An Bille um Bord na Gaeilge, 1978: An Dara Céim (Atógáil). Bord na Gaeilge Bill, 1978: Second Stage (Resumed).

Athcuireadh an cheist: "Go léifear an Bill an Dara hUair."
Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

Before I reported progress I had mentioned to the Minister that I hoped the board would be appointed on merit rather than on political allegiances. I was going on to mention that I welcomed his decision to reduce membership of the board from 20 to 12. Some people may consider it strange that the Minister should reduce the membership, but it often happens when a board is unwieldy that effectiveness is reduced.

The second reservation I have about the Bill is in regard to the period of six years for which members will serve. Admittedly, there is provision in the Bill whereby the Minister can relieve members of their posts, if he thinks fit, and for co-option in the case of the death of a member. A six-year period of service causes stagnation. It might be better to provide that two members of the board would retire every two years and that no member would serve the maximum six years. This would be particularly important in view of the fact that we need drive and initiative to get the Irish language revamped and revitalised and to get the language spoken by the people.

In the past few years the learning of languages has become very important, and it is encouraging here to see an upsurge in the number of people trying to learn Irish and to speak it. However, the new board will need a lot of active young men who understand the problems and who are willing to devote a lot of time to solving them. First of all they will need to put across a new slogan. We have seen the Buy Irish Campaign and in relation to encouraging the revival of Irish "Be Irish, Speak Irish" might be a useful slogan.

A lot of credit must be given to Gael Linn for the work they have done. Nowadays they have introduced new Linguaphone courses so that those interested in learning to speak Irish have the same opportunity as those learning to speak German or French. This leads me to the summer schools in Irish colleges. As the Minister will know, they have not only been a boon to the localities in which they are situated but have provided an excellent way for students, from an early age up to leaving certificate, to learn their native language. I suggest that this scheme could be extended to the parents of students attending these courses, for whom the schools could put on courses every afternoon. A subsidy of say, £20 or £30 towards the holidays of parents and their children from Dublin, Belfast and Cork, in Gaeltacht areas would be a great encouragement to more people to learn the language.

It has been a pity in the last ten or 15 years that the Gaeltacht areas have not been extended, part of the reason being that previous Ministers did not state why they should be extended. I suggest that the Minister should proclaim that if 50 per cent of schoolchildren on the perimeters of Gaeltacht areas passed the deontas qualifying examination in a period of two years such areas would automatically become a part of the Gaeltacht.

I have no doubt that if it had not been for the many incentives provided, particularly by Gaeltarra Éireann, the Gaeltacht areas would be even more denuded than at present. There is no use trying to retain Irish in an area from which people are emigrating to the USA, Australia, England and Scotland. If we are to encourage the speaking of Irish in Gaeltacht areas we must make serious efforts to bring industries to every townland in those areas. We must provide work for the people if we want them to continue to live in those areas. Gaeltarra Éireann have doen a great job in bringing factories to the Gaeltacht, but there is need for many more.

Emigration has been the curse of the people in Kerry, West Donegal, Connemara. We must see that the reasons for such emigration in the past will not obtain in the future. I mentioned to the Minister a case in point concerning people who leave Gaeltacht areas and who send home money from England or Scotland to build houses at home to which they can eventually return. However, such people do not get the Gaeltacht housing grant because they had not been living in a Gaeltacht area. It is clear that the reason for such people going abroad in the first place was to save up to have houses built at home. This matter should be looked into and they should be entitled to these grants. Many emigrants, fathers and mothers, return home with their children. They are fluent Irish speakers but their children, who have been reared abroad, are not and the children therefore do not qualify for the deontas. I suggest that children who have come here with their parents from England or Scotland should be given a period before they are examined for the deontas.

As I have been saying, more incentives are needed. Anybody who wants to join the civil service must qualify in Irish. It would be an incentive of a kind if we were to give a money token to civil servants who have Irish, in the form of higher salaries or wages—a sort of premium for knowledge of Irish. Here we are said to have two traditions and we have had talk about what should be done for one or the other tradition. In the Border areas some of the people in the minority tradition have not a good enough standard of Irish to allow them to enter the civil service. Such a distinction should not be applied, because we are all Irishmen and proud of it. It is an appropriate time to be speaking about restoration of the language as we are probably on the eve of direct elections to the EEC.

We must be realistic and not alone talk about Irish but must encourage people to learn other languages. The day is fast approaching that when we talk about good jobs, we will be talking about jobs where girls and boys will speak Irish and English and will have a knowledge of German, Spanish and French. As far as jobs in the EEC will be concerned no person will be refused a job because they have not got Irish but people will be given an extra incentive if they have Irish. All job-conscious people know that anybody with a knowledge of French, German, English and Irish can be practically assured of jobs with perhaps higher salaries than the salaries of Dáil Deputies. In the Gaeltacht areas we should teach through the medium of Irish but we must give a lot more thought to languages such as German, French and Spanish.

I represent the largest Gaeltacht in the country and I do not speak fluent Irish. Looking back at history we realise that some of the people from Border counties who were educated in Northern Ireland did not get a knowledge of Irish. It does not make a person any less an Irishman if he has not a fluent knowledge of Irish. We have two traditions, and nobody can say that one tradition is more Irish than the other because these traditions go back hundreds of years. The people I condemn most are the people who try to prove that they are more Irish than we, the people who probably were not even born here, the people who daub the road signs because they are bi-lingual road sings. The Gaeltacht areas need the tourist industry more than any other part of the country. The people in the Gaeltacht areas should see that this type of sign-daubing is stopped. Foreigners visiting this country expect and deserve to have bi-lingual signs in the Gaeltacht areas. There is no doubt that we have warmth and friendliness and that great hospitality is shown in these areas.

Níl aon rud os comhair na Dála ach bunú Bord na Gaeilge. The only thing before the Dáil is the establishment of a board. The Deputy is wandering a bit into generalities, and if we allow the debate to follow those lines we could lose complete control.

All this comes back to the type of Irish language we would like to foster. I wish to refer not to just the Irish language but Irish music, traditions, dancing and the Irish culture generally. There is no doubt that most of us love the Irish culture and traditions and the Minister is probably more attuned to Irish music than many in the House. When we come to the home of Irish music, Doolin in County Clare, we find that the majority of people there travelled probably half the length of the world to be there in the atmosphere and the tradition of the great Irish Gaeltacht night.

I welcome this new Bill which has tremendous possibilities. I know the problems involved. What we need at present is a new approach whereby the people will feel Irish and will be encouraged to speak Irish so as not to end up like me, representing the biggest Gaeltacht without the fluency in Irish that I would like to have. I wish the Minister the best of luck in his new portfolio. The Minister is a man from the Gaeltacht who understands the problems and I have no doubt that he will do a first class job.

Tá an-áthas orm go bhfuil an Bille seo os comhair na Dála agus cé go mba mhaith liom caint as Gaeilge ar an mBille, níl dóthain Gaeilge agam chun é sin a dhéanamh. Bhí mé ag éisteacht leis an Teachta O'Toole aréir. Thosnaigh sé ag caint go mall agus tar éis tamaill bhig bhí sé ag stealladh Gaeilge go han-líofa ar fad. Rinne sé óráid thar barr agus ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis an Teachta. This as we all know is a straightforward Bill merely consolidating the ad hoc position of the board which was operating for some time and was set up by the previous Minister. We are now giving the board statutory authority.

My experience of the setting up of this kind of board is that the first three or four years are spent on the administrative structures, the status of the various staff and interminable inter-departmental delays in deciding what status the head of the board will have, what will be his position vis-á-vis the Civil Service and so on. I hope all these difficulties have been ironed out so that the board can get on with the business it is intended to do, that is, to encourage and promote the Irish language. In my experience as a member of the Executive of the National Road Safety Association such matters delayed the business of the board far too much. If the civil servants and various Departments responsible can only cut out the red tape and get on with making decisions rapidly it would be a great help to the board.

I am interested in the Minister's remarks when he said:

Under language development schemes six areas have been selected where the aim is to extend the use of Irish in various aspects of everyday life. . . .

