country with the objective of encouraging participation and interest in this sector with a view to capitalisation on the national heritage as a means of promoting a positive image on the international stage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41981/12]

My Department does not operate schemes to make operational funding available to groups involved in the performance of the arts. As the Deputy is aware, primary responsibility for funding for the arts rests with the Arts Council. The council is independent in its decision-making process. Details of the council's successful applicants are available on the council's website, as well as the decision-making panel and statistics on applications. The council's 2012 allocation of €63.241 million will allow it to maximise its continuing support for its clients in the arts.

The Government's policy on the arts is to promote and strengthen the arts in all its forms, to increase access to and participation in the arts and to make the arts an integral and valued part of national life. I continue to work towards this goal with my Department and the agencies within its remit and remain committed to securing the best possible level of funding for the arts sector.

The State appreciates and values the contribution the arts sector makes to the internationally renowned artistic reputation of this country. Within the current economic constraints, such investment in the arts, culture and creative sectors is more important than ever, having regard to the employment intensity of the sector and its potential for assisting with cultural tourism initiatives.

I thank the Minister for his comprehensive reply. Might it be possible, in the context of the current economic environment, to put a greater emphasis on the promotion and possible incentivisation of promotional activity in respect of cultural and artistic events nationwide with a view to using such events as a means to promote the national image? I refer in particular to the year before The Gathering event, which is due to take place next year. Furthermore, in the allocation of funds to the responsible statutory bodies, which I accept are entitled to be fully independent, might it be possible for the Minister to extol recognition of the importance of the utilisation of a good national image as a means of contributing to economic recovery?

The previous Government funded a programme in America called Imagine Ireland with this point in mind. It took place last year and was highly successful. In places such as Manhattan, San Francisco, right across America and all over the world, it certainly served to repair the damage done to the image of Ireland because of the collapse of our banking system. All Members are aware that our artists punch way above their weight throughout the world. Ireland has achieved in film, music, song and literature to a degree that is far above its level of population. It must continue to so do and the Government must encourage that. Culture Ireland, which is within the aegis of my Department but is independent, continues to fund Irish artists going abroad to spread Irish culture around the world. In addition, it ensures the delivery of Irish culture of a high quality in all parts of the world. Culture Ireland, through its board, ensures that only the best performers of a really high quality are funded through that programme. I completely agree with Deputy Durkan and if I revert to Deputy Ó Fearghaíl's initial statement on The Gathering event, culture is something that must be promoted aggressively and enthusiastically both during and before The Gathering event to encourage people to come to Ireland.

I thank the Minister for his reply. Might it be possible to examine in its entirety the prospects of a further beneficial promotion of the national image, both at home and abroad, in an effort to capitalise fully on it both in the current year and next year?

At the two diaspora fora organised in Dublin Castle, culture was frequently mentioned as our unique selling point, USP. The Taoiseach and Tánaiste are very much aware of the importance of promoting Irish culture in order to improve brand Ireland across the world. That is being done through the diaspora forum, through our diaspora and through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Culture Ireland and other State agencies obviously including Tourism Ireland as the body that promotes Ireland abroad. I agree with the Deputy that we have an opportunity to promote a unique culture throughout the world and that will need to be done irrespective of who is in Government because it is our major selling point.

Heritage Council Funding

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

9. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht his plans to extend the school heritage scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42024/12]

The heritage in schools scheme is one of a range of heritage programmes supported by the Heritage Council. This year, my Department is providing €4.8 million of Exchequer funding for the Heritage Council, together with €1.5 million from my Department’s share of the Environment Fund, to support the work of the council in its role of improving heritage infrastructure, heritage awareness, and promoting best practice in conservation and sustainable heritage management.

It is a matter for the Heritage Council to allocate funds to the various schemes which it supports. I understand that in 2012 some €250,000 was allocated to the heritage in schools scheme by the Heritage Council and 1,100 schools were visited by heritage specialists, reaching some 120,000 children. I further understand that the 2012 funding has now been fully allocated.

