Vote 38—Roinn na Gaeltachta.

Tairgim:

Go ndeonófar suim nach mó ná £604,700 chun slánaithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an mhuirir a thioc-faidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31 ú lá de Mhárta, 1966, le haghaidh Tuarastail agus Costais Roinn na Gaeltachta, maille le Deontais le haghaidh Tithe agus I1deontais-i-gCabhair.

Is ábhar mór misnigh dúinn uile go bhfuil méadú suas le 50 faoin gcéad ar mheastachán Roinn na Gaeltachta i mbliana agus go bhfuil fás agus forbairt le-feiceáil i ngach gné d'obair na Roinne; agus ní miste a rá gur caitheadh a raibh d'airgead ar fáil anuraidh don obair sin. Is léir anois go mbeidh cúnamh nach beag ar fáil ón Roinn feasta ar mhaithe leis an nGaeltacht agus leis an nGaeilge. Ionas go mbeidh raon na hoibre níos soiléire tá leagan amach nua ar chuid den mheastachán agus tá súil agam go dtaitneoidh sé le Teachtaí.

Is cúis sásaimh dom, agus mé ag dul i mbun oibre, go bhfuil beartas ginearálta an Rialtais i leith athbheochan na Gaeilge leagtha amach sa Pháipéar Bán a foilsíodh i mí Eanáir seo caite. Is í an aidhm náisiúnta an Ghaeilge a thabhairt ar ais mar ghnáth-mheán cumarsáide agus, chun an aidhm sin a thabhairt i gcrích, tá sé de chúram ar gach Aire plean praiticiúil gníomhaíochta a cheapadh do gach gné den saothar a bhaineann lena Roinn féin. Tá plean Aire na Gaeltachta don bhliain reatha le tuiscint ón meastachán atá os comhair na Dála anois.

Tá sé thar a bheith riachtanach go gcaomhnófaí agus no neartófaí an Ghaeltacht d'fhonn an teanga Ghaeilge a shlánú. Dá bhrí sin is é an príomh-dhualgas atá ar Roinn na Gaeltachta ná leas cultúrtha, sóisialach agus geilleagrach na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn. Faoi mar atá ráite sa Pháipéar Bán, tá beartas an Rialtais dírithe ar ghníomhaíochtaí oiriúnacha eacnamaíocha a spreagadh agus a fhairsingiú agus cúrsaí sóisialacha a fheabhsú ionas go mbeidh deiseanna leormhaithe ag na daoine a chónaíonn sa Ghaeltacht, agus arb í an Ghaeilge a ngnáthurlabhra, chun fostaíocht shochrach a fháil agus caighdeáin réasúnta mhaireachtála a bheith acu.

Tá Gaeltarra Éireann againn mar Bhord reachtúil ag a bhfuil bréidín lámhfhite, earraí cniotáilte, bróidnéireacht agus bréagáin á dtáirgeadh sa Ghaeltacht. Tá an Rialtas tar éis a chinneadh go gcaithfidh an Bord seo bheith ina phríomhghléas chun tionscail a fhorbairt i ngach limistéar Gaeltachta; agus spreagfar é chun feidhm dhearbhfhóinteach a dhéanamh le tacaíocht chaipitil ón Rialtas. Tá deontas-i-gcabhair de £120,000 le haghaidh caiteachas reatha Ghaeltarra Éireann i meastachán na Roinne i mbliana agus is ionann sin is a rá go bheith ina phríomhghléas chun tionbhfuil méadú glan de bhreis agus 50 faoin gcéad ann toisc go raibh timpeall £22,000 le n-aisíoc anuraidh nuair a bhí deontas de £100,000 ar fáil don Bhord. Ina theannta sin beidh £100,000 le fáil as an Státchiste le haghaidh caiteachas caipitil agus ní bheidh ar an mBord aon chuid de a aisíoc go dtí go mbeidh brabús ar a ghníomhaíochtaí. Chun éifeacht a thabhairt do na faoisimh i leith aisíocaíochtaí caipitil atá luaite agam, agus chun cumhachtaí Ghaeltarra Éireann a leathnú, tabharfar Bille ós comhair na Dála go luath; beidh caoi eile againn ansin cúrsaí an Bhoird seo a phlé arís. Ar an ábhar sin ní dóigh liom gur gá a thuilleadh a rá anois ach amháin go mbeidh deis i bhfad níos fearr ag Gaeltarra Éireann feasta fostaíocht a chur ar fáil do Ghaeilgeoirí sa Ghaeltacht.

Tá a lán scéimeanna éagsúla á riaradh ag Roinn na Gaeltachta ar mhaithe leis an nGaeltacht agus leis an nGaeilge. Ar na príomh-fhigiúirí i meastachán na Roinne i mbliana tá:

£215,000, méadú de £29,000, do dheontais faoi Achtanna na dTithe (Gaeltacht)—agus iad méadaithe faoi Acht a ritheadh i mí na Nollag seo caite—chun tithe a thógáil agus a fheabhsú do mhuintir na Gaeltachta, chun breis cóiríochta a sholáthar do chuairteoirí i dteaghlaigh sa Ghaeltacht agus chun seallaí saoire agus brúnna a thógail;

£270,000, méadú de £153,000, do scéimeanna feabhsúcháin sa Ghaeltacht—bóithre, scéimeanna poiblí uisce agus séarachais, muir-oibreacha, scéimeanna talmhaíochta, meánscoileanna, coláistí Gaeilge, hallaí, 7rl.;

£217,000, méadú de £80,903, do scéimeanna cultúrtha agus sóisialacha ar a bhfuil na deontais i leith daltaí áirithe arb í an Ghaeilge gnáth-theanga an teaghlaigh acu— deontais atá méadaithe ó £5 go £10 anois—cóir iompair do dhaltaí meánscoile agus ceardscoile sa Ghaeltacht, scoláireachtaí chun na Gaeltachta, 7rl.: dála an scéil, tá scéim na scoláireachtaí ag dul ar aghaidh go han-mhaith agus chaith suas le 7,000 dálta tréimhse saoire sa Ghaeltacht anuraidh le cabhair deontais £5 an duine ón Roinn; chun dálta a chur go dtí an Ghaeltacht ar feadh téarma scoile beidh deontas na Roinne—£20 anois—a bhíodh ar fáil trí Ghael-Linn amháin—le fáil feasta ag aon choiste aitheanta eile chomh maith.

Sa Mheastachán don chéad uair tá soláthar do scéimeanna nua agus scéimeanna triaileacha a d'oirfeadh go speisialta don Ghaeltacht agus chun deontais a thabhairt do chomharchumainn áirithe sa Ghaeltacht le haghaidh foirgneamh agus gléasra.

Ní miste a lua go bhfuil coiste d'oifigigh áitiúla—ar a mbeidh Stiúrthóir Roinn na Gaeltachta ina chathaoirleach — le bunú i ngach contae Gaeltachta agus go gcuirfear de chúram speisialta ar an gcoiste forbairt eacnamaíoch na gceantar Gaeltachta a chur ar aghaidh. Beimid ag súil le moltaí fiúntacha ó na coistí seo chun fadhbanna áitiúla a réiteach agus tá dóchas againn go dtiocfaidh tairbhe nach beag as a gcuid oibre. Chuige sin ba mhór ab fhiú é dá mbeadh coiste eile ar a mbeadh ionadaithe ó dhreamanna deonacha i ngach ceantar Gaeltachta ionas go bhféadfadh an dá choiste riachtanais an cheantair a phlé i gcomhar lena chéile.

Os rud é go bhfuil Teachtaí anseo atá ina gComhairleoirí Contae do cheantair Ghaeltachta, ba mhaith liom a mheabhrú dóibh go bhfuil méadú mór ar an gcabhair atá le fáil ón Stát do scéimeanna poiblí uisce agus séarachais sa Ghaeltacht: aon scéim mar sin a thosófar feasta ní bheidh ar an údarás áitiúil ach 15 faoin gcéad den chostas a chur ar fáil ina leith —in ionad 30 faoin gcéad i leith scéime a tosaíodh roimh thús na bliana airgeadais seo. Táthar ag brath ar na Comhairlí Contae chun tabhairt faoi na scéimeanna seo agus, ó tá deontas 85 faoin gcéad ón Stát thar a bheith fial, tá súil agam go mbainfidh said lánfheidhm as ar mhaithe le muintir na Gaeltachta. Is léir go gcabhródh na háiseanna sin go mór linn in ár n-iarrachtaí chun an chuartaíocht agus an tionsclaíocht a fhorbairt sa Ghaeltacht.