He mentions, amongst those six areas, Scoil Lorcáin in the Monkstown area of County Dublin. I should like to refer him to south County Dublin, to the Ballinteer area where we have an Irish school, Scoil Naithí, set up some years ago under great difficulty when Irish speakers in the district persisted. As a result we have a school that stands second to none in dedication to and encouragement in the Irish language. I would ask the board—who will be independent of the Minister— to consider extending the scheme, or setting up a similar one in south County Dublin, in the Dundrum-Ballinteer area in particular where we have a very active Irish community, one which is far from being—as was mentioned by Deputy O'Toole yesterday—fanatical about the Irish language. They are people who, like myself, are not terribly fluent in the language because they have not had an opportunity of using it as frequently as they would like but where there is the nucleus of encouragement for the language. There is the will in south County Dublin, in the Dundrum-Ballinteer area in particular, I might say, perhaps more so than in the Monkstown, County Dublin area. I fail to understand how the board arrived at Monkstown, County Dublin, as a pilot area for a scheme of this nature. Ceoltas Ceoltoirí Éireann are in Monkstown and perhaps that was the basis for that decision. I would respectfully suggest that the Minister consider an additional scheme in south County Dublin where it would be welcomed. There is no doubt about that. The goodwill is there in abundance. Scoil Naithí held a function recently to which they invited Ceoltas Ceoltoirí Éireann musicians, when the house was packed. This is a way in which we can encourage the language. Certainly the people in Scoil Naithí go out of their way to meet people and bring in people who have not a word of Irish.

I should like to refer the Minister to section 12 subsection (1) (a) of the Bill which deals with the question of membership of the Oireachtas of employees of the Board and which says:

Where a member of the staff of the Board is nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann or for election to either House of the Oireachtas he shall stand seconded from employment by the Board and shall not be paid by, or be entitled to receive from, the Board any remuneration or allowance—

(a) in case he is nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann, in respect of the period commencing on his acceptance of the nomination and ending when he ceases to be a member of that House,

While I have no particular objection to subsection (b), which is the norm anyway—that one takes leave of absence from the semi-State body—I am not privy to what is the salary scale of the full-time members of the board but I do feel this is setting an unusual precedent. I am open to correction on that. A member of a semi-State body, or of this particular board, who may have a salary of £6,000, who seeks nomination to the Seanad, who is elected to the Seanad and then has to forego his salary from the semi-State body leaves him with a salary of approximately £3,200 or whatever. Probably he would be an individual who had spent all of his life in the civil service, in the administrative area, and who was very highly qualified in that area. He will not be able to live and meet his commitments on £3,200 or whatever is the Seanad salary, which seems to me to be rather unfair. Therefore, in most semi-State bodies, if a person is elected to the Seanad he can get a day's leave of absence on the days the Seanad is sitting. But, in the event of his being elected to the Dáil, he must either resign or take leave of absence. I would ask the Minister to take another look at that subsection, which seems to me to lay down quite unfortunate conditions.

Sometimes in this House we have a very narrow vision of what it takes to run an operation such as this. I hope the membership of the executive committee will be representative of the widest possible spectrum of interests, with interest in the Irish language, in Gaeltacht areas and so on. I do not envy the Minister his job when it comes to selecting the members of that executive committee because there are so many genuine organisations that should be represented. However, I know the Minister, in his wisdom, will do the correct thing. I would say to those people who find themselves not represented to be patient, that really what is happening in the setting up of this board is in the interests of the Irish language in general.

I want to refer again to the Dublin area outside of my constituency. I should like to refer to the number of Irish schools and avail of this opportunity of paying tribute to the teachers in them. I refer especially to Scoil Nathaí, Scoil Bhríde in Ranelagh, Scoil Lorcáin in Monkstown and Coláiste Mhuire, old established schools under the Christian Brothers. They were the vanguard who stood for and with the language in good times and bad and encouraged its use. Parents who send their children to these schools, while they have sympathy for the language, also recognise the low-pupil-teacher ratio. There is the problem that the children who go to these schools have free bus passes to the nearest school to them and, if they choose to go to another school, they no longer have bus passes. For instance, parents living in Marley Grange who want to send a child to Coláiste Mhuire find that the child does not qualify for a free pass because Scoil Nathaí is nearer. I think that is unreasonable. I know this does not come under the Minister's bailiwick. It is part and parcel of the Department of Education but, if we are really serious about encouraging these schools and the language, this kind of petty bureaucracy should be wiped out. There should be flexibility. Anything else is ridiculous. Quite a number of people have mentioned this anomaly to me. It certainly does not help anyone, much less the revival of the language. I would urge the Minister to consult with the Department of Education in an effort to find some satisfactory solution.

Referring back to the attitude of Irish teachers in national schools in the Dublin area, I know they have tremendous tolerance. They recognise the limitations on their pupils. There is no element of fanaticism. Deputy O'Toole referred to the fanatics and the purists. We need the purists. We should remember that there are many fanatics who are trying to bring about the downfall of the language. In fact, that is one way in which to help the language. It is pleasing to hear Deputies speak so favourably about the language. We would all like to see a more gradual use of the language.

Perhaps this board could bring pressure on the different agencies to encourage the use of the language as Liam O Murchu has done in "Trom agus Eadrom". That programme has remained very high in the TAM ratings. In fact on one occasion it surpassed "The Late Late Show". I cannot understand why RTE decided, in its wisdom or otherwise, to drop the programme. I know it does not cost a great deal to make. In fact the cost is minimal compared with other programmes. "Trom agus Eadrom" has revived interest in the language. Children are interested in the programme. It is a mix of everything. Perhaps this board might be able to consult with RTE to see if there is any way in which it could help, because it is through this kind of programme we can bring about a greater understanding and appreciation of the language.

Many people, particularly in urban areas like Galway, Cork and Limerick, would like to avail of the summer courses for their children. Unfortunately costs have escalated and some parents cannot finance their children's trips to these schools in the Gaeltacht during the summer months. There are limits on the resources of the State, on the Department of the Gaeltacht and there will probably be limits on this new board, but the board might consider asking some of the more successful companies to sponsor scholarships to the Gaeltacht so that children in the lower income groups would be enabled to avail of these scholarships in order to visit the Gaeltacht. It might be useful to fund young people who want to avail of the Gaeltacht summer courses.

Many of the Gaeltacht courses are successful and more young people are putting pressure on their parents to make the outlay so that they can attend them. There is the danger that when they do get down to the Gaeltacht they speak more English than Irish as there is not sufficient supervision. This wastes their parents' money and the State's subvention and should not be allowed. It is not necessary to go to the Gaeltacht areas of Kerry, Donegal and Connemara as we have a summer camp within 20 or 30 miles of the city which is rigidly supervised. If the children who attended the camp did not speak Irish they were promptly put on a train and sent home.

I congratulate the Minister on introducing the Bill. I am more than delighted at the unanimous approval which it has received. It is encouraging to see that while we have political disagreements we have none in regard to the Irish language.

Mar mhalairt ar an scéal níl i gcás agam féin aon fháilte iomlán a chur roimh an mBille seo; níl i gcás agam ach fáilte theoranta a chur roimhe. Is cuimhin liom anois thart ar 30 bliain ó bhí mé im' bhuachaill scoile, agus gach re cúpla bliain bhíodh scéim nua dá bhaisteadh ag pé Rialtas a bhí i réim. Cuireadh ar chuile thaobh "fáilte Uí Cheallaigh", mar adéarfá, roimh pé scéim a bhí i gceist ag an am sin. Bíonn na páipéir bhochta Gaeilge ag scríobhadh agus ag rá go bhfuil ré nua in ann don Ghaeilge toisc an scéime nua seo, toisc an Bhille nua siúd, toisc an udaráis nua atá dhá chruthú. Ná ceapaimís sa Teach seo inniu go bhfuil scéim íontach, éachtach nua dá bhaisteadh againn inniu, ná go bhfuil scéim faoi bhráid na Dála inniu go n-éireoidh níos fearr léi ná mar a d'éirigh lena lán eile le mo linn féin, gan trácht ar na scéimeanna a d'imigh roimhe sin.

Thagair an tAire agus é ag caint inné do chúpla ceann díobh, agus dar liom féin go mb'fhearr dó iad a fhágáil as an scéal ar fad, fanacht ina thost níos túisce ná bheith ag cur i gcuimhne do dhaoine go raibh a leithéid ann mar an Páipéar Bán 1965. Is cuimhin liom maith go leor é. Sin an páipéar gur ar éigin go raibh tada ann seachas "gríosófar" seo agus "gríosófar" siúd. Bhí an Rialtas ag an am ag dul ag "gríosadh" na Ranna Stáit a bhí faoina chúram, ag dul ag "gríosadh" na n-údarás leath-státúla. Ní raibh sé i gcás acu breis Gaeilge a labhairt iad féin—ní raibh sé sin i gcás acu ar chor ar bith; ach bhí siad ag dul ag "gríosadh" Ranna Stáit, na státsheirbhísigh a bhí gan chosaint i gcoinne a leithéid, le tuilleadh Gaelige a labhairt.