Without prejudice to the outcome of the current review of the Heritage Council, it will be a matter for the council to decide if further funding should be allocated to this scheme in future years, having regard to competing priorities for limited resources.

I thank the Minister for his reply. The school heritage scheme is very important as it enables children to explore heritage in their own areas. Sometimes it is right under their noses and they are not aware of it. The programme has gone from strength to strength since it was initiated in 1999 reaching 116,392 children in 2011. Does the Minister agree that additional funding should be provided in light of the Heritage Council's plans to expand the programme to 200,000 children in 2016, the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising?

The Heritage Council operates at arms' length from me. I can issue a policy directive but cannot instruct it as to where to spend its money. Before I came to office, the funding of the Heritage Council was reduced drastically, but that is the scenario facing all Departments at present. However, I believe the council has adequate funding to do an effective job. As a former teacher of history and geography - some time ago - I greatly value the teaching of heritage and the promotion of heritage in our schools as much as possible. It is important for young people to know where they came from, their families, village, parish and county. That is a most important base for people to have. Before understanding the history of Europe and the world we should understand our own history first. This is a very important programme in ensuring that.

Has the Minister had or does he plan to have any discussions with the Heritage Council regarding policy directive around funding?

Coincidentally the Deputy may be aware that representatives of the Heritage Council will be in Listowel tomorrow so I will be speaking to them. I will have the opportunity to discuss a range of subjects with them and I will mention that the Deputy suggested I should raise this subject with them - I will be delighted to do so.

Will the Minister get back to me subsequently?

Of course - I always do.

National Monuments

Niall Collins

Question:

10. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he has met with representatives of the save Moore Street campaign to hear their concerns regarding the need to preserve the site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41786/12]

Dara Calleary

Question:

15. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht when he expects to make a decision on allowing a new development near the Moore Street national monument, Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41781/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 and 15 together.

Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street are the subject of a preservation order under the National Monuments Acts. The effect of the preservation order is that any works affecting these properties require my consent, as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, under section 14 of the National Monuments Act 1930 as amended. The landowner’s application to my Department for consent to proposals that envisage the retention of the buildings and the provision of a commemorative centre to the 1916 Rising is being examined. In that context, I have visited the site and met various interest groups, including relatives of the 1916 leaders with whom I have toured the area and had a number of discussions.

As part of the consent process, the applicant has recently been asked by my Department to submit an environmental impact statement on the proposed works. This is in accordance with the European Union (Environmental Impact Assessment of Proposed Demolition of National Monuments) Regulations 2012, which I made in July. The regulations introduce new provisions into the National Monuments Acts to provide for the carrying out of an environmental impact assessment on any works to a national monument that involve an element of demolition. Following receipt of the environmental impact statement and having completed the prescribed consultation procedures, I will undertake a formal environmental impact assessment before making a decision on the consent application.

Any wider plans for the development of the Moore Street area would be a matter for the relevant landowners and the local authority, Dublin City Council.

I welcome the Minister's response and compliment him on the engagement he has had on the matter. I suppose we can all regret that we have waited so long for something definitive to happen with this critical site. Is there a question of a NAMA involvement in this site or part thereof? What timescale does the Minister envisage, notwithstanding that he is awaiting receipt of an environmental impact statement? Does the Department have a plan or vision for what might happen with that site? Would there be merit in creating an informal grouping of Members of the House? There are Members from all political parties who have a deep interest in this project. Would the Minister be amenable to creating some sort of informal group to review the matter with him?

It is well known that the entire site is under the remit of NAMA. I am awaiting the environmental impact assessment, which I hope to receive in the near future. As regards a plan and vision, planning permission for this site has been granted by Dublin City Council and confirmed by An Bord Pleanála. I understand there were no objections to the planning application to Dublin City Council. I need to adjudicate on a national monument and determine whether the proposal is adequate and whether it would fulfil the function of properly recognising the people who occupied that building in 1916 where the final war council decision was made to surrender. However, I need to adjudicate on the works that might happen on the site and how they would affect the monument. There is an all-party Oireachtas consultation group on commemorations. We have met people presenting all sides of the argument on the issue. I will meet any Deputies with ideas, but it would be adding another layer. I understand that some members of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht under Deputy Ciarán Lynch are considering this issue today and I believe they are meeting some experts to consider it.