Chomh maith le leas na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn, tá de dhualgas ar Roinn na Gaeltachta cabhrú le caomhaint agus leathnú na Gaeilge mar ghnáthurlabhra. Chuige sin tá seirbhísí áirithe aistrithe ón Roinn Oideachais agus á riaradh ag Roinn na Gaeltachta i mbliana don chéad uair; orthu siúd tá deontais do thréimhseacháin a fhoilsítear i nGaeilge agus do nuachtáin a fhoilsíonn nuacht reatha i nGaeilge, deontais chun cabhrú le gearrscannáin Ghaeilge a sholáthar agus deontaisi-gcabhair d-eagrais áirithe Gaeilge. Ní gá luí ar thábhacht na hoibre atá ar siúl ag na heagraíochtaí deonacha Gaeilge. Tá gá, áfach, le comhordú, le dianasú agus le fairsingiú ar a gcuid iarrachtaí, agus ní mór leas éifeachtúil a bhaint as modhanna nua-aimseartha i gcúrsaí caidrimh phoiblí, chun go gcothófar suim sa teanga, agus eolas uirthi, i measc an phobail i gcoitinne agus go háirithe san aos óg. Is é mian an Rialtais é go mbeadh teacht go díreach ag gach ceann de na heagraíochtaí seo ar Roinn na Gaeltachta d'fhonn feidhmiú an bheartais a léirítear sa Pháipéar Bán a éascú. Ní miste a rá go bhfuil fáilte rompu sa Roinn agus tá súil agam go mbeimid go léir ag obair i gcomhar lena chéile chun an aidhm náisiúnta a thabhairt i gcrích.

Ós é seo an chéad ócáid dom ag labhairt anseo mar Rúnaí Parlaiminte, ba mhaith liom an deis a ghlacadh chun a iarraidh ar na dreamanna uile ar mór acu leas an náisiúin, agus nárbh ionann dearcadh dóibh roimhe seo faoi mhionghnéithe den obair, teacht le chéile i sprid nua-aimseartha an aontais agus an dóchais, na mionphointí easaontais a fhágáil ina ndiaidh agus gan droch-mheas a chaitheamh feasta ar dhea-intinn ná ar dhúthracht na ndaoine atá ag obair ar bhealaigh eile d'fhonn an cuspóir céanna a bhaint amach. Má dhéantar é sin, is deimhin liom go n-éireoidh linn an-dul chun cinn a dhéanamh. Ó mo thaobhsa de, beidh mé lán-toilteanach i gcónaí aon togra fiúntach a chuirfear os mo chomhair a phlé le heagras nó duine ar bith.

Tá obair mhór romhainn agus, d'fhonn go gcuirfear cion na bliana seo chun cinn, iarraim ar an Dáil glacadh leis an meastachán seo. Má bhíonn tuilleadh eolais ag teastáil ó Theachtaí faoi obair na Roinne, déanfaidh mé mo dhícheall é a chur ar fáil dóibh; agus más mian le Teachtaí rud ar bith a mholadh chun barr feabhais a chur ar an obair sin, beidh áthas orm é a chloisteáil.

Molaim an méid a dubhairt an Rúnaí Parlaiminte. Tá lúcháir orm gur ceapadh é mar Rúnaí Parlaiminte don Roinn seo mar, im thuairimse, níl aon duine sa Dáil níos oiriúnaí don phost sin ná é. Ta aithne rí-mhaith aige ar mhuintir na fíorGhaeltachta, ní h-amháin i dTír Chonaill ach i gCúige Uladh chomh maith. Tá na daoine ag fágáil na Fíor-Ghaeltachta; tá siad ag imtheacht leo agus tá súil agam go mbeidh ar chumas an Rúnaí Pharlaiminte rud éigin a dhéanamh chun feabhas a chur ar an scéal sin. Tá a fhios aige go maith go bhfuil na daoine sin, go mórmhór na h-oibrithe atá ag dul go hAlbain agus áiteacha eile, ag tnú le feabhas éigint le tamall fada. Tá obair dhian le déanamh ag an Roinn agus caithfimíd comhoibriú le chéile ag iarraidh an scéal a leigheas. Aon rud is féidir linn a dhéanamh ar an dtaobh seo den Tí déanfaimíd é ach is fíor a rá go gcaithfidh an Rialtas seo níos mó a dhéanamh thar mar a dhein an Rialtas a chuaigh rompa.

I wish to be brief for the benefit first of those who possibly do not understand my Northern dialect and also for the other Deputies who perhaps do not understand Irish. I should like to offer my sincere congratulations to the Parliamentary Secretary on the high honour bestowed on him in his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of the Gaeltacht. I am perfectly certain nobody in the House is better fitted to look after this Department than Deputy Faulkner. He has an intimate knowledge of the Gaeltacht. He is a fluent speaker of the language and he spends practically every holiday in the heart of the Fíor-Ghaeltacht where Irish is still the spoken language of the children and for that reason alone, his appointment augurs well for the language. I do not say that as flattery; I am quite sincere in offering those congratulations. The Parliamentary Secretary and I have been associated for many years in minor ways in projects for the Gaeltacht and I sincerely hope the prayer he uttered in the final sentences of his speech, a prayer for co-operation, will be answered. I am sure that as far as this side of the House is concerned, he will get all the co-operation he requires.

I have been looking through some statistics in relation to the Gaeltacht and they make interesting reading. I quote from the Dáil Report, Volume 189, Columns 959,960 and 961 when in reply to a Parliamentary Question by Deputy Corish as to the total population of the areas regarded officially as the Fíor-Ghaeltacht, in the years 1926, 1946 and 1956 and 1960, the Deputy received the certain information from the then Parliamentary Secretary to Taoiseach, Donnchadh Ó Briain. In 1926, believe it or not, in the Fíor-Ghaeltacht in County Clare there were 3,434 Irish speakers. In 1936, the population was 3,252. There was a fall of approximately 200 between 1926 and 1936. In 1946, the figure was 2,934, a fall of over 300. Then again in 1956 the population was down to 2,497. Therefore, between 1926 and 1956, the population of the Fíor-Ghaeltacht fell by approximately 1,000.

Clare is not a typical county from which one has migration and emigration, so I shall refer to the counties of Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Kerry. In 1926, the population of the Donegal Gaeltacht was 48,874 but in 1956 it had fallen to 35,527, a fall of approximately 13,000 during those 30 years. Galway had a fall in its Gaeltacht population of 6,000; Kerry had a fall of approximately 9,000; and Mayo, strange as it may seem, had a fall in its Gaeltacht population of merely 3,000. However, the pattern was set there. Down through the years, since the establishment of the State the population of the Gaeltacht has fallen and very little attempt is being made to arrest that decline. The Parliamentary Secretary today, for the first time since this Department was established, tells us that the entire moneys voted for his Department last year have been expended. Year after year there was a carry-over of unexpended moneys voted for this Department and they have been taken into the moneys allocated for the following year. It is a very good sign that these moneys should be spent but I wonder was there increased employment given in the spending of these additional moneys or was it merely increased wages and costings that caused this expenditure.

I also notice that expenditure on various items to which the Parliamentary Secretary referred, employment in the Gaeltacht, housing, scholarships and social services, has not changed down through the years. Even the principal employers in the Gaeltacht, namely, Gaeltarra Éireann, do not appear to have extended their activities in the manner in which one would like to see them extended. Let me say that I am completely opposed to the establishment of industries in the Gaeltacht in which technicians or specialists must be imported because that tends to anglicise the Gaeltacht area into which these people are brought. Some of the voluntary organisations have done much more to preserve the Gaeltacht than the Parlimentary Secretary's Department, and when I refer to his Department, I refer to it down through the years under the various Governments in office in this State.

Although this Vote deals with the Gaeltacht and the people in it, it is a Vote that we cannot discuss without discussing the Irish language. Strictly speaking, the Irish language would be much more appropriate to a debate on the Estimate for the Department of Education but one cannot rock the cradle without shaking the baby and there can be no doubt that the Gaeltacht is the cradle of the Irish language. The day the Gaeltacht disappears, the Irish language as a spoken language will disappear and that will finish it for all time. It will become a dead language like Latin and Greek.

When I spoke on this Estimate in 1950, I suggested that one of the methods of reviving the language and of retaining the Irish speaker in the Gaeltacht was to send students to the Gaeltacht throughout the year for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of Irish in the home of the language, namely, the Gaeltacht. It is insufficient to send students there for a month or two months during the summer. In the first place, the Gaeltacht is too small and too many students are being sent there at the same time, with the result that they have no opportunity of mixing with the native Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht. They are herded together and have no opportunity of mixing with the young people there and acquiring the spoken language or of learning the culture of the Gaeltacht. If these people were sent there in smaller numbers and sent throughout the year, not only would they assist in acquiring and preserving the language but they would assist the economy of the Gaeltacht considerably.