Roimhe sin féin bhí an t-iar-Aire, Caoimhghín Ó Beoláin. Is cuimhin liom an t-am go raibh sé ina Aire Cosanta. Ní raibh sé i gcás aige siúd an tír a chosaint ar chor ar bith. Ní raibh sé i gcás aige ach an tArm a Ghaelú—ach oiread leis an am a raibh sé ag dul an córas votála a Shasanú. Sin an dá éacht is mó—seachas gur éirigh sé féin as oifig—a rinne Caoimhghín Ó Beoláin agus é sa bpolaitíocht. Bhí sé ag dul an tArm a Ghaelú, agus ní raibh toradh ar fiú trácht air ar an saothar sin; agus bhí sé ag dul an córas vótála a Shasanú, agus tá fhios againn go léir cé mar a d'éirigh leis an iarracht sin.

I 1965, faoi mar adúirt an tAire inné, bhí an Páipéar Bán againn agus ní raibh sa bpáipéar seo ach a lán "gríosadh". Níor labhair Aire Rialtais ná duine a bhí istigh sa Dáil seo oiread agus focal breise Gaeilge toisc an Páipéar Bán sin. Cúpla bliain ina dhiaidh bhí leabhar mór millteach eile dá fhoilsiú ag Rialtas Fhianna Fáil, "Feidhmiú Polasaí Teanga". B'shin i 1969. Rinne an tAire tagairt don pholasaí sin chomh maith agus é ag labhairt anseo inné. Is cuimhin liomsa an leabhar millteach mór céanna, agus ach oiread leis an bPáipéar Bán ní raibh ann ach "gríosadh". Ní raibh i "Feidhmiú Polasaí Teanga" i 1969 ach a lán téarmaí socheolaíochta nár chuala fiú amháin Béarlóirí trácht orthu ariamh, gan trácht ar bith ar na daoine bochta thiar sa Ghaeltacht. Bhí difríocht le feiceáil don chéad uair riamh idir "bilingualism" agus "diglossia". Dá mbeadh an t-anam le sábháil agam, ní fhéadfainn a rá inniu féin cén difríocht atá idir "diglossia" agus "bilingualism". Ach seo an bonn ar a raibh an Ghaeilge le sábháil ag an am sin.

Sin an ráiméis a bhí dá thairiscint don Teach seo agus don tír, agus airgead maith poiblí á chaitheamh air. Sin an méid a bhí mar pholasaí ag an Rialtas ag an am; agus tá sé de dhánacht ag an Aire anseo teacht isteach sa Teach seo agus am a chur amú ag cur síos ar "Feidhmiú Polasaí Teanga". Cén trácht a chualathas ó shin i leith ar "Feidhmiú Polasaí Teanga", gan trácht ar chor ar bith ar an bPáipéar Bán? Cén trácht atá le cloisint inniu ar "diglossia" nó "bilingualism" nó ar rud ar bith eile a bhí istigh sa leabhrán sin, "Feidhmiú Polasaí Teanga"?

Fágaimís Gníomh don Ghaeltacht amach as an scéal ar fad. Leabhar millteach mór eile a bhí ansin. Bhí fáiltiú oifigiúil ann, bia agus deoch dá dtairgeadh do na daoine. Cén gníomh a rinneadh don Ghaeltacht, seachas gnáthobair Roinn na Gaeltachta agus gnáthobair Ghaeltarra Éireann? An ndearnadh oiread agus rud ar bith go dtí seo, rud ar bith a bhí molta go háithrid ins an gcóras sin Gníomh don Ghaeltacht, seachas gnáthobair Ghaeltarra Éireann agus Roinn na Gaeltachta agus mar sin de? Ní dóigh liom go ndearnadh.

Ar éigin a bhí mé in ann creidiúint a thabhairt do mo shúile, mar adeirtear as Béarla, nuair a chonaic mé in óráid an Aire inné tagairt don "taighde" a rinne an tUasal Ó Colla, nó ar chuir sé ar siúl i 1970. "Taighde Uí Cholla"—tá fuaim leis an abairt a chuireann i gcuimhne dom "fáilte Uí Cheallaigh" agus a lán den tsórt—"Taighde Uí Cholla is a dhá shúil dúnta"—ba chóir dúinn seanfhocal a dhéanamh as an méid sin. B'ionann liomsa "taighde Uí Cholla" agus taighde a bhíonn dá chur ar siúl ag duine ar chuma leis ar fad pé toradh a bheidh ar an taighde chéanna. Ar chualathas a leithéid de ráiméis sa tír seo ariamh ná an taighde úd? Do thug sé cuireadh do bheanuasal ó Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, teacht abhus d'fonn a fháil amach an "dearcadh" a bhí ag an bpobal i leith na teanga Gaeilge. Chaith sé thart ar £½ mhilliún ar an scéim amaideach úd sin. Sin an cineál Rialtais a bhí againn ag an am sin, agus atá againn arís inniu.

Go dtí seo níl fhios agam an ndearnadh tagairt ar bith sa díospóireacht seo don ghníomh is fearr agus is mó dá ndearnadh riamh don Ghaeilge le leath-chéad bliain. Ba é sin an Ghaeilge a dhéanamh neamhéigeantach sna scoileanna. Níor thagair mo chara ón Dáilcheantar chéanna do sin chor ar bith inniu agus é ag caint.

Bhí "taighde Uí Cholla" á dhéanamh ocht mbliana ó shin, agus do caitheadh £½ mhilliúin ar an taighde d'fhonn a fháil amach rud a d'inseodh páiste scoile don Rialtas saor in aisce, gan pingin rua a iarradh orthu.

Tá fhios againn cén dearcadh atá ag an bpobal i leith na Gaeilge. Cinnte tá cineál comhbá agus cineál grá ag an bpobal don Ghaeilge, ach stopann sé roimh an bpointe ar a dtosódh an pobal sin á labhairt. Sin an deacracht atá ann, agus tá fhios agam na cúiseanna. Tá an teanga seo an-chrua ar fad. Sin rud nach n-admhódh a lán daoine. Is féidir le páistí scoile anseo in Éirinn rud a dhéanamh nach ndéanann páistí scoile in aon tír eile san Eoraip—dhá bhliain déag a chaitheamh ag foghlaim teanga sa scoil, agus gan a bheith in ann i ndiaidh an ama sin ar fad abairt chruinn cheart Ghaeilge a labhairt, gan a bheith in ann fiú amháin cúpán tae a fháil in ostán trí Ghaeilge tar éis an oiread sin ama a bheith caite amú aige, in a d'fhéadfadh sé Fraincís nó Gearmáinis a fhoghlaim nó rud éigin eile a bheadh úsáideach dó. Ach taréis dhá bhliain déag den chrá croí sin ní féidir leis abairt chruinn cheart Ghaeilge a labhairt.

Ní h-iad na múinteoirí is ciontach faoi sin, agus ní hiad an Rialtas atá ciontach faoi sin, nó ní chuirim an lucht iomlán orthu. Is é is mó is ciontach faoi sin, dar liomsa, ná gur teanga an-chrua ar fad í an Ghaeilge, agus tá sé in am dúinn é sin a admháil, agus gan a bheith ag cur i gcéill gur féidir le duine crash course a dhéanamh agus Gaeilge a bheith ar a thoil aige i gceann cupla seachtaine. Ní féidir é sin a dhéanamh. Níl fhios agam an bhfuil oiread agus duine ar bith sa tír seo a tógadh le Béarla, agus nár chaith blianta fada sa Ghaeltacht, go bhfuil Gaeilge ar a thoil aige chomh maith is atá an Béarla.

Sin difríocht an-mhór ar fad idir an teanga a bhfuil muidne ag dul a sábháil agus teangacha ar bith eile a bhíonn dá dteagasc sna scoileanna. Is baolach liomsa nach bhfuilimid ach ag útamáil leis an gceist nó leis an bhfadhb. Cinnte thiocfadh linn an cheist a chaitheamh amach as an bhfuinneog ar fad, gan a bheith ag ligint orainn agus ag cur i gcéill a thuilleadh go bhfuil iarracht dáiríre á dhéanamh againn chor ar bith leis an teanga a shábháil. Ach má táimid chun í a shábháil nílimid ach ag tincéireacht leis an cheist sin le Bille dá leithéid seo.

