13 Dec 2019, 14.19
The Joint Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands has today launched a report on the Mayo Gaeltacht, the report urges the Government to act urgently to preserve the Mayo Gaeltacht.
The Government must act urgently to address the falling population, declining number of speakers and the flight of young Irish speakers from the Mayo Gaeltacht to urban areas, according to a new report published by the Joint Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.
The report is based on a visit by a delegation from the Joint Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands to Mayo between 30 September and 02 October 2018. The report contains 18 recommendations which are relevant to Mayo as well as to other Gaeltacht areas across the country.
The Committee believes that the Government must act urgently and provide resources to the communities located in the Mayo Gaeltacht.
The report calls for:
- The full provision of state services and local public services in both Irish and English to Gaeltacht residents
- Effective support for the education system and for the full implementation of the Gaeltacht Education Policy 2017-2022 in the Gaeltacht
- The provision of long-term, full-time pensionable, information, culture and language- based jobs along with a wide range of other jobs
- A transport service to connect the Mayo Gaeltacht to the larger towns in County Mayo.
The report is the latest in a series of reports by the Joint Committee focusing on the challenges faced by Gaeltacht communities. Previous reports highlighted challenges in the Gaoth Dobhair Gaeltacht in Donegal, the Meath Gaeltacht, The Aran Islands and the Muskerry Gaeltacht in Cork.
Similar obstacles and challenges have been raised on a regular basis by all Gaeltacht communities in their engagement with the Joint Committee. The Joint Committee is of the opinion that there is an emergency in the Gaeltacht and the Government response has been lacking and inadequate.
As regards the provision of services in the State, Gaeltacht communities have not been treated fairly and it cannot be said that the viability of these communities is not without risk, and that includes the steep challenges faced by the Mayo Gaeltacht.
If this community is to continue as a viable one, where Irish is spoken on daily basis, residents there as tax-payers and citizens of Ireland are entitled to Government support. This is the reason this report has been prepared by the Committee and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas and it is hoped that Government Ministers will read this report and take the recommendations on board. The Committee looks forward to hearing the response from Government to the report’s recommendations.
During its engagement in Mayo, the Joint Committee met with local co-operative groups and associations as well as state bodies working in the region including Coláiste Chomáin, Coláiste UISECE, Mayo County Council, Comharchumann Forbartha Ionad Deirbhile Eachléim Teoranta, Comhar Dhún Chaocháin Teoranta, Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta, the Mayo branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, Cuman Lúthchleas Gael Cill tSéadhna, Scoil Náisiúnta Croí Mhuire Gan Smál, Scoil Náisiúnta Ros Dumhach, Seirbhísí Cúram Chill Chomáin Teoranta and Údarás na Gaeltachta.
The Mayo Gaeltacht is located mainly in the western half of the county and comprises three separate areas of Tourmakeady, parts of Achill Island and the Erris Peninsula. The Mayo Gaeltacht has a total population of 9,340 (Census 2016) and represents 9.4% of the total Gaeltacht population.
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