One of the main sources of income in the Gaeltacht is the keeping of students during the summer months. During that period there is prosperity in the Gaeltacht when the bean a'tí is able to put up a certain number of students. They cultivate little plots, which are scattered among the rocks, for the purpose of catering for the children. If students were sent throughout the year, it would be a shot in the arm to the economy of the Gaeltacht generally. I do not think it is impracticable. I do not suggest that the students should necessarily attend school and follow the ordinary curriculum but they could attend oral Irish classes taught not by trained teachers— so much the better if they are trained— but by native speakers of the dialect in that locality.

The number of students sent each year could be increased gradually and, if possible, they should be sent in units from the various schools so that when they would return, they would continue to speak the dialect used in the Gaeltacht. If that were done, we would find, instead of the sons and daughters of the households in the Gaeltacht emigrating or migrating, they would eventually build houses with the ambition of becoming fear a'tí and bean a'tí themselves. Not only would we be preserving the Gaeltacht as it exists but we would be able to extend that Gaeltacht out into the breac-Ghaeltacht and eventually into the Galltacht and in that way we would be doing a considerable amount for the language.

I do not say it is possible to establish Irish colleges in all Gaeltacht areas and, where it is not possible, we should endeavour to promote industries based on the raw materials of the district and, from that point of view, I know of none better than afforestation. I said last night when speaking on the Estimate for the Department of Lands and the Forestry Division that I thought afforestation one of the best sources of employment in the poor, mountainous Gaeltacht areas. The Parliamentary Secretary should discuss this with his Minister and endeavour to establish some liaison whereby, even in areas where it is uneconomic to have afforestation because of unsatisfactory soil condition, in order to provide employment for Irish speakers in an Irish-speaking environment, afforestation should be carried out. I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary to do something about it because, in doing so, he will do good for the language and preserve it in its natural environment.

Some years ago when I had the honour of being in charge of Roinn na Gaeltacht agus na gCeanntar gCúng, as it was then called, we endeavoured to do something about fisheries. Fishing boats were provided for Irish speakers, either without any deposit at all or with only a nominal deposit. That scheme, I am sorry to say, was not a success because the boats were compelled to fish out of and into ports where Irish was not spoken. The idea was good. The idea was to have a skipper and crew who were all Irish speakers and who would transact their ordinary business through the medium of Irish. Unfortunately they had to follow the fish from port to port and use the facilities in these ports. It was impossible to continue with the scheme. I think now there should be a greater concentration on the half-decker type of boat, particularly in the west of Ireland. There are ports in the west close to the Fíor-Ghaeltacht where this scheme could be developed, particularly in relation to lobster and salmon fishing and inshore herring fishing. If the boats were made available, I understand there are a number of very small harbours in the west which could be developed.

By allocating greater sums for the making, development and improvement of roads in the Gaeltacht, the Minister is doing a great deal of good. I know one Gaeltacht which is actually expanding now, the Gaeltacht of Donegal. Rannafast, as the Parliamentary Secretary knows, is now overflowing into the Breac-Ghaeltacht of Annagry. The same thing is happening in Gweedore and Arranmore. I should like to pay tribute to the Parliamentary Secretary for the moneys expended on the making of roads in Arranmore. I hope that policy will continue and that all the roads in that Fíor-Ghaeltacht island will be completed because, by doing that, not only will the Parliamentary Secretary make social amenities available to the islanders themselves but he will also make available to visitors, tourists and students attractive tourist roads. I appeal to him to continue these generous grants for the making and improvement of roads in the Fíor-Ghaeltacht areas and I hope he will succeed in persuading the local authorities, when they take over these roads, to keep them in proper repair.

Years ago, a sum of money was made available under this Estimate for the building of dance halls in the Fíor-Ghaeltacht. The Fíor-Ghaeltacht has far too many dance halls. They are the curse of the Gaeltacht. I changed that policy when I was in charge. Instead of making money available for dance halls, I made it available for the building of theatres in which Gaelic would be the sole medium. I was glad to allocate a grant of £20,000 for Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair for the building of a magnificent theatre there. That has proved a huge success. It attracts visitors and students throughout the entire year. No other theatre has been built in the Fíor-Ghaeltacht since then. That is a tragedy. It may be that initiative was not displayed and, if that is so, then initiative should be encouraged and more theatres erected. I may be wrong in saying that no theatre has been built since that money was allocated in 1956 and, if I am wrong, the Parliamentary Secretary will correct me. I should infinitely prefer to see moneys allocated for theatres rather than dance halls.

We welcome the Parliamentary Secretary's assurances and will respond to his request for co-operation. One matter to which I should like him to give attention is the revision of the Gaeltacht areas. Some areas will have to be curtailed because the language has gone out of them; others may have to be expanded. I am sure the Parliamentary Secretary remembers when the town of Falcarragh was not included in the Gaeltacht. As a result of representations, Falcarragh was subsequently included. There may be other areas in the west, south and north which, if given proper examination now, could be included in the Fíor-Ghaeltacht.

The time is not appropriate for a discussion of the White Paper. I welcome the increase, however, in the deontas paid to Irish-speaking schoolchildren but I think the Parliamentary Secretary should examine the scheme very carefully. I know one case in which Irish is the spoken language of the household. It is acquired Irish, not native Irish. The children have been refused the deontas on the ground that they are not native speakers. I doubt if that is the purpose of the scheme. I think the idea of the scheme is to encourage families to speak Irish, irrespective of whether it is acquired or native Irish. It would be worth while examining the scheme and, if any administrative amendments are found necessary, they should be made.

I congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary and wish him every success in his appointment. I sincerely hope he will continue to pay as much attention to the Fíor-Ghaeltacht of Donegal as has been paid to it in the past.

Ba mhaith liom freisin traoslú leis an Rúnaí Parlaiminte as ucht an gradaim a bronnadh air le déanaí. Tá a fhios agam nárbh fhéidir duine ba oiriúnaí a cheapadh. Ón uair a bhí sé ina bhuachaill óg ba bhéas leis Gaeilge do labhairt le gach Gaeilgeoir.

Bhi áthas orm nuair do léigh an Teachta Ó Donnell na figiúirí. Do léigh sé amach go dtáinig laghdú míle duine ar an líon daoine a bhí i nGaeltacht Chontae an Chláir idir 1926 agus 1956. An taca seo anuraidh dubhairt sé liom sa Tí seo nach raibh Gaeltacht ar bith i gContae an Chláir. Is breágh liom anois gur bhréagnaigh sé a chuid ráitisí féin i dTuairisc Oifigiúil Dháil Éireann. Ní shlánófar an Ghaeltacht go dtí go gcuirtear obair ar fáil do na daoine inte. Ní féidir le duine clann a thógáil ar na gabhaltais bheaga in iarthar na tíre. Is ar éigin is féidir féirmeacha a thabhairt orthu. Go dtí go ndéanfar sár-iarracht obair a thabhairt dóibh is baol liom go mbeidh an Ghaeltacht ag dul i ndisc ó bhliain go chéile.

Is fuirist dúinn sa Tí seo agus is fuirist do dhaoine ar fud na tíre a rá gurab í an Ghaeltacht príomh-chliabh-án na Gaeilge agus gurab olc an rud é dá dtéadh sí i laghad. Conas is féidir le daoine ciallmhara tuisceanacha clann a choimead má tá siad gan obair? Nuair a cuireadh Bille na gCeantracha Nea-fhorbartha tríd an Tí seo bhí dóchas agam go ndéanfaí iarracht monarcha a chur ar bun i ngach Gaeltacht chun go mbeadh obair le fáil. Ach, faraoir, ní mar shíltear bítear.

Is maith liom go bhfuil méadú ar an deontas. Is maith liom go bhfuil breis scoláireachtaí le fáil ach, tríd is tríd, ní shlánófar an Ghaeltacht le rudaí beaga den tsaghas sin. Sé tá ag teastáil ón dream óg ná obair d'fháil, pósadh agus clann a thógáil.

An bhfuil éinne anso go mbeadh sé de dhánaíocht ann a rá gur achmainn ag daoine óga na Gaeltachta pósadh agus clann a thógáil? Caithfidh an chuid is mó dena daoine óga imeacht leo thar lear nó dul go h-áit éigin in Éirinn ag lorg oibre. Muna n-éiríonn an Rialtas as na mion-rudaí a dhéanamh agus muna ndéanann siad rud mór fónta éigin chun slí bheatha a thabhairt do na daoine cois baile sa Ghaeltacht beidh an Gaeltacht ag dul i laghad.