Tá sé leathanach sa Bhille. Ó alt a 4 anuas níl sa Bhille ach gná fhorálacha a bhíonn i ngach Bille dá shórt ina mbíonn bord reachtúil dá bhunú. Níl tada nua sa Bhille seo, nó is beag a bhfuil nua ann seachas na feidhmeanna agus na cumhachtaí a luaitear in alt a 3. Ach nuair a léim alt a 3 feicim go mbeidh "feidhmeanna ginearálta" ag an mBord a bheidh "faoi réir aon Aire Rialtais a bheith freagrach i ngné áirithe bheartais i ndáil leis an nGaeilge". Is ionann sin agus a rá nach mbeidh smacht ceart ag an mBord seo ar ghné ar bith muna dtoilíonn pé Aire atá freagrach ar ghné áirithe den pholasaí i leith na Gaeilge go gcuirfidh an Bord a ladar isteach sa scéal.

Níl smacht ag an mBord ar an oideachas. Níl smacht ag an mBord ar an Ghaeltacht ná ar shaol eacnamaíochta na Gaeltachta. Níl smacht ná tionchar ag an mBord ar RTE, ná ar na húdaráis áitiúla ná ar an "gcomhshaol", má tá a leithéid d'fhocal ann.

Nach amaideach dúinn bheith ag dul ag bunú bord chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn, go háirithe mar theanga bheo, gan smacht ag an mBord seo ar an gcóras oideachais nó gan tionchar a bheith ag an mBord ar an chaoi ina mbíonn an Ghaeilge dá teagasc sna scoileanna?

Tá clann agamsa agus, cosúil le daoine eile, tá an chlann sin ag freastal ar an scoil agus tá Gaeilge á foghlaim acu. Tá maicín agamsa sa bhaile atá ag dul isteach ar an scrúdú meánteistiméireachta i mbliana. Nuair a fheicim an crá croí a bhíonn dá fhulaingt ag an maicín sin, gan oiread agus puinn smachta a bheith ag an mBord ar an gcóras oideachais, fiafraím díom féin, céard tá ar siúl anseo againn in aon chor? An cur i gcéill ar fad atá ar siúl againn inniu agus inné?

Ní tharlaíonn sé go minic, ach ó am go céile tagainn an maicín sin chugamsa, agus iarrann sé orm cabhair lena chuid filíochta agus lena chuid próis a aistriú go Béarla. Níl an lad seo ach 14 bliana d'aois go fóill. Ní féidir leis Gaeilge cheart a labhairt ná abairtí simplí a labhairt go fóill. Ar éigin más féidir leis fiú amháin cupán tae a fháil dó féin as Gaeilge, ach bíonn dríodar mar "Ceo draíochta i gcoim oíche do sheol mé" le foghlaim aige. Cuirim "dríodar" ar an bhfilíocht sin, ní ó thaobh filíochta de, ach is dríodar é don mhaicín sin. Bíonn dosaen nó scór focail i ngach aon bhéarsa don dán sin, gan trácht ar an maicín atá agam sa bhaile, nach féidir le fiú amháin duine as Chonamara a thuiscint. Ní haon locht é sin ar an dán sin mar fhilíocht, ach locht ar an chóras oideachais. Níl ann ach crá croí do na micléinn agus, chun an fhírinne a rá, ní dóigh liom ach gur ionann an scéal ó thaobh na múinteoirí de. Dá mba mhuinteoir mé féin ní fhéadfainn an dán sin a mhíniú don rang gan a lán staidéir a bheith déanta agam roimh ré agus an méid sin do chuile dán dá mbíonn le foghlaim acu. "Ceo draíochta i gcoir oíche do sheol mé", agus níl an buachaill in ann fiú amháin, páipéir nuachtán a cheannach. Tá súil agam go n-éireoidh go geal leis i nGaeilge sa scrúdú meánteistiméireachta agus más féidir leis cúpla céad des na focail crua sa dán sin a chur de ghlan mheabhair éireoidh leis, le cúnamh Dé. Ach níl aon chiall ag baint leis ó thaobh oideachais, beag nó mór.

Leis an bprós, níl an scéal éagsúil. Tá gearrscéal le foghlaim ag an laidín bocht, gearrscéal le Niall Ó Domhnaill, agus caithfidh mé a admháil gur an-álainn agus gur an-bhreá an gearrscéal é agus go gcorródh sé an croí ionnat—"Nead na Riabhóige". Ach tá mé ag ceapadh go bhfuil, ar a laghad, céad focail san úrscéal sin nach dtuigtear taobh amuigh den pharóiste nó den chontae in ar tógadh Niall Ó Domhnaill. Cén chiall atá ag baint le sin, bheith ag dul ag múineadh focail mar sin nach tuigtear i gConamara nó i gCiarraí nó in áit ar bith seachas an áit in ar tógadh an t-údar do lad óg as Baile Átha Cliath ar éigin a bhfuil ar a chumas aige béile bia in óstán a fháil dó féin as Gaeilge.

Muna mbíonn ar chumas an Bhoird nua seo smacht éigin a bheith ar an gcóras oideachais agus réasún éigin a thabhairt isteach sa gcóras oideachais ó thaobh teagasc na Gaeilge de, is fánach againn bheith ag útamáil le bord mar seo nó le bord ar bith eile, nó le údarás nó le taighde nó le tuarascáil nó ué ráiméis eile atá feicthe againn sa Teach seo agus sa tír tré chéile le leath-chéad blian anuas.

Is ar na scoileanna agus ar na scoláirí óga is mó atáimid ag brath leis an Ghaeilge a shábháil, gan trácht ar a leathadh amach. Ach féach an timpeallacht atá thart ar na scoláirí óg faoi láthair, agus níl mé ag trácht ar thimpeallacht na scoile ach an timpeallacht amuigh ar an tsráid. Má fhéachann tú ar an timpeallacht sin go cruinn mar dhuine fásta, caithfidh tú a admháil gurb é an tuairim a thabharfadh sé do dhuine óg ná gur cuma sa diabhal an Ghaeilge ní amháin leis an saol mhór, ach leis na húdaráis is mó agus is túisce ba chóir í a bheith mar chúram acu.

Féach fiú amháin na leabhair scoile. Is cuimhin liom an uair a tháinig "Litriú na Gaeilge" amach, i 1948, tá mé ag ceapadh. Seo an chóip a cheannaigh mé féin agus bhí sé mar fháinne geal an lae dhom, beagán réasúin, beagán caighdéain, beagán cruinnis sa Ghaeilge, a fheiceáil sa rud nach raibh ach praiseach ann, dar liom féin, roimhe sin. "Litriú na Gaeilge" agus, ina dhiaidh sin, "Gramadach na Gaeilge"; agus ba mhaith liom traoslú le Rannóg an Aistriúcháin a rinne sár-obair le blianta fada anuas, sár-obair gur cuma sa diabhal le Rialtas ar bith sa tír seo í, chun caighdeán agus chun réasún de chineál ar bith a thabhairt isteach do scríobhadh na teanga seo.

Tá caighdeán oifigiúil againn le 30 bliain anuas ach féach an leabhar scoile a fuair mé ó mo mhaicín inniu. Ar an taobh seo tá scríobhtha "Páipéar scrúduithe" agus ar an dtaobh chúl: "Is mian linn ár mbuíochas a ghabháil le Ceannasaí Oifig an tSoláthair as ucht cead a thabhairt dúinn cóipeanna a dhéanamh de na páipéir scrúdaithe atá sa leabhar seo." Sa chéad áit an focal mar "scrúduithe" agus sa dara háit mar "scrúdaithe". Pé acu atá ceart? An bhfuil fhios ag an Aire? An bhfuil fhios ag a lucht comhairle? Ní dóigh liom é. Nuair a tháinig an caighdeán oifigiúil amach bhí fhios ag an domhan cé acu a bhí ceart ach tá sé dearmadtha anois. Níl mé ag gearán faoi botún chló. Ní botún cló atá i gceist anseo, ach gur cuma sa diabhal ag pé duine atá i gcúram foilsithe an leabhair seo cad tá scríobhtha ar an leabhar. Dá mba chás leis é, ní bheadh a leithéid de bhotún ann.

"Meán-Teist"—an bhfuil an focal sin le fáil i bhfoclóir Dineen nó i bhfoclóir ar bith eile? Cad is brí le "Meán-Teist"? An bhfuil focal Gaeilge "Teist" ann gur ionann le "certificate" é? Tá an focal "Teist" ann ceart go leor, ach ní dóigh liom go gciallaíonn "Meán-Teist", "Intermediate Certificate". Sin botún amaideach, agus ní cóir a leithéid a bheith ar chlúdach leabhair mar sin.

Nuair a fheiceann laidín stuama a leithéid bíonn iontas air ar dtús, ach tar éis tamaill tagann gruaim ar a chroí agus dímheas, ní amháin don teanga ach don saol atá fite fuaite leis an teanga agus an saol polaitíochta chomh maith in a gceaptar gur Gaeil níos fearr muid ná an lucht atá gan Ghaeilge.