There have been extensive discussions on the matter, which was also the subject of a motion in this House. The decision I will have to make will not be an easy one. However, I will make it in consultation with everyone. Everyone in this House owns 1916. Most of the parties in this House were formed following what happened at the GPO. It is in all our interests that the right decision is made.

An issue I raised previously in the House during a debate on a Private Members' motion on this issue is the role of Dublin City Council and in particular the formulation of its city development plan. Will the Minister undertake to look into what role his officials or predecessors played in the development of that plan, given the planning permissions granted under it? Also, what observations, commentary or submissions were made by the Department or the Minister's predecessors in regard to the development of the Dublin city development plan? Moore Street is not the only area affected. The entire historical legacy of the northside of Dublin has been destroyed as a result of bad planning permissions granted by Dublin City Council over a number of years.

We are currently in the middle of the decade of commemorations. What did the Minister's Department do previously in terms of commentary or submissions on Dublin City Council's development plan and adoption of the area plan? If the Minister cannot respond to that question now he may revert to me on the matter. Furthermore, what plans are in place in the Department in regard to the making of submissions on the new development plan, which I understand is due in 2016?

The Department in its current form did not exist when those decisions were made. The former Deputy, Mr. Roche, who was Minister at the time, made the decision to declare 14-17 Moore Street a national monument. He and the officials involved, many of whom are now staff in my Department, must be given credit for that. They are the people who protected these buildings. It is important that is recognised. The section of the former Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government which transferred to the now Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht cannot stand condemned. The officials involved strove to protect this important site. For example, permission was granted in 1999 for demolition of the entire battlefield site but because of the decision made by the former Minister, Mr. Dick Roche, and his officials, 14-17 Moore Street remains. These are the critical buildings of the battlefield site. The decision which my officials and I will have to make is in regard to the national monument.

The Minister said that any matters relating to the development of the site would be an issue for the developer and local authority. He also said that 1916 belongs to the people. In my view, the site also belongs to the people. Given the developer in question is knee deep in NAMA and NAMA is a State body the site in question belongs to the taxpayer.

Perhaps the Deputy would switch off his telephone.

My telephone is switched off.

It is strange that the State has not taken more control over this site given the taxpayer owns it. It would be obvious to most people looking at the over-design project that it was designed for a different time, that a scaled back version of it would make more economic sense and would facilitate development of the historical quarter, which will be good for this city.

Before I call on the Minister to respond, I will allow a brief question from Deputies Ó Fearghaíl and Kitt.

I echo what has been said by Deputy Wallace. There is a need for a plan B given the history of the site, NAMA's involvement and the question of whether the proposal as it currently stands will ever come to be.

In addition to the Private Members' debate on this issue, a number of meetings have been held with the families, relations and friends of the 1916 leaders. Does the Minister understand the point they make in their submissions?

Time is ticking on. Everyone wants to see something in place by 2016. In the Minister's view, will the building remain as is or will works on it be carried out by 2016?

Deputy Wallace as a developer will be aware of how the system works. Planning permission in respect of most of this site was granted through An Bord Pleanála. Dublin City Council and other agencies will have to deal with that matter. I only have control or authority over the national monument. My function is to determine what effect the works carried out will have on it. The remainder of the site is a matter for Dublin City Council. Also, there are conditions attached to the planning permission. I will be looking at works will possibly affect the national monument site.

In response to Deputy Ó Fearghaíl's question regarding a plan B, I am not aware of any plan B. The only proposal thus far is for the carrying out of extensive work on the national monument by the owners of the site. I have asked the developer to carry out an environmental impact assessment to determine how the site is likely to be affected. Following receipt of the EIS and advice from my officials, taking into account the views put forward by the many different groups involved, I will make my decision. That decision will then go before Cabinet. The issue of the need for a plan B was also discussed in committee.