Ón uair a cuireadh an Stát ar bun chualamar trácht mar gheall ar an Ghaeltacht. Chualamar daoine á rá go mbeadh deireadh leis an náisiún dá gcaillfí an Ghaeilge. Is geal linn bheith ag cur síos ar an Ghaeltacht ach tá níos mó ná moladh, baothchaint, plámás agus bladaireacht ag baint leis an scéal.

Tá dóchas agam go ndéanfaidh an fear óg atá i bhfeidhil na h-oibre a chroí-dhícheall chun a thuilleadh oibre a chur ar fáil i dTír Chonaill agus in áiteacha eile ar fud na Gaeltachta. Má dhéanann sé amhlaidh tuillfidh sé ní h-amháinn buíochas na dTeachtaí Dála agus na Seanadóirí ach buíochas an chine uilig.

Tá suim mhaith airgid i gceist sa Mheastachán so. An bhfuilimid sásta go bhfuil gach rud déanta ar son na Gaeltachta? Níl muintir na Gaeltachta sásta agus níl mise sásta ach oiread.

Lean ort i nGaeilge.

We have before us an Estimate for a sizeable sum. It is only now and again we get the opportunity of asking what has been done for the Gaeltacht. The Department of the Gaeltacht has now been established a decade. I should like to know what has been done during that time to stem the flow of emigration from the Gaeltacht. Deputy Geoghegan is also a representative of the Gaeltacht. He may not see it as often as I do. Day in, day out, I see the suitcase brigade leaving for Dún Laoghaire on the 3.50 p.m. train from Galway. That flow has not diminished to satisfy me or the people of the Gaeltacht.

As I said in this House on many occasions previously, if we are sincere about saving the language, we must save the native speakers in the Gaeltacht. The Gaeltacht, which is the cradle of Irish, is the only place we can save the language. It is all right paying deontaisí for amenities, but surely the amenities being given are only those common in any civilised country? Amenities alone will not keep the people there. They will have to have something besides drinking water.

Young scholars come to the Gaeltacht from Dublin, Limerick and other places in order to learn Irish, but the children of the Gaeltacht are taught nothing but Irish. Therefore, they take the opportunity of learning English from these young scholars who come to learn Irish. They realise they will have to emigrate, that that has been the pattern, and they feel they must fit themselves for the English labour market. I think that shows that these deontaisí are not having the desired effect. What amazes me most is that members of the Government Front Bench are prepared to impose on the children of the Gaeltacht the rule that they must learn only Irish and no English.

Níl sé sin fíor.

Would the members of the Government Front Bench teach their children Irish only? If they are sincere about it, let them give a lead in this regard. However, it is a case of do not do as I do but do as I tell you. Over the past 11 years, it is interesting the number of cases I have come across of native speakers turned down for the Garda because they have not sufficient English. Where do we go from there? I wonder how many people on the opposite benches have Irish only? Of course, if there were any sincerity in them, they would learn Irish only. I know of several cases of young native Irish speakers with a high degree of intelligence who were turned down, and had to go back and learn English, before they could join the Garda. So we have a system which is killing the Irish language from within.

Another thing which is killing the Irish language is the numbers who have jumped on the bandwagon for what they can get out of it. They are the greatest bunch of hypocrites that ever darkened Irish history. If the money were cut tomorrow morning, many of them would not be talking Irish tomorrow morning. I must admit we have some sincere enthusiasts, and it is on those enthusiasts that the future of the Irish language depends.

A rather strange statement was made by, I think, the Minister for External Affairs very recently. When asked if they proposed to Gaelicise the country, he said the first thing to be considered was the unification of the country. The Parliamentary Secretary, who is a colleague of the Minister, might enlighten us on what the Minister meant. If there is to be any sincerity about the revival of the Irish language, and if we have the Minister talking about putting it on the long finger, it is about time we had some statement on where we stand.

Grants have been given to the Gaeltacht for many things. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to go to the Aran Islands and see the lifeline provided between Inishmaan and Inisheer. The lifelines are the currachs and they have to try to make port—I think that is the proper phrase—under appalling conditions. Grants have been given for slips, but I should like to see special attention given to Inisheer and Inishmaan. Of course there is a necessity for grants for Inishmore as well. I am asking the Parliamentary Secretary to pay a visit to the Aran Islands and see the conditions for himself. He should not go on a summer's day, but in rough weather when the priest has to go from one island to another to say Mass in seas that are a danger to himself and those bringing him over.

I understand a grant is to be given to Inishmore for a major slip. I should like the Parliamentary Secretary to interest himself in the trawlermen there who are native speakers. They are asking for a certain type of slip. As I see it, this Gaeltacht grant is being given to suit CIE. To make it clear, CIE provide transport on Naomh Eanna to the Aran Islands. This Gaeltacht grant is to be used to suit CIE, but if it is a Gaeltacht grant, the views of the Gaeltacht fishermen should be the first to be accepted. They are asking for an elbow, but certain pressure groups want it done another way to suit the ferry boats. As I say, if it is a Gaeltacht grant, it should be given for the benefit of those fishermen who are native speakers. The Parliamentary Secretary should pay special attention to the needs of the people who are asking for that special elbow. If the grant is a Gaeltacht grant, let us have it for the people in the Gaeltacht and not for CIE alone.

Mr. O'Leary

It is a great tragedy that after roughly 40 years of native government, we have witnessed, in practical terms, the passing of the Irish language, to the extent that in realistic terms today the Irish language has become the narrow dialect of a few civil servants in Dublin. That is one of the changes we have witnessed under Fianna Fáil policy. In fact, that Party have said goodbye to their pretence of saving the Irish language in the recent White Paper. The material we have from the Parliamentary Secretary today actually determines progress in the saving of the language by the extent that expenditure in his Department has increased. One of the new techniques Fianna Fáil have for measuring progress is: if a Government Department go through their grant, there is progress. It is true, as other speakers have said, that there is no hope of saving the language unless the Gaeltacht areas and the people living in them can survive. So far the Government have not succeeded in this aim. The pattern of emigration has been to Huddersfield and Camden Town where these people must work at unskilled labouring jobs. I imagine one could meet more Irish native speakers in London and Camden Town than one would meet in the Gaeltacht areas here. Their way of life and their hardships are described in this book written by Donal Mac Amhlaoibh and translated by the Ambassador to Sweden.

Much of the unpopularity of the Irish language is due to bad teaching methods in our schools. Quite apart from the progress in the Department in spending cash, we must consider the question of the language in the country as a whole, and the fact is that some people have succeeded in making the Irish language more unpopular in our time than it was under British Governments. Much of that can be attributed to bad teaching methods in our schools. People have grown up, and their only memory of an inadequate education is a hatred of the Irish language, and that has been achieved under native Governments. There are bad teaching methods in the Gaeltacht areas, and there are poor facilities for training people for decent jobs. There is a lack of technical schools in the Gaeltacht areas.

We have heard that we will be setting up a new manpower authority very shortly. The areas badly hit in clear patterns of emigration to the industrial centres of Britain are the Gaeltacht areas and we hope that, under this so-called new manpower authority, we will do something deliberate to break the patterns of emigration that have occurred between these areas and Britain and to train the people of these areas for decent jobs in the industrial parts of the country.

If there is some unpopularity attached to the teaching of Irish in the schools, there is certainly a great ground swell of support amongst ordinary people for the Irish language and Irish culture. You have only to think of the success of the fleadh ceoil in recent years to realise that young people, without handouts from the Government or any other incentives, are in sympathy with things Irish and have a real liking for Irish music and Irish culture.

We must ask ourselves what happened to the Irish language when the dead hand of officialdom attacked it and when, in fact, it has become, as I think all of us in Dáil Éireann realise, an odious thing to talk about. We could sell this country even from our tourist angle. We have had many doubtful labels for selling this country to tourists abroad. One of the labels we did not try to sell it with was the Irish language. On the American market or elsewhere, this would be a good way to sell this country as it would give Irish-Americans something which is a part of their culture. I have never understood why the town of Galway has not jumped at pushing itself forward as a Gaeltacht city, and presenting itself as something typical of our country.

I would have thought that here today we should have had the Minister for Education present on this debate and also that the Minister for Industry and Commerce would have been present to hear this debate since it concerns both of these Departments.

In Dáil Éireann I would suggest that if we were to have Deputies who could speak Irish without being termed odd poles and cranks, and if we were to use the Irish language in this assembly on more than State occasions, we should have some kind of simultaneous translation service provided, so that other people whose knowledge of Irish is not good could understand what is being said. This is just a practical suggestion.