Tá leabhar eile agam anseo agus sílim nach bhfuil sé ar eolas ag an gComhlucht Oideachais cé chaoi a litrítear "comhlucht" i gceart de réir an chaighdeáin. Níl fhios fiú amháin ag an gcomhlucht seo cad a chiallaíonn an focal "comhlucht" agus cén chaoi é a litriú.

D'fhéadfadh an tAire a rá nach bhfuil sna pointí sin ach pointí pedainteacha. Mura mbeadh ann ach sin ní chuirfinn am an Tí amú lena leithéid, ach tá sin le feiceáil mórán chuile áit sa tír seo. Ní botúin litrithe amháin atá i gceist, ach gur comhartha iad gur cuma leis na húdaráis pé cruth atá ar an teanga. Mar a dúirt mé go minic as Béarla, is é an dearcadh atá ar na húdaráis ná, "if it is Irish that is wanted any old rubbish will do".

Má théann an buachaill óg amach ar na sráideanna, rud nach féidir leis a sheacaint, feiceann sé comharthaí sráide, na plátaí iarainn atá greamaithe do na ballaí agus ainm na sráide orthu. Tá mé ag rá i ndáiríre go bhfuil níos mó ná 50 faoin gcéad de na comharthaí sráide sin lochtach ó thaobh Gaeilge de. Tá cuid acu comh lochtach sin go bhfuil sé cinnte nár leag oifigeach nó feidhmeannach ar bith súil orthu tar éis iad a bheith péinteáilte: "Fire it out and fit it up, any old slobber will do". Mura mbeadh ann ach sin, cosnaoínn sé airgead. Má táimíd chun comharthaí bhóthar Ghaeilge a bheith againn, ba chóir iad bheith ceart, agus mura bhfuil fúinn ach ráiméis atá in ainm a bheith mar Ghaeilge a chur suas mar ainm sráide, b'fhearr dúinn an t-airgead a spáráil dúinn féin agus gan é a chur amú. Sin é an timpeallacht Gaeilge. Dá gcaithfeadh duine ón taobh seo den Teach anuas ar an chineál ráiméis sin, sé an freagra a gheobhfadh sé ón taobh eile ná "Sure you are not an Irishman at all; sure you do not want the Irish at all"

Is cás linn an Ghaeilge ach teastaíonn uainn go mbeadh beagán measa ag an Rialtas, ag na daoine atá i gcúram na ceiste seo, ar an teanga, an rud atá ina gcúram. Is cuimhin liom roinnt blianta ó shin go raibh páipéar litreach, notepaper, ag an Roinn Oideachais—ag an Roinn Oideachais, murar miste leat—agus sé a bhí clóbhuailte ar an bpáipéar sin ná ráiméis, agus d'fhéadfadh Béarlóir fháil amach gurbh é a bhí i gceist ag an duine a chum agus a chuir an ráiméis sin i gcló ná "Any reply should be sent to the Secretary". Sin an rud a bhí i gceist aige; ach sé an chiall is túisce a d'fhéadfadh Gaeilgeoir a fháil as an bpraiseach a bhí clóite ná "It would be a crime to send a bird-reply to the Secretary".

Baintear marcanna ó scoláirí mar gheall air séimhithe nó síníthe a fhágáil amach ó aiste, ach tar éis iad bheith ina stát seirbhísí nó ina nAirí féin, is cuma leo sa diabhal síníthe nó séimhithe nó rud ar bith eile seachas beagáinín slabar a fhoilsiú agus dallamullóg a chur ar na daoine.

Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil rud ar bith eile atá ann seachas snámh in aghaidh easa do na múinteoirí agus do Ghaelgóirí bheith ag iarraidh an taoide a chur siar, mar adúirt duine éigin níos luaithe. Ní ach ag snámh in aghaidh easa atá siad má bhíonn orthu coimhlint agus troid in aghaidh rudaí mar sin ó thaobh an Rialtais agus ón taobh oifigiúil. B'fhearr dóibh éirí as an iarracht agus a saoil a chaitheamh ar rudaí a bheadh fiúntach ar bhealach éigin eile. Is fuath liom é sin. B'fhearr liom gan focal amháin Gaeilge bheith agam riamh dá mb'éigean dom dallamullóg dá leithéid a chur ar na daoine.

Failtím go teoranta roimh an mBille. Níl locht le fáil agam ar an mBord seo. Tá súil agam go ndéanfaidh siad obair fiúntach. Feicimíd é sin de réir a saothair. Ní maith liom an Bord seo a dhamnáil roimh ré, ach mar adúirt mé cúpla uair roimhe seo, ní dóigh liom go bhfuil aon bhealach eile leis an Ghaeilge a shábháil nó a chur chun cinn seachas comhluadar nua Ghaeltachta a bhunú as an nua. Is trua liom é sin a rá, ach tá mé ag ceapadh go bhfuil an misneach beagnach imithe as na Gaeltachtaí atá ann faoi láthair. Tá fhios agam go maith go séanfadh an tAire an méid sin— níl an dara rogha aige ach an méid sin a shéanadh. Ar aon nós, tá an misneach beagnach imithe uathu, agus ní i dtaobh easba eacnamaiochta, tá siad i bhfad níos fearr ó thaobh monarchana agus obair, agus tá airgead i bhfad níos fairsinge ins an Ghaeltacht anois seachas mar a bhí deich nó 20 bliain ó shin. Ach ó thaobh labhairt na Ghaeilge agus a gcroí bheith fite fuaite leis an Ghaeilge agus leis an saol a bhaineann léi, tá mé ag ceapadh go bhfuil a misneach caillte, go bhfuil an saol Béarla ag brú isteach orthu, agus nach féidir le hiarrachtaí atá déanta ag an Roinn seo nó an Roinn siúd, nó an t-údarás seo nó an scéim siúd, an saol sin a chasadh siar. Ach dá b'fhéadfaí an spiorad comharchumannach a úsáid i gcúrsaí dá leithéid, nó comhluadar nua a bhunú, b'fhéidir an láithreán nua cúpla míle acra, talamh mar sin a cheannach ar shlí ar bith agus é a fheabhsú agus a leasú, agus comhluadar nua a mhealladh isteach ins an láithreán sin ó chuile áird den tír, comhluadar a bheadh comhaonta, daoine díograiseacha chun comharsanacht nua a bhunú, b'fhéidir go mbeadh toradh suimiúil ar an iarracht sin.

Dá gcaithfí airgead ar scéim mar sin, ó thaobh títhíochta, monarchana, curadóireachta, foraoiseachta agus mar sin de, mura mbeadh ann ach Gaeilgoirí díogaisacha, cúpla míle dóibh agus trí prionsabal an chomharchumainn a chur i gcrích acu—iad fhéin a chothú iad fhéin a chaomhnú mar comhluadar, agus spiorad a leathnú amach san tsean-Ghaeltacht, agus misneach a thabhairt ar ais atá á chailliúnt in aghaidh an lae—ní fhéadfadh iarracht mar sin nó tuairim mar sin bheith níos amaidí ná a lán iarrachtaí dá bhfacamar go nuige seo. Ach go dtí go mbeidh iarracht mar seo a mhusclódh suim an phobail, go dtí go mbeimid toilteanach airgead a chaitheamh agus b'fhéidir botúin a dhéanamh, nílimíd sa Teach seo ach ag cur i géill agus ag ligint orainn. Seo an fáth nach gcuirim inniu ach fáilte theoranta roimh an iarracht seo.

Tá déistean agus ionadh orm tar éis éisteacht leis an Teachta Ó Ceallaigh labhairt amach chomh nimhneach faoi mar is gnáth leis a dhéanamh in ionad moltaí de shaghas éigin a dhéanamh agus ní luafaidh mé ach dhá cheann, sé sin, gur ceart Gaeltachtaí nua a bhunú agus gur ceart roinnt comharchumann a bhunú.

Dúirt sé go bhfuil an teanga róchrua agus go bhfuil sí níos deacra é a fhoghlaim ná an Béarla ná an Fhraincis. Níl sé sin fíor ach an oiread. Ó thaobh daoine áirithe tá bréag-ghalántacht ag baint le foghlaim na Fraincise. Caitfidh mé a adhmáil nach raibh aon duine sa bhunscoil liomsa nár imigh ón scoil le líofacht Gaeilge a bheith aici. Is dóigh liom go bhfuil scoláirí an lae inniu chomh éirimiúil agus bhí scoláirí na linne sin. Buíochas le Dia nach bhfuil an dearcadh céanna ag Teachtaí eile sa Teach seo is atá ag an Teachta Kelly. Daoine mar é ag clamhsán agus ag gearán faoin teanga a thugann ar na daoine óga cúl a thabhairt leis an teanga.