I am not sure I understood Deputy Kitt's question. However, I am very aware of what is happening. This matter, more than any other, has exercised my mind and those of my officials. It is a subject that has been dear to me since I took up my appointment as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. I have listened to what everyone had to say. Nobody can accuse me of not having listened to them. I have visited the site on two occasions. I am very much aware of what is happening.

In response to Deputy McLellan, if this proposal cannot work we will then have to look at alternative proposals. This is the only proposal before me. There is no other proposal in terms of development of the national monument from anyone else at this time. I am aware that the families of the 1916 leaders have put forward a proposal in respect of the entire set. However, the only proposal in respect of work to the national monument is from the developer, who will do the work free of charge.

The Minister said that planning permission was granted to the developer. However, the developer is involved with NAMA, which now owns the site. As such, NAMA owns the planning permission. The Minister has more control than he realises. My understanding is that once a developer is involved with NAMA it is within its remit to control the sites involved, which are owned by the taxpayer. Is that correct?

The Deputy will be aware that NAMA operates at arms length from Government as such Ministers cannot direct NAMA to do anything. I have no doubt that Deputy Wallace knows that.

Unfortunately, I do.

Scéim Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

11. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Ealaíon; Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cé mhéid coip den scéim tacaíochta teaghlaigh atá eisithe ag an Rialtas; cad atá sa phacáiste sin; agus cén saghas tacaíochta atá á tabhairt do na teaghlaigh atá cláraithe. [41972/12]

Faoi mar is eol don Teachta, tá sé mar chuspóir ag an Chlár Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh tacú le teaghlaigh atá ag súil le páiste, nó a bhfuil páistí acu, agus a dteastaíonn uathu a bpáistí a thógáil le Gaeilge.

Faoin Chlár seo, tá pacáiste tacaíochta ar fáil ó mo Roinnse ina bhfuil leabhrán, a bhfuil sé mar chuspóir aige comhairle phraiticiúil a chur ar thuismitheoirí maidir le páistí a thógáil le Gaeilge, chomh maith le dlúthdhiosca rannta agus leabhar rannta atá oiriúnach do pháistí. Ón uair gur seoladh an Clár Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh i mí Aibreáin 2012, tá 116 pacáiste dáilte ag mo Roinnse.

Tá obair idir lámha ag mo Roinnse faoi láthair i dtreo cur leis an bpacáiste tacaíochta seo.

Chomh maith leis sin, tá socrú déanta ar bhonn áitiúil i gcomhar le Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte (FSS) chun bileog eolais, maidir leis na buntáistí a bhaineann le páistí a thógáil le Gaeilge, a scaipeadh ar mhná nuair a thagann siad i dteagmháil leis na seirbhísí máithreachais a fheidhmíonn faoi scáth an FSS i Leitir Ceanainn, i gCaisleán an Bharraigh, i gcathair na Gaillimhe, agus i dTrá Lí.

Chuir 3,300 duine iarratas isteach ar scéim labhairt na Gaeilge i 2010 agus fuair timpeall 2,500 deontas as an scéim. Rinne an Rialtas beart mar gheall air sin agus cuireadh críoch leis an scéim os cionn bliain ó shin. Sé mhí ó shin, cuireadh pacáiste nua ar fáil. Is é cuspóir an phacáiste sin ná cabhrú le cuspóirí Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge a bhaint amach. Táimid ag súil go mbeadh 250,000 duine ag labhairt Gaeilge go laethúil. Ag an mbomaite, níl ach 77,000 duine ag caint Gaeilge go laethúil.

Chuir mé féin iarratas isteach ar an bpacáiste seo. Ta treoir leabhar ann, ó Chomhluadar, rud a bhí ann cheana. Chomh maith leis sin tá leabhar rainn agus dlúthd iosca. Bhí an méid sin le fáil sé mhí ó shin agus tá sé le fáil anois.

An bhfuil náire ar an Aire Stáit faoi seo? Ní leor é seo do theaghlaigh atá ag tógáil a bpáistí le Gaeilge, agus tá a fhios ag an Aire Stáit nach leor é.