All and all, the outlook facing anybody who would sincerely favour the Irish language is depressing. The Gaeltacht is dwindling; the people are moving out. I do not mean to be personal when I say to the Parliamentary Secretary that in a few years his Department may be involved in handouts as there may not be people in the Gaeltacht areas, unless something drastic is done. I am glad that this question, to some extent during the election campaign, was left out of Party politics and that Fine Gael have, for their part, refrained from making propaganda of the Irish language. It is something all of us should stand behind. I feel Fianna Fáil, in their White Paper and in statements since the election, are taking a closer look at their attitude to the language. In fact, the White Paper has been the last Government pronouncement on this and from now on we shall preside over the complete departure of the Irish language as a way of life.

I thought we would have had a fuller House on the debate here today, but as one can see from the empty benches around, there are more pressing matters on Deputies' minds. I would say that if the ordinary people were asked the blunt question as to whether they favour the Irish language or not, they would say yes. They are not in favour of bad teaching methods, of their children leaving school with a hatred of the language because of bad teaching methods. There is no reason why they should have this hatred. There is no reason why their knowledge of English should be poor because their knowledge of Irish is good.

For our part, we in the Labour Party will continue to press for an honest approach to the Irish language. A long time ago, one of the founders of the Labour Party, James Connolly, was aware of the economic aspects of life but he was also aware how important it was to have our own language. We are up against the tough businessmen in this country who are so busy forcing us to learn French and German in preparation for our entry into Europe that it is considered a waste of time to learn Irish. We pride ourselves on being part of the West European concept of civilisation. Surely part of that concept of Western civilisation is that we should save our own cultures. The sum of human history should be to save our cultures and to make the life of the international family of nations richer by saving our own culture and by saving something valid from our own people.

Tá má ag ceapadh go bhfuil chuile dhuine sásta fáilte a chur roimh an Meastachán seo. Tá an Meastachán i mbliana níos aoirde ná mar a bhí sé ariamh. Sé an trua, nuair a thosaigh an lead óg seo ag caint, nár lean sé ar aghaidh i dteanga na tíre. Labhair sé go maith.

Nuair a bhí an Comh-Rialtas ann cheapadar Aire Gaeltachta agus ní dhearna sé tada mar gheall ar an nGaeltacht. Ní raibh ann ach íomhá. An bhfuil an Ghaeltacht níos fearr anois ná mar a bhí sí? Tá an deontas le h-aghaidh tithe nua £300 níos aoirde ná mar a bhí sé ariamh. Gheobhaidh tú £1,100 anois le teach nua a thógail— le h-uisce agus chuile short.

Caithfimíd a rá nach bhfuil sin go dona agus gur fearr an scéal anois ná mar a bhí sé nuair a bhí Fine Gael in oifig. Tá mé ag ceapadh go bhfuil níos mó tithe gloine ag teastáil sa bhFíor-Ghaeltacht. Thabharfadh a leithéid breis oibre dona daoine sa Ghaeltacht. Ba Cheart don Rúnaí Parlaiminte ceist na dtithe gloine a leag stoirm iad blianta ó shoin a scrúdú. Níor dearnadh socrú ceart ina dtaobh fós.

Is ceart a rá go bhfuil an deontas £5 árdaithe go dtí £10 anois. Is maith an rud é sin. Tá rud amháin nach bhfuil mé sásta leis. Tá clann ón teach amháin ag freastal ar an scoil. Gheobhaidh duine acu an deontas £5 ach ní bhfaighidh an ceathrar eile deontas ar chor ar bith. Tá an Ghaeilge ag gach duine den chlann sin. An measann an cigire go bhfuil sé ceart san scrúdú an deontas a thabhairt do dhuine amháin den chlann sin agus é a choinneáil ón gceathrar eile? An measann an cigire go bhfuil an Ghaeilge níos fearr ag an duine a gheibheann an £5 ná mar atá ag an gceathrar eile?

Tá deontas bóithre le fáil sa Ghaeltacht agus is maith an scéal é sin freisin. Ba mhaith liom a iarraidh ar an Rúnaí Parlaiminte liosta dena bóithre sin a chur chuig gach innealtóir i nGaillimh chomh lua agus a bheidh na bóithre seo críochnaithe. Tá Comhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe sásta na bóithre seo a thógáil faoi dhó sa bhliain, san Earrach agus sa Samhradh. Muna mbíonn liosta na mbóthar seo ag an innealtóir go dtí roimh an Nollaig bfhéidir nach mbeidh an t-innealtóir sásta iad a thógáil san Earrach. Chomh luath agus a bhíonn na bóithre críochnaithe ba chóir an liosta a chur chuig an Chomhairle Chontae i nGaillimh.

Bhí mé ag éisteacht leis an Teachta Coogan ó Ghaillimh. Níl an ceart aige san rud a dubhairt sé. Dubhairt sé nach raibh Béarla ar bith dhá mhúineadh in aon scoil sa bhFíor-Ghaeltacht. Munar thug sé cuairt ar scoil ar bith sa bhFíor-Ghaeltacht ba cheart dó dul amach agus feicfidh sé ansin leabhraí Béarla ag na gasúirí chomh maith le leabhraí Gaeilge. Dá bhrí sin, tá an Béarla dhá mhúineadh leis na gasúirí sin. Is mór an náire don Teachta Coogan bheith ag rá rudaí nach bhfuil fíor.

Bhí mé ag éisteacht leis an Teachta O'Leary. Dubhairt sé go raibh an Ghaeltacht ag imeacht. Is trua nach dtéann sé féin chuig Gaeltacht na Gaillimhe agus feicfidh sé ansin go bhfuil an Ghaeilge á labhairt ann chomh maith agus a bhí riamh. Cónaím í bhFíor-Ghaeltacht na Gaillimhe agus is dóigh liom go bhfuil an Béarla dhá mhúineadh i ngach scoil inte chomh maith leis an Gaeilge.

Téann páistí go dtí an Ghaeltacht chun an Ghaeilge d'fhoghlaim faoi scéim Ghael Linn, cuir i gcás. Is maith an scéim í sin. Labharfaidh siad an Gaeilge go maith. Scaipfear an Ghaeilge tríd an tír nuair a raghaidh siad abhaile.

Ní raibh fúm labhairt ar an Meastachán seo ach nuair a chuala mé Teachtaí ón dtaobh eile agus rudaí nach raibh fíor dhá rá acu cheap mé go mba chóir dom iad a cheartú. Molaim an Rúnaí Parlaiminte. Fear óg is ea é, fear go bhfuil meas ar an dteanga aige agus fear, léis, a labhrann an teanga. Tá súil agam go raghaidh sé ar aghaidh leis an obair.

Ba mhaith liom traoslú leis an Rúnaí Parlaiminte agus comhgháirdeachas a dhéanamh leis. Is trom, dian an obair seo atá idir lámhaibh aige. Tá fadhbanna doréitithe beagnach roimis amach agus caithfidh sé tabhairt futhu agus iarracht a dhéanamh réiteach d'fháil orthu. Is trua liom gur tháinig aon Bhéarla isteach sa dhíospóireacht seo. Is trua liom nár lean an Teachta O'Donnell leis i nGaeilge. Do thuigfimís go maith é. Is trua liom leis nár lean an Teachta O'Leary ón Lucht Oibre leis an nGaeilge a labhairt. Is trua gur iompaigh sé ar an mBéarla mar óráid níos siniciúla níor chuala mé riamh ó fhear chomh h-óg leis.

Mhol an Teachta O'Donnell rud agus táim ar aon aigne leis ina thaobh, sé sin, go mba cheart don Rúnaí Parlaiminte limistéirí na Gaeltachta faoi mar atá siad leagtha síos in Acht na Gaeltachta, nó reacht éigin den tsaghas sin, a athscrúdú féachaint an ceart cur leo nó baint uathu. Tá súil agam go scrúdóidh an Rúnaí Parlaiminte an cheist sin gan aon mhoill agus go bhfeicfimíd toradh an scrúdaithe sin amach anseo.

Tugaim faoi ndeara ó ráiteas an Rúnaí Pharlaiminte agus é ag moladh an Mheastacháin don Dáil go bhfuil beartaithe ag an Rialtas na comhachtaí atá ag Gaeltarra Éireann a mhéadú chun go bhféadfaidís tionscail nua a bhunú ar fud na Gaeltachta, aon áit gur féidir é a dhéanamh. Is dóigh liom gur maith an socrú é sin. Tá eagla orm nach mbéadh na tionscalóirí príobháideacha sásta monarchain a chur ar bun sa Ghaeltacht. Má déantar in aon chor é caithfidh dream éigin faoi scáth an Stáit é a dhéanamh. Dubhairt an Rúnaí Parlaiminte go gcaithfear Bille a chur ós chóir na Dála go luath chun na comhachtaí breise sin a thabhairt do Bhord Gaeltarra Éireann agus tá súil agam go bhfeicimíd an Bille sin go luath. Dá luaithe é is amhlaidh is fearr é.