Is mian liom fáilte a chur roimh an mBille. Mar adúirt an tAire, tá sé bhliain ann ó mholadh gur cheart Bord Gaeilge a chur ar bun. Tá áthas orainn go léir gur ghlac an tiar-Aire, an Teachta Ó Domhnaill, leis an moladh sin. Ach tá áthas níos mó ná sin orainn go bhfuil an tAire chun rud a dhéanamh air, agus más maith, go deimhin, is mithid rud éigin fónta a dhéanamh ar son na teangan. Tá súil agam go mbeidh na glúnta a thiocfaidh in ár ndiaidh buíoch den Aire agus den Rialtas.

Is é mo thuairimse gurb é an teanga an comhartha náisiúnachais is tábhachtaí dá bhfuil againn. Tá seanfhocal ann ag cuidiú leis a deireann: "Tír gan anam, tír gan teanga". Tá ceann eile ann a deireann rud éigin mar seo: Tír gan teanga, níl ann ach leath-thír. Tá áthas orm a fheiceáil go bhfuil breis airgid le fáil ag an mbord. Tá breis agus dhá oiread le fáil acu. Tá áthas orm freisin go bhfuil clár ciallmhar leagtha amach chun an t-airgead sin a chaitheamh—ag gabháil tríd na gceantar atá tofa. Molaim an tAire as na ceantair sin a phiocadh amach. Cur i gcás, i Mainistir na Féile. Tá sean aithne agam ar mhuintir Mhainistir na Féile. Bhuaigh siad Glór na nGael na blianta fada ó shin—in aimsir Éamon de Valera, is dóigh liom—agus níor staon siad ó shin ach ag obair ar son na Gaeilge, ar son ceoil agus ar son gach a bhaineann le dúchas ár dtíre. Tá áthas orm leis gur toghadh an Daingean, mar cuireann sé ionadh ar a lán daoine nuair a chloiseann siad nach bhfuil an Daingean sa Ghaeltacht. Tá súil agam anois, os rud é go bhfuil an seans acu, go n-éireoidh leo iad féin a chruthú. Ba bhreá liom leis dá mbeadh seans ag cuid de na breacGhaeltachtaí eile an rud céanna a dhéanamh. Caithfimid leathnú amach ón nGaeltacht. Ní féidir falla a chur timpeall na Gaeltachta. Is mithid go ndéanfaimis iarracht ar an nGaeltacht a leathnú.

Is ciallmhar leis go bhfuil na cláracha a bheidh ar siúl sna ceantair sin bunaithe ar thuairimí muintir na gceantar, mar is ag muintir na háite is fearr a fhios cad a oireann don áit in a gcónaíonn siad. Is maith an rud leis an plean drámaíochta mar níl gléas níos fearr chun labhairt na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn ná an drámaíocht.

Is deas an cuimhne leis coistí Gaeilge a bhunú sna h-iarscoileanna, sna coláistí oiliúna agus sna h-ollscoileanna. Ó thaobh na dian chúrsaí do dhaoine fásta dhe, ní dóigh liom gur cheart iad san a choimeád sna ceantair fhorbartha. Is dóigh liom gur ceart na cúrsaí sin a leathnú ar fud na tíre. De réir mar adúirt an Teachta Begley, ba cheart dul siar go dtí sean scéim na dtimirí Gaeilge—fir an rothair a rinne obair comh h-iontach sin ar son na teangan. Ag cuimhneamh ar sin dom déarfainn gur cheart rang Gaeilge sa tseachtain a bheith ins gach sráidbhaile, mar a múinfí an teanga, filíocht, dánta, amhráin agus mar sin de. Is dóigh liom dá ndéanfaí é sin nach fada go mbeadh toradh le feiceáil.

Taobh amuigh den scéim don GAA is dóigh liom gur cheart cuimhneamh ar Mhacra na Tuaithe agus na daoine óga sin agus ar na heagraíochtaí deonacha eile nach bhfuil baint mórán acu leis an nGaeilge. B'fhéidir go bhféadfadh an bord iad san a ghríosadh—Bantracht na Tuaithe, Muintir na Tíre agus na dreamanna eile mar iad. D'fhéadfaidís san roinnt ama a chaitheamh leis an nGaeilge leis dá n-iarrfaí orthu.

Tá scéim an-dheas gur mhaith liom a mholadh leis. Tá sé ar siúl ag Comharchumann Íde sa bhFaing. Is amhlaidh a chuireann siad cúrsaí samhraidh ar siúl sna sráid bhailtí mór thimpeall. Tá sé sin an-tábhachtach, mar tá a lán daoine, mar adúirt duine éigin eile, nach acmhainn dóibh dul go dtí an Ghaeltacht agus b'fhéidir nuair a bheadh na daoine óga seo ag obair ar ball go dtabharfaidís aghaidh ar an nGaeltacht. Ach is dóigh liom gur bhreá an rud dá bhféadfaimís cabhair a thabhairt dóibh.

Rud eile a chuireann ionadh orm go minic gurb iad na scoláirí is fearr a fhaghann na scoláireachtaí chun dul ar an nGaeltacht. Is é mo thuairim gurb iad na daoine laga go mbíonn an chabhair ag teastáil uathu.

Bhí daoine ag caint mar gheall ar RTE. Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil a chion déanta ag an radio ná ag an dteilifís ar son na Gaeilge. Is beag rud a chuaigh i bhfeidhm ar mhuintir na hÉireann chomh mór is a chuaigh "Trom agus Éadrom". Is amhlaidh a mhúscail sé sin suim an ghnáth duine agus cuireadh in iúl don duine sin go raibh a lán Gaeilge aige.

Roinnt blianta ó shin bhí sé de onóir agam Oireachtas na Gaeilge a oscailt— tá sé suas le fiche bliain anois, déarfainn. Dúirt mé an oíche sin nach raibh aon droch-Ghaeilge ann. Mar dá olcas an Ghaeilge atá ag duine is fearr í ná Béarla. Níl Béarla ró-chruinn á labhairt ag daoine agus níl éinne ag tabhairt amach faoi. Sula bhfágann mé "Trom agus Éadrom" is dóigh liom gur cheart moladh a thabhairt do na cláir eile Ghaeilge a bhíonn ar an teilifís, "Amuigh Faoin Spéir" ag Eamonn de Buitléir. Cláir mhaith eile "Féach" agus "Radharc". Ach ní dóigh liom gur féidir le h-aon cheann acu teacht suas le "Trom agus Eadrom" chun suim an ghnath dhuine agus labhairt na Gaeilge a chothú ar leibhéal an pharóiste.

So bhliain 1970 do chuir an Tánaiste, Seoirse Ó Colla, coiste ar bun chun dearcadh an phobail i leith na Gaeilge a thomhais, agus do chuir sé áthas ar gach duine sa tír seo a chlos go raibh deá-thoil don teanga go foirleathan. Tá an taighde go léir déanta anois agus an t-am chun gnímh tagtha. B'fhéidir gurb é seo an cath deireannach ar son na Gaeilge agus ar an mbord seo agus ar chéim seo an lae inniu a bheidh bás nó beatha na teangan ag brath.

Mar adúirt duine éigin tá an taoide linn agus ba cheart é ghabháil ina lántsruth. Tá athbheochain na Gaeilge agus leathnú na Gaeilge ag brath go mór mhór ar na múinteoirí Gaeilge, agus ón dtaobh sin ba cheart dos na daoine atá ag dul le múinteoireacht, nuair a bhíonn siad tréanálta, Gaeilge líofa cruinn a bheith acu agus thar sin ba cheart an croi a bheith san áit cheart acu agus creideamh na Gaeilge a bheith acu mar muna mbíonn sé sin ann déanfaidh na múinteóirí sin níos mó damáiste ná maitheas don Ghaeilge.

Le fiche bliain do cuireadh an bhéim ró-mhór ar scríobh na teangan agus ar an ngramadach. Ba cheart i rith na mblianta sin go mbeadh an bhéim ar labhairt na Gaeilge agus sin é an fáth nach bhfuil labhairt na teangan chomh leathan agus ba cheart é bheith. Do thaispeáin "Trom agus Eadrom" go raibh foclóir leathan Gaeilge ag gach duine faoi bhun 60 bliain ach is é an rud atá le déanamh ag Bord na Gaeilge anois ná seift a aimsiú chun an foclóir sin a úsáid. Sin an t-éacht atá le déanamh acu agus is mór an obair í.

