An Bille um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1978: An Dara Céim. Údarás na Gaeltachta Bill, 1978: Second Stage.

Tairgim: "Go léifear an Bille an Dara Uair."

I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

Is é cuspóir an Bhille seo ná Údarás na Gaeltachta a bhunú d'fhonn caomhnú agus leathadh na Gaeilge mar phríomhtheanga sa Ghaeltacht a spreagadh agus forbairt na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn ó thaobh geilleagair, sóisialachta, cultúir, teanga agus gnéithiúlachta.

Tá cuid mhaith ráite i dtaobh údaráis den