Dhein an Rúnaí Parlaiminte tagairt do na cúramaí nua atá air, cúramaí a bhí go dtí seo ar an Roinn Oideachais. An deontas atá le fáil ag na coláistí Gaeilge atá i gceist anso. Tá an chuid is mó de na coláistí sin sa Ghaeltacht ach tá cuid eile acu sa Ghalltacht freisin. Is eagal orm go bhfuil éagóir dhá déanamh ar na coláistí sa Ghalltacht toise go dtugann Roinn na Gaeltachta deontas breise de £5 do gach scoláire a dheineann freastal ar choláistí sa Ghaeltacht. Níl an buntáiste seo le fáil ag na coláistí sa Ghalltacht. Is mór an cuidiú é do na choláistí sa Ghaeltacht. Níl an buntáiste seo le fáil ag na coláistí sa Ghalltacht. Ní bhíonn an costas chomh trom ar na dáltaí a fhreastalann ar na coláistí nuair a bhíonn on deontas £5 ar fáil. Ach tá roinnt coláistí Gaeilge sa Ghalltacht freisin agus tá eagla orm go bhfuil éagóir á déanamh orthu mar ná fuil an deontas san le fáil ag na coláistí sa Ghalltacht ar chor a bith. Níl le fáil acu ach an gnáth-dheontas ón Roinn Oideachais agus gheibheann na coláistí sa Ghaeltacht an dá dheontas. Bfhéidir gur cóir, go dtabharfaí na buntáistí go léir do mhuinntir na Gaeltachta. Ag an am céanna, do bhí an-mhisneach ag na daoine a chuir na coláistí Gaelacha ar bun sa Ghalltacht. Tá ceann acu in gCorcaí, ceann eile i Luimneach agus an tríú ceann i gContae Ciarraí agus bfhéidir roinnt eile in gcontaethe eile. Gheibheann na coláistí sa Ghaeltacht na buntáistí bíodh go bhfuil an obair chéanna dhá déanamh ag na coláistí sa Ghalltacht nó bfhéidir obair níos fearr ná mar atá dhá déanamh sa Ghaeltacht. Iarraim ar an Rúnaí Pharlaiminte an cheist sin d'athscrúdú.

Bhí an cheist seo ós cóir Aire na Gaeltachta roimhe seo agus moladh dó na coláistí sa Ghalltacht a chur ar aon chéim leis na coláistí sa Ghaeltacht. Níor aontaigh mé leis an moladh sin óir bhí mé den tuairim nach raibh an moladh ciallmhar. B'fhéidir go bhféadfadh an Rúnaí Parlaiminte deontas a thabhairt do gach coláiste sa Ghalltacht i leith gach scoláire a dheineann freastal ar choláiste sa Ghalltacht, sé sin, deontas a thabhairt don choláiste féin sa Ghalltacht. Chabhródh sin leo na míbhuntáistí atá acu faoi láthair a shárú. Ba mhaith liom go ndéanfadh an Rúnaí Parlaiminte machnamh ar an gceist mhór seo chun a fháil amach an bhfuil leigheas ar bith air, pé scéal é.

Ní bhéinn ar aon aigne leis an Teachta O'Donnell mar gheall ar chúrsaí thionscal sa Ghaeltacht. Do bhéinn sásta le rud ar bith a choimeádfadh na daoine ag obair inte. Ní bheadh eagla orm teicneoirí iasachta a thabhairt isteach sa Ghaeltacht. Do tháinig siad isteach sa tír seo na céadtha bliain ó shoin agus tar éis tamaill d'éiríodar "níos Gaelaí ná na Gaeil iad féin." Sílim go dtarlódh an rud céanna arís. Is minic nach féidir tionscal áirithe a chur ar bun sa Ghaeltacht gan na teicneoirí sin, bíodh Gaeilge acu nó ná bíodh. Im thuairimse d'éireoidís Gaelach diaidh ar ndiaidh. Ní dóigh liom go n-éireoidh leo muintir na Gaeltachta a Ghalldú. Tá an teanga agus an spioraid sa Ghaeltacht níos láidre ná mar a cheapann an Teachta O'Donnell. Is cuma cén tionscal a chuirfí ar bun inte, do bheadh obair le fáil agus d'fhanfadh na daoine sa Ghaeltacht. Tá súil agam go n-éireoidh le h-obair an Rúnaí Pharlaiminte nua agus go mbeidh toradh maith air. Go gcuire Dia rath ar a shaothar.

Níl droch-fhocal le rá agam mar gheall ar na daoine a labhair as Béarla agus i nGaeilge—an Teachta O'Leary, an Teachta O'Donnell agus an Teachta Coogan. Bhí an-áthas orm gur labhair an Teachta Coogan Gaeilge, óir níor chuala mé focal Gaeilge as le linn an toghacháin agus níor chuala mé focal Gaeilge as roimhe sin féin agus, mar sin, bhí an-áthas orm an Ghaeilge a chloisint uaidh inniú. Ag an am céanna, teastaíonn uaim an óráid bheag seo a chríochniú i mBéarla. D'fhan mé leis an Meastachán seo i dtreo go mbeadh caoi agam mo chuid focal tosaigh i nDáil Éireann a rá i nGaeilge. Ós rud é nach bhfuil taithí agam ar óráid a dhéanamh i nGaeilge, déanfaidh mé í anois sa teanga úd a labhraim go ró-mhinic, is oth liom.

In this Estimate there is mention of Gaeltarra Éireann and it is about Gaeltarra Éireann that I should like to say a few words. It is mentioned as the principal instrument for industrial development in all Gaeltacht areas and for this purpose, a grant-in-aid of £120,000 is provided to pay the current expenses and a further £100,000 for capital expenditure, not repayable unless a profit is made. This makes a total of £220,000 to Gaeltarra Éireann. I am afraid that, though this may be a substantial increase on what was spent last year on this establishment, many more thousands will have to be spent to establish industries in the Gaeltacht on a sound basis to provide the employment necessary there. Many people may not agree with me in this further expense of developing industries in the Gaeltacht but if we are all sincere in our efforts to preserve the Irish language we must provide security of employment for the people who live in the Gaeltacht and develop industries there that will employ not alone women—the principal type of employment given by Gaeltarra Éireann—but the men and the youths too. That is essential if we are all sincere in our efforts to preserve the Irish language and I lay emphasis on the word "security".

Although I am not a native of the Gaeltacht, I live in Galway city which is on the verge of the Gaeltacht. Though we live in Galway city, we are not eligible for Gaeltacht grants. I know a lot about the Gaeltacht. One of the biggest problems I see there is a lack of security of employment. The people there live from day to day and from deontas to deontas. If a proper industry were set up in the Gaeltacht which would provide steady employment, it would have an extremely beneficial effect on all concerned. In this respect, may I say that Gaeltarra Éireann, on its own, will not solve the problem of lack of employment in the Gaeltacht. Its principal employees are women engaged in the manufacture of tweed and in knitting. There is not sufficient secure employment by Gaeltarra Éireann for the men and youths in the Gaeltacht.

In my opinion, Gaeltarra Éireann, on its own, will not solve the problem of lack of employment in the Gaeltacht. Gaeltarra Éireann has many internal problems which make its operation very difficult. It consists mainly of small units knitting the various parts of garments and sending them to one central station to be finished. In the past, the garments were sent to Dublin where they were distributed all over the country to retail shops from the warehouse in Westland Row. That was a very expensive process. I understand that a very extensive scheme is now under way at Tourmakeady in the Mayo Gaeltacht which will eliminate the necessity to send these garments to Westland Row and then back down the country again to the retail shops. I should like, therefore, to praise and, in praising, to hope that this new Gaeltarra Éireann development at Tourmakeady will cut down its running costs. This, I feel, is a more realistic approach and a more business-like approach and it should help to make Gaeltarra Éireann a more efficient organisation and actually to break even in the near future.

Even with Gaeltarra Éireann working at maximum efficiency, I feel it should not be relied on completely as the principal instrument for industrial development in the Gaeltacht areas. If the Gaeltacht is to be the saving of the language, it should not be allowed to shrink. If the Gaeltacht area diminishes, then no amount of money will restore it at a later date. I should like to see, and I expect that the new Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy Faulkner, will work to bring it about, greater assistance and encouragement in the setting-up of light industries by private enterprise and state enterprise, if necessary, in the Gaeltacht to provide secure employment there. It is my earnest hope that they will produce goods which will be in ready demand throughout Ireland and abroad and that our men and women living in the Gaeltacht will be free from the day-to-day type of employment which has been their lot heretofore. The Gaeltacht will not be saved by the deontas alone. The deontas is necessary and it is a great help but of itself it will not infuse new life into the Gaeltacht.