Tuairim eile atá agam gur ceart teacht ar ghrá don teangan tríd an Bhéarla mar dhein Tomás Dáibhis agus Na hEireannaigh Óga. Dúirt an tAire féin gur cheart do na Teachtaí Dála deá-shampla a thabhairt, agus creidim an méid sin leis. Ba cheart d'aon duine go bhfuil focal Gaeilge aige nó romnt Ghaeilge aige, í úsáid agus í a labhairt chomh minic agus is féidir mar is fánach a bheith ag tnúth leis na leanaí í do labhairt nuair nach dtugann na daoine fásta an deá-shampla.

Bhí duine éigin ag trácht ar théacsleabhair agus sé mo thuairim go bhfuil an iomad teacsleabhair againn agus ba cheart cloí le ceann nó dhó, ceann ina bhfuil caint na ndaoine mar a bhíodh againn nuair a bhí Séadna mar bhonn againn agus dá mbeadh Séadna ag gach duine sa tír seo bheadh dóthain Ghaeilge aige i rith a shaoil.

Nuair a bhí mé ag caint ansin faoi na ranganna Gaeilge dhearmadaigh mé a rá gur cheart iad a mheascadh leis an chaitheamh aimsire, sé sin ba cheart roinnt cheoil agus rince agus amhráin a bheith sna ranganna sin leis. Déantear sin de ghnáth in aon áit ina mbíonn ranganna Gaeilge mar a bhíonn sna coláistí faoin nGaeltacht nó faoin nGalltacht leis.

Maidir leis na téacsleabhair is dóigh liom gur ceart cloí le canúint an cheantair mar má chaillimíd canúint an cheantair caillimíd a lán de shaibhreas na teangan, múnlaí agus cora cainte agus ní ceart aon tseod ná saibhreas mar sin a chailliúint.

Ar an mbord seo Gaeilge tá súil agam go mbeidh roinnt ban mar is os na máithreacha a fhaghann na leanaí labhairt teanga agus is dóigh liom go dtuigfeadh na mná conas tabhairt faoi múineadh leanaí agus go mbeadh smaointí nua éigin le tabhairt acu don bhord nua. Mar adúirt a lán daoine a bhí ag caint níl sa Bhille seo ach gléas chun an teanga bheo a chur ar fud na tíre. Seachas na mná ba mhaith liom daoine a fheiceáil ar an mbord go bhfuil a ndáiríreacht agus a gcumas taispeánta acu agus cruthaithe acu go dtí seo, daoine go bhfuil toradh a gcuid oibre le feiceáil ina gceantair féin. Ba cheart ár mbuíochas a ghabháil leis na heagraíochtaí Gaeilge go léir ar nós Conradh na Gaeilge, Gael-Linn, Glór na nGael agus go deimhin a lán eile ba liosta le háireamh.

Mar focal scoir, tá súil agam go n-éireoidh leis an mBille seo an priomh-aidhm atá mar bhun leis a aimsiú, sé sin an Ghaeilge bheo a leathnú ar fud na tíre. Ná bíodh sé le rá ag na glúnta a thiocfaidh inár ndiaidh gur theipeamarne orthu agus nar chuireamar an teanga chucu leis an iarracht atá ar siúl againn anseo inniu.

Ar dtús ba mhaith liom fáiltiú roimh an mBille seo agus ba cheart dom a rá nach bhfuil Gaeilge ar mo mhian agam ach déanfaidh mé mo dhícheall agus ní féidir le héinne níos mó a dhéanamh.

Maidir leis an mBille, bhí mé ag éisteacht leis an díospóireacht sa Teach seo inné agus beagáinín inniu. Tá aiféala orm nár chuala mé ráiteas an Aire ach léigh mé go cúramach é idir Bhéarla agus Ghaeilge. Déanfaidh mé tagairt do ráiteas an Aire níos déanaí ach ba mhaith liom anois cúpla focal a rá ar an méid a chuala mé ó na Teachtaí eile. Aontaím go hiomlán leis an méid adúirt an Teachta O'Toole maidir le phonetics agus grammatical purists. Ba mhaith liom dul níos fuide ná sin agus a rá go bhfuil a lán de na daoine seo seanaimseartha ag múineadh an aosa óig. Tá a lán díobhála déanta ag na daoine seo cé gur cheap siad go raibh a mhalairt á dhéanamh acu. Chuir mé spéis sa méid adúirt an Teachta Briscoe cé gur admhaigh sé nach raibh Gaeilge ar bith aige féin ach dúirt sé go mba cheart úsáid a bhaint as an teanga. Tá an ceart go hiomlán aige sa mhéid sin. Is minic a bhíonn daoine cosúil liom féin faiteach Gaeilge a labhairt roimh daoine áirithe, agus chomh fada agus a bhíonn an scéal amhlaidh ní éireoidh le feachtas na teanga. Má thugann daoine cosúil liomsa deá-shampla beidh mé ag súil go leanfaidh daoine eile mé agus go mbainfidh siad úsáid as an mbeagán Gaeilge atá acu. Molfaidh mé teanga ar bith. Is cumarsáid atá i gceist agus má thuigeann daoine eile thú níl sé mí-cheart focail Bhéarla a úsáid. Chuala mé féin go minic fear as Chonamara agus é ag iarraidh "20 fags agus bosca matches". Tá samplaí eile. Chuala mé duine ag rá: "Tá mé ag dul síos an road ar mo bhicycle". Sílim gurb é sin an chaoi a d'fhoghlaim na cainteoirí dúchais a gcuid Gaeilge. Ní Gaeilge nó Béarla é sin, ach tá sé soiléir agus tuigeann na daoine é.

Similarly it would be no harm— indeed, it would be a very good thing —if people with a little Irish used whatever Irish they have where possible even when speaking in English. In that way they would expand their vocabulary and perhaps in time that of others. The major difference idir Gaeilge agus Béarla is the fact that English is a practical language in everyday use. Ní féidir an rud céanna a rá mar gheall ar an Ghaeilge, and the lack of practicality where Irish is concerned is the biggest single problem which must be solved before the language can be saved. It must be given a practical value for ordinary people.

All parties are at one in their desire to revive the language, and so this debate is not politically divisive. That is as it should be. I criticise the brevity of the Minister's speech because, in my view, he had a golden opportunity to tell the House and the country his plans for reviving the language. A great deal of lip service has been paid to reviving the language but very little has really been done. Some would hold that there is a clash between the aim of a united Ireland and the revival of the language. I do not share that view. It has been argued that if Irish were to become an important part of the cultural life of this part of the country that would widen the gap between us and the people in the North. There is plenty of room for cultural diversity.

When I refer to lip service I am not talking about the present Government. I am talking about our performance since independence. Compulsion is now gone and it is generally agreed that that is a good thing. Deputy O'Toole referred yesterday to fanatics. Fanatics and compulsion put many people off the language. They engendered resentment against the language. Most of the resentment is now gone and there is more goodwill. That is something I heartily welcome. Coming in here this morning I was studying the bilingual road signs. Some of the translations are laughable—Bessboro Road, Bothar Besbra. There is no consistency. One can get different versions in Irish on the same road and another version on the bus. There has been an amateur approach. We have not shown ourselves to be really serious about reviving the language. However, there is a better atmosphere at the moment and, because there is, revival has a much better chance of succeeding.

The language will have to be made of practical use, and this is where industry, commerce and advertising could come in. Advertising can be very effective. There is one advertisement at the moment for a certain brew—I must declare my interest in the company—which is now becoming a sort of slogan: Tá sé ag teacht. It is a witty advertisement. More such advertising would be a good thing. There could be some incentive given to promote such advertising. Revival will come about by encouragement and not by compulsion and commercial people will respond if they have a financial incentive. If we spent a million pounds a year in that area it might be more effective than the large amount of money that has already been wasted.

Radio na Gaeltachta is mainly listened to by those who are enthusiastic about the language. This station was originally set up for the Gaeltacht area but I think it should be called Radio 2, the Irish speaking station. Its name suggests to my constituents that they have no right to listen to it, that it is for the Gaeltacht area. This station should also be developed in a way in which it would be of more interest to people in other areas.

I know it would not be a commercial proposition but we should have a good daily newspaper in Irish. Such a newspaper would be of real value to the language. Indeed, more politicians would speak Irish if we had an Irish daily newspaper. The only people who speak Irish in this House are those who are directly involved with the Gaeltacht. The only Minister who is asked questions in Irish is the Minister for the Gaeltacht, which is a pity. The Minister was quite right in circulating his speech in English and Irish. If he had not done so it would not have been reported in today's papers.

