I propose to take Questions Nos. 285, 287 and 288 together.
As I indicated in my response to Question No. 377 on 25 October 2016, the budget for Foras na Gaeilge is subject to approval by the North South Ministerial Council, given its status as an agency of An Foras Teanga, which is a North South Implementation Body co-funded by my Department and the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.
An indicative provision of €13.239m has been provided within my Department’s Vote for An Foras Teanga in 2017. In regard to funding for specific programmes of work, the dispersal of the budget will be an operational matter for Foras na Gaeilge, within the framework of the NSMC-approved business plan and budget.
The investment plan submitted by Conradh na Gaeilge on behalf of Irish language and Gaeltacht groups is very ambitious in seeking additional funding in the region of €5m in 2017 and €30m over the period. In that context, I should say that almost €60m has been provided in the 2017 Estimates for my Department’s Irish language, Gaeltacht and Islands programme, including funding for An Foras Teanga. This represents an increase of €2.3m over the 2016 provision. However, the Deputies can rest assured that I will continue, insofar as I can, to seek additional funding for the Irish language, within the overall budgetary resources available to the Government.