On the question of the Irish language, I agree with Deputy O'Leary that there is a great love for it among the young children today. He has his reasons for believing this love for the language is not increasing among the children. I, on the other hand, believe that it is and that it will continue to do so under the policies of the Fianna Fáil Government. Of course that question is connected specifically with another Department, that of Education, and I shall say nothing further on it at this time.

Deputy P. O'Donnell mentioned the promotion of dancing in the Gaeltacht. He may not be as young a man now as he was but I feel sure that at one time he liked dancing. If we deprive the people in the Gaeltacht of this one amenity which they know is available in the larger towns and which is in fact attracting many of them to other countries including England, then we shall leave them with nothing but the hills, the muck, the wet and the rain. We shall take away the lights from the Gaeltacht. I had thought dancing was one of the things which serves to make life a little more interesting in the Gaeltacht.

I was pleased to hear Deputy P. O'Donnell praise the drama movement. It is very worthy of praise but I do not think it should be fostered at the expense of any other amenity. I attended a céilí in Carraroe recently and noticed some markings on the floor. I was told there had been a stage there but since nobody acted in Carraroe, they took it away to make the dance floor larger. Dancing is a healthy form of recreation for the young people at night.

We in the Fianna Fáil Party have always realised the importance of the Gaeltacht areas and we intend to continue that policy. I should like to congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary on his appointment. Under his able leadership there is great hope for the Gaeltacht areas. I shall conclude by saying that, even though I have spoken in English, now that I am a Member of Dáil Éireann, I shall have more opportunity to speak Irish. Having been educated through Irish, from the national school through the secondary school and the university— I took a commerce degree in UCG through Irish—I did not find the proper facilities or the incentives afterwards to speak it regularly.

There has been a move recently— I do not know who is promoting it— to give children a greater incentive to speak the language in the schools outside the time allocated to the teaching of grammar and everything that goes with it. I learned the grammar and learned how to speak Irish but there is no incentive afterwards. I have a great love for the language and for participation in the cultural activities associated with it—singing, dancing and everything we hold dear. In the city of Galway, there are no great opportunities for speaking Irish but I feel that, with the energy and enthusiasm of the man now at the helm, we shall see an upsurge in the revival movement, new life in the Gaeltacht, and I hope and pray his efforts will be successful.

Ba mhaith liom i dtosach mo bhuíochas a ghlacadh leis an Teachta O'Donnell as a chómhgáirdeachas. Ba mhaith liom fosta mo bhuíochas a ghlacadh leis na Teachtaí eile a labhair ar an Meastachán seo. Bhí níos mó acu ann i mbliana ná i mblianta beaga anuas. Tá a lán Teachtaí óga sa Dáil anois agus tá a fhios agam go gcuirid i bhfad níos mó spéise agus suime sa Ghaeltacht agus san obair atá le déanamh agus á dhéanamh sa Ghaeltacht ná mar a chuirtí go dtí seo. Formhór acu d'fhóghlaim siad an Ghaeilge sna scoileanna agus chuadar chuig an Ghaeltacht. Tá a fhios agam go labhrann a lán acu an teanga gan mórán trioblóide agus go gcuirid suim mhór san obair atá idir lámha againn ar mhaiteas na Gaeltachta.

Go dtí seo ba ghnáth na freagraí ar an Meastachán a thabhairt i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla. Ní trí aon dí-mheas ar na Teachtaí a labhair sa Teach ach cionn is gurb é mo chéad uair ag tabhairt freagra ar Meastachán agus go bhfuil a fhios agam go dtuigfidh na Teachtaí a labhair mé, tá beartaithe agam na freagraí ar fad a thabhairt i nGaeilge.

Rinne an Teachta O'Donnell tagairt do líon an phobail sa Ghaeltacht i 1926 agus i 1956 agus dúirt sé go raibh laghdú mór ann. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil an fhírinne ansin. Ach is fíor, fosta, go bhfuil laghdú dá réir tagtha ar líon an phobail chuile áit faoin dtuaith, go mórmhór san iarthar. Taisbeánann sé sin an obair dheachair, chruaidh atá os mo chomhair sa Roinn seo. Níl éinne is fearr a thuigeann é sin ná an Teachta O'Donnell, agus sin é an fáth a bhfuilim ag iarraidh ar chuile Theachta anois a chabhair a thabhairt dom san obair ar mhaitheas na Gaeltachta.

Is é an obair is mó atá romhainn iarracht a dhéanamh le níos mó oibre a chur ar fáil do mhuintir na Gaeltachta chun cosc a chur leis an imirce agus chun na daoine a choinneáil sa bhaile. Sin é atá beartaithe againn: sin é ár gcuspóir sa Bhille nua atá le tabhairt isteach againn gan mórán moille.

Do thagair an Teachta Ó Donnell do scéimeanna chun páistí a chur chuig an nGaeltacht ar feadh na bliana. Tá scéim ceaptha againn chun deontais a chur ar fáil ionas go mbeidh páistí in ann dul chuig an nGaeltacht ar feadh téarma scoile gach bliain. Bhí scéim mar sin idir lámha ag Gael-Linn go dtí seo ach beidh a thairbhe ag gach Coiste aitheanta feasta. Is é an deacracht mhór annseo nach maith le tuismítheoirí na páistí a ligean chun an Gaeltachta ar feadh na bliana ar fad—níl sé ró-easca fiú iad a fháil ar feadh téarma scoile. Tá go leor tuismítheoirí ann a mbíonn eagla orthu go mbrisfí leanúnachas oideachais a gcuid páistí, agus sin é an fáth nach maith leo iad a ligean chun na Gaeltachta ar feadh tréimhse fada.

Rinne an Teachta céanna tagairt don iascaireacht. Is féidir báid agus fearais a cheannach ar théarmaí speisealta ar mhaithe le forbairt na h-iascaireachta sa Ghaeltacht. I dtaobh na foraoiseachta, tá 30,000 acraí ar seilbh againn. Tá 21,000 acraí curtha agus tá 25,000 acraí eile á dtairiscint. Labhair an Teachta ar dheontas le haghaidh amharclanna. Níl a fhios agam ar tugadh deontas d'aon amharclainn eile ach do Ghaoth Dóbhair, ach is eol dúinn go bhfuil daoine ansin a bhfuil baint acu leis an aisteoireacht agus cuireann sé áthas orm daoine mar sin a fheiceál sa Ghaeltacht. Déanann siad sin a lán maitheasa don Ghaeltacht agus don teanga. Tá socraithe againn deontas a chur ar fáil don Chomhairle Náisiúnta Drámaíochta chun cuidiú leo ina gcuid oibre.

Rinne an Teachta Ó Ceallaigh trácht ar scoláireachtaí agus tá a fhios agam go bhfuil toradh maith ar an obair sin. Labhair sé fosta ar Ghaeltarra Éireann. Mar a dúras i dtosach, tá ar intinn againn a chur ar chumas Ghaeltarra Éireann níos mó oibre a chur ar fáil do mhuintir na Gaeltachta.

Ba mhaith liom, fosta, rud éigin a rá leis an Teachta Coogan. Bhí sé ag caint i dtaobh páistí na Gaeltachta agus dúirt sé nach bhfuilid ag fóghlaim Béarla. Ní fíor é sin. Tá sé riachtanach sa Ghaeltacht an Béarla a fhoghlaim sa chaoi chéanna ina bhfuil sé riachtanach san Ghalltacht an Ghaeilge a fhoghlaim.

Chomh maith leis sin, rinne sé tagairt do dhaoine nach mbeadh páirteach i ngluaiseacht na Gaeilge ach amháin go bhfuil rud éigin le fáil acu as. Tá sé sin á rá ag daoine le fada an lá. Níl ann ach caint. Tá a fhios agamsa gur fíor-bheagán atá le fáil ag éinne as a bheith páirteach i ngluaiseacht na Gaeilge. Ní fhaca mise duine ar bith a d'oibrigh ar son na Gaeilge agus a rinne saibhreas air.

Luaigh an Teachta Cé Chill Rónáin. Sa chás sin is rud teicniúil atá i gceist. Tá na hiascairí le dul i gcomhairle leis na hinnealtóirí sa Bórd Oibreacha Poiblí. Ní tháinig siad le chéile go fóill. Má thagann siad le chéile is dócha go mbeidh siad ábalta teacht ar réiteach a bheidh sásúil don dá thaobh.