Our daily and weekly newspapers should be given an incentive to use more Irish, such as captions over photographs and in other ways that would be easily understood by everyone. Our newspapers are penalised at present by the amount of VAT on them. One of the reasons why the VAT cannot be removed is that we cannot discriminate between Irish and EEC newspapers, but there should be an incentive scheme for newspapers that publish a certain number of articles in Irish. For instance, if 20 per cent of the contents of newspapers were printed in Irish they should qualify for a grant from Roinn na Gaeltachta, which should be called Roinn na Gaeilge. There should be a system of communication in Irish on radio, in newspapers and in advertising,

In Canada, which is a bilingual country, most goods are packaged in both languages. I do not want to add unnecessarily to the costs of industry, but the co-operation of industry should be sought to do this on a voluntary basis at first. All these things would help to make Irish an everyday language. I do not want to go into the realms of the ridiculous by suggesting that we should have a full Irish television service. I do not believe it is possible, because films are not made in Irish, but I hope that RTE 2 becomes a bilingual station. A programme which has captivated many people is "Trom agus Eadtrom" and it has won many people over to the language. I hope that RTE 2 will show popular programmes in both Irish and English.

In my constituency there is an active Conradh na Gaeilge group and I have a very good relationship with them. A sub-group of them started a naíscoil cúpla bliain ó shin. Anois tá bunscoil ann ar feadh bliain. Is é seo an dara bhliain. During a by-election in the constituency they asked me and other candidates to talk to them. They asked me what I thought was wrong with the language. I told them that the language was always associated with a certain type of music, attitude and dress which was off-putting for many people. I do not want anyone to think I am criticising traditional Irish music and culture, because I like it; but you can have enough of that. Young people would like to hear their kind of music in Irish. If the French had continued with the sort of culture they had 200 years ago their language would not be too popular today. Today there are pop songs in French, English and German. That is an area in which Bord na Gaeilge could get involved to encourage and even subsidise an agency to promote popular music in Irish. Many believe it should not be in Irish because it is not fíor Gaeilge, not true Irish. I am very much opposed to that. We will have to have popular music in Irish.

In my constituency all the young people and many others listen every day to Radio Dublin, Alternative Radio Dublin and the third one Big D where there is music non-stop. There are odd news flashes and weather reports. They are very enthusiastic about these stations. It would be suicidal for a Deputy from my area to be critical of them. If a radio station carried Irish pop music it could be popular. That is not impossible. If you can get young people to sing good attractive Irish songs with a beat you are on the way to reviving the Irish language. I would not underestimate that.

There should be a much more determined effort to encourage the use of the language in every day life. It is not feasible at the moment because there is not a practical way of using it. Another area which needs looking at is the whole question of publications in Irish. I do not mean official publications. I mean having good novels and biographies translated into Irish. I know that in translation they sometimes lose their effect. If we had a wide-ranging selection of books in Irish, that would be a great step forward. I would not even object to pornography in Irish. I am not advocating it, but I am being practical. It is not traditionally Irish and that is the way it is seen. Pornography is on sale and sells well. Many people are making money out of it. That would probably revolutionise the language.

Bí ana-chúramach.

I thought of saying that before and I decided I would not because it might be misunderstood. In the whole area of publications there is a big void to be filled. So far as I know there is no comprehensive Irish encyclopaedia. I remember hearing the Minister for Education being asked if he would commission one and the answer was in the negative, probably on financial grounds. That would be a very useful thing to have and I believe people are available to provide it. Admittedly, expense would be involved but, if we are to have a living language, that is the type of thing we need.

Much can be done to popularise the language and bring it into use in everyday life. Very little Irish is used in this House and in the other House, and by members of local authorities. That is a pity. I understand it very well, because you could be talking until the cows come home in Irish and you would not get through to anybody. That is why I believe strongly that means of communicating to the public in Irish should be available.

I hope when Bord na Gaeilge are set up they will address themselves to this task and have adequate financial resources. It is customary to think in terms of State money all the time. I suppose, at the end of the day, the State will have to provide whatever money Bord na Gaeilge want. I would hope major industries would be interested in funding a foundation for the revival of the language. In Britain many foundations for all sorts of things are funded by big industries or by philanthropic wealthy people. I should like to see wealthy people here who got such a boost in recent months funding a foundation for the revival of the language.

As I said earlier, I believe the revival of the language is an all-party aim. There are political differences and I suppose political points will always be scored. I should like to see as far as possible a determined continuous effort over a prolonged period to get the language moving again. That would need all-party agreement, and that would not be impossible. As is common in the case of most statutory boards, Members of the Oireachtas are percluded from membership of Bord na Gaeilge. That is a pity. I understand it is because it is traditional. I have not thought out the implications of this, but perhaps there should be an equal number of nominees from both sides of the House on Bord na Gaeilge so that people would be prodding us to make more use of the language. I raise that as a matter for serious consideration by the Minister.

Senator Whitaker who was Chairman of Bord na Gaeilge resigned with Senator Mulcahy when this Bill was circulated. That was the proper thing to do because of the provision that no Member of either House of the Oireachtas could be a member of this board. To have persons of the distinction and calibre of Senator Whitaker on the board is very good. I am sorry the Minister found it necessary to include that provision in the Bill.

Níl mórán eile le rá agam, ach ba mhaith liom go n-éireodh le Bord na Gaeilge san obair atá le déanamh acu chun an teanga a athbheochaint.

Ba mhaith liom failte a chur roimh an mBille agus tá súil agam go spreagfaidh sé na daoine an teanga a labhairt. Daoine ag caint agus ag baint úsáid as an teanga, sin é an rosc catha ba mhaith liom a chloisteáil. Ba mhaith liom go mbeadh meas níos mó ag na daoine a bhfuil éifeacht agus líofacht acu sa Ghaeilge ar iarrachtaí na ndaoine nach bhfuil acu ach beagáinín Gaeilge. Is mór an dualgas atá ar an ghlún seo cúram a thabhairt don teanga agus teanga bheo bhríomhar a thabhairt do na glúnta atá ag teacht. Bíonn daoine ag déanamh machnamh ar sin ach ní fhanann siad ag machnamh fada go leor, mór an trua é. Tá cúram ar an Teach seo an teanga a shlánú agus í a choimeád.

Tá súil agam go n-éireoidh go geal leis an Bhille seo agus le Bord na Gaeilge mar is orthu siúd átáimíd ag bráth. Mar a dúradh leis na blianta, sé an locht is mó a bhí ann cúram na teanga a bheith i lámha roinnt áirithe daoine. Tá dualgas ar gach duine iarracht a dhéanamh an teanga a úsáid. Tá an dualgas sin ar na meáin chumarsáide, ar theilifís, radio agus na nuachtáin. Caithfidh siad sin na gnáth daoine a mhúscailt agus a spreagadh chun úsáid a bhaint as a gcuid Gaeilge.

Mar gheall ar an dteilifís, ba mhaith liom níos mó clár dhátheangacha a fheiceáil, cláir spéisiúla, mar measaim go mbrathann a lán daoine ar theilifís chun oideachas a fháil, chomh maith le caitheamh aimsire. Ba mhaith liom Bord na Gaeilge a fheiceáil ag ceannacht altanna ó thíortha iasachta agus fotheagraíocht Ghaeilge á chur orthu. Bheadh suim ag daoine sna rudaí sin. Molaim freisin do Bhord na Gaeilge féachaint an féidir leo árdú airgid a fháil ar aon nuachtáin agus tréimhseacháin as ucht scéalta, cúrsaí reatha, a fhoilsiú tré Ghaeilge. Taithníonn le daoine mion-altanna spéisiúla. Ní léadh gnáth dhuine altanna troma as Ghaeilge. Is breá leo altanna beaga bríomhana, altanna a cuirfeadh ag machnamh iad, nó b'fhéidir altanna grinn. Sa chaoi sin, in aineoinn na rudaí atá ina choinne, tiocfaidh an Ghaeilge chuig na daoine. Chuala mé daoine ag fáil lochtana ar ghramadach, ar litriú, ainmneacha bóthar agus mar sin de, ach má osclaoínn daoine a súile feichfidh siad gnáth-théarmaí in úsáid, agus b'fhéidir seach núsáid á dhéanamh as na téarmaí sin. Sin é an rud is fiú, gnáth nithe Gaeilge i mbéal na ndaoine.

Cuireadh an díospóireacht ar ath-ló.

Debate adjourned.