Dá rachadh an tAire Stáit ar an gclár teilifíse, "The Apprentice", le Alan Sugar nó le Bill Cullen chloisfeadh sé na focail, "You're fired". Níl sa phacáiste ach treoir leabhar a bhí ann cheana, dlúthd iosca amháin agus leabhar rainn. Sin an méid atá le fáil ag daoine atá ag iarraidh a dteaghlaigh a gcruthú.

Ní dhéanann an Roinn aon teagmháil leis na teaghlaigh. Ní chuireann an Roinn leis an bpacáiste de réir a chéile. Cad atá ar bun ag an Roinn agus ag an Aire Stáit?

Scéim í seo a ghlac áit scéim labhairt na Gaeilge. Is scéim úr í a mbeidh fás agus forbairt ag teacht uirthi lá i ndiaidh lae agus bliain i ndiaidh bliana.

Tá an Teachta tar éis a fhiafraí cad é atá sa phacáiste i láthair na huaire. Is féidir liom a rá go bhfuilimid ag forbairt ar an phacáiste agus gur gairid go mbeidh tuilleadh ábhar, tuillleadh leabhar agus tuilleadh dioscanna le fáil ins an phacáiste. Tá mé iontach dóchasach, leis an chomhoibriú atá idir muid féin agus feidhmeannas na seirbhíse poiblí, go rachaimid i bhfeidhm ar an bpobal.

Is scéim úr í agus tá sí ag díriú isteach, ní ar na teaghlaigh a bhí ag fáil an deontas labhairt na Gaeilge go dtí seo. Táimid ag díriú isteach ar theaghlaigh úra atá ag teacht ar an saol. Tá tosú maith déanta ach admhaím go gcaithfimid cur leis agus coinneáil leis ins an am amach romhainn. Lena chois sin, tá áthas orm a rá maidir le tacaíocht a thabhairt do theaghlaigh Ghaelacha go raibh sé i mo chumas i mbliana €150,000 sa bhreis a chur le scéim na gcuntóirí teanga a dhéanann an-obair sna bunscoileanna ar fud na Gaeltachta le cuidiú agus tacaíocht a thabhairt do dhaltaí a théann go dtí na scoileanna sin agus nach bhfuil an teanga go líofa acu. Tá na campaí samhraidh ann chomh maith. Tá an-chuid rudaí ar siúl agus níl sa scéim tacaíochta teaghlaigh ach gné amháin de mhórán imeachtaí atá ag dul ar aghaidh leis an Ghaeilge a chaomhnú agus a choinneáil beo i measc na ndaoine óga sna Gaeltachtaí ar fad.

Cathain a bheidh an tAire Stáit ag cur leis an phacáiste, cé mhéad airgid atá curtha ar leataobh leis agus cathain a bheidh an Roinn ag dul i dteagmháil leis na teaghlaigh a chláraigh leis an phacáiste sin? Cathain a bheidh an tAire Stáit in ann bheith i ndáiríre faoi seo?

Tá an obair seo ag dul ar aghaidh go rialta ó lá go lá.

Maidir leis an Ghaeltacht féin, tá €60 milliún curtha ar fáil i gcaiteachas na bliana seo do na ceantair Ghaeltachta agus tá €7.35 milliún curtha ar fáil maidir le scéimeanna tacaíochta teaghlaigh sa Ghaeltacht agus tá maoiniú caipitil de €1.7 milliún. Tá maoiniú ann agus táimid ag cur chuige. Deirim leis an Teachta go n-aontaím gur scéim í seo go bhfuil cruthaíocht agus samhlaíocht ag baint léi, atá á trialladh sa Bhreatain Bheag. Níl sí ach ina tús go fóill ach de réir a chéile, tógfar í agus beidh sí ina scéim an-mhaith chun deis a thabhairt do thuismitheoirí sna Gaeltachtaí agus taobh amuigh de na Gaeltachtaí a gclann a thógáil le Gaeilge.

Written Answers follow Adjournment.