Labhair an Teachta Ó Laoghaire. Is trua liom go bhfuil dearcadh chomh héadóchasach sin ag duine chomh hóg leis an Teachta. Tá i bhfad níos mó airgid á chur ar fáil againn i mbliana don Ghaeltacht. Caitheadh an t-airgead uilig a cuireadh ar fáil anuraidh. Ní raibh mé ábalta an chaint a rinne an Teachta Ó Laoghaire faoi sin a thuiscint. Bhí sé ag gearán gur caitheadh an t-airgead. Is dócha go mbeadh sé ag gearán mura gcaithfí é.

Luaigh sé an Páipéar Bán. Dúirt sé gur dócha nach mbeidh mórán eile le cloisteáil faoi sin. Tá an Páipéar Bán bunaithe ar na moltaí a fuarthas ón gCoimisiún um Athbheochan na Gaeilge. Bhí daoine ar an gCoimisiún sin a raibh dúil acu sa Ghaeltacht agus sa Ghaeilge agus corr-dhuine nach raibh i dtreo is go dtiocfadh siad ar réiteach a bheadh fiúntach. Tá na moltaí atá leagtha amach sa Pháipéar Bán ag an Rialtas bunaithe ar mboltaí an choimisiúin sin. Is dóigh liom gur ghlac an Rialtas leis an gcuid is mó de na moltaí.

Luaigh an Teachta modhanna múinteoireachta. Ní shílim go dtagann an cheist sin faoin Roinn seo. Ní admhaím féin go bhfuil sé fíor go bhfuil na páistí uilig in éadan na Gaeilge. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil scrúdú á dhéanamh ar na modhanna múinteoireachta agus tá mé cinnte go gcuirfear feabhas orthu nuair a bheidh na san-eolaithe réidh leis an obair.

Luaigh an Teachta Mac Eochagáin scéim na dtithe gloine. Tá scéim úr á réiteach againn do thithe gloine ach níl sé ullamh go fóill.

Mhol an Teachta Ó Briain agus, sílim, an Teachta Ó Domhnaill dul isteach i gceist na limistéirí Gaeltachta. I láthair na huaire tá sé glactha ag an Rialtas leis na limistéirí a leagadh amach i 1956, ach is féidir leis an Roinn an cheist a scrúdú féachaint ar chóir áiteanna atá istigh a chaitheamh amach nó áiteanna atá amuigh a chur isteach.

Áiteanna ba cheart a bheith ann.

Sin an rud atá mé a mhaíomh. Rinne an Teachta tagairt do na Coláistí Gaeilge. Ní hé sin, go díreach, mo chúram. Faoin scéim atá anois ann tá na deontais ag dul do pháistí a théann go dtí an Ghaeltacht. Ach ní gá dóibh freastal ar Choláiste. Ní bhaineann an deontas le Coláiste. Ar an ábhar sin, ní thig linn na deontais faoin scéim a thabhairt do na Coláistí atá i gceist ag an Teachta. Labhair an Teachta Ó Moalmhuaidh fá dtaobh de obair a sholáthar do mhuintir na Gaeltachta. Ní thig liom a rá ach amháin nuair bheidh an Bille fríd an Dáil go mbeidh ar chumas Gaeltarra Éireann tuilleadh oibre a chur ar fáil sna limistéirí Gaeltachta. Chomh maith leis sin, is féidir tionscal príobháideach a mhealladh go dtí an Ghaeltacht tríd an bhforas Tionscail.

Ba mhaith liom tagairt ghairid a dhéanamh do na deontais tithíochta sna ceantair Ghaeltachta. Tá deontais speisialta á gcur ar fáil ag an Rialtas leis na blianta sa Ghaeltacht agus is fearr iad ná na deontais a thugtar sa chuid eile den tír. Tá sé sin á dhéanamh mar chuid den iarracht chun an Ghaeltacht a chaomhnú agus caighdeán maireachtála na ndaoine inti a ardú. Déarfainn ón taithí atá agam go mbaintear feidhm mhaith as na deontais sin agus is léir go bhfuil feabhas mór tagtha ar thithe na Gaeltachta i gcaitheamh na mblianta.

Tá de chumhacht ag na Comhairlí Contae deontais fhorlíontacha a thabhairt de phunt in aghaidh gach punt den deontas Rialtais. Ach is oth liom a thabhairt faoi deara, sa ghearrthréimhse atá caite agam i Roinn na Gaeltachta, nach ndéantar é sin i ngach contae ina bhfuil ceantar Gaeltachta. Mar gheall ar sin, is fearr an deontas iomlán a gheobhadh feirmeoir beag i mo dháilcheantar féin i gContae Lú, mar shampla, ná duine den tsaghas chéanna i gceantar áirithe Gaeltachta. Cuireann sé sin ar ceal, a bheag nó a mhór, beartas an Rialtais i leith na gceantar ina labhartar an Ghaeilge agus ba mhaith liom a iarraidh ar na Teachtaí ar gach taobh den Teach, a bhfuil ceantar Gaeltachta mar chúram orthu agus atá ina gcomhaltaí d'Údaráis Áitiúla, féachaint leis na hÚdaráis sin a spreagadh, cibé beartas ginearálta atá acu i leith na ndeontas forlíontach tithíochta, chun go dtabharfaidh siad punt in aghaidh gach punt den deontas Stáit i gceantair Ghaeltachta.

Is é barúil an Rialtais nach foláir an Ghaeltacht a chaomhnú agus a neartú chun go bhféadfar an Ghaeilge a shlánú. Sílim go nglactar go forleathan leis an bharúil sin. Is eol dom go bhfuil daoine ann a chreideann dáiríre go bhféadfaí an teanga a shlánú fiú dá n-imíodh sí as na ceantair ina labhartar í san am i láthair; tugann siad somplaí dúinn ó thíortha eile ar nós na hIosraela marar tharla athbheochan den tsaghas sin. Ach caithfidh na daoine sin a admháil go raibh toscaí i gceist sna háiteanna sin nach mbaineann leis an gcás seo againne agus, ar an gcuid is fearr de, gur saothar millteanach deacair a bheadh ann an Ghaeilge a shlánú in éagmais na Gaeltachta, dá dtiocfadh é a dhéanamh chor ar bith.

Is féidir leis na páistí dul chun na Gaeltachta le feabhas a chur ar a gcuid Gaeilge agus is rud tábhachtach é sin ach sé mo bharúil féin is tábhachtaí fós an tslí a dtéann cuairt ar an nGaeltacht i gcion ar aigne an pháiste nár aithnigh an Ghaeilge roimhe sin ach mar ábhar eile scoile agus a fheiceann anois gur teanga bheo, bhríomhar í atá á labhairt ní amháin ag oidí scoile agus státseirbhísigh ach ag an bhfeirmeoir, ag an siopadóir, ag fear an phoist agus mar sin de. San iarracht atá ar siúl againn chun riachtanas na Gaeilge a chur ina luí ar aos óg na hÉireann, is iontach an cleachtadh é seo agus is cinnte go dtiocfaidh dea-thoradh as.

Is ábhar mór-thábhachta do gach duine ar spéis leis leas an náisiúin an iarracht ní amháin chun an Ghaeltacht a chaomhnú ach chun í a leathnú. Iarracht dúinn uilig i gcomhar lena chéile atá ann. Tá práinn agus deifir leis agus ní hacmhainn dúinn trá ná scaipeadh a ligean ar ár n-iarracht. Tá mórchuid eagras agus dreamanna againn san am i láthair a bhfuil spéis acu sa Ghaeltacht agus in athbheochan na Gaeilge. Sílim gur fíor a rá nach dtig le héinne a shéanadh go bhfuil an dea-thoil acu, ach is eagal liom gur fíor a rá fosta go ndéantar, i gcásanna anseo agus ansiúd, mórán díograise agus fuinnimh, a bhfuil géarghá leo sa saothar atá romhainn, a chur amú le conspóidí agus lochtúchán faoi rudaí nach mór le rá iad. Na conspóidí sin gan éifeacht tarraingíonn siad lagmhisneach ar phobal na hÉireann, daoine a bhfuair mé riamh an buntéagar ceart a bheith iontu i gcúiseanna náisiúnta, agus laghdaíonn siad sum na ndaoine sin in ár n-aidhmeanna náisiúnta.

Ar an ábhar sin iarraim arís ar na dreamanna uile ar mór acu leas na Gaeltachta agus na Gaeilge teacht le chéile i sprid aontachta na linne seo. Bímis ag faire, agus ag gearán más gá, ach bíodh tús ag an gcuidiú ar an gcáineadh againn. Tá obair mhór romhainn agus ní neart go cur le chéile.

An féidir leis an Aire a rá conas tá ag eirí le Scéim na Muc agus Scéim na dTithe Gloine?

Tá Scéim na Muc ag dul ar aghaidh go maith.

An bhfuil breis airgid an seo i gcóir Scéim na dTithe Gloine?

Vote put and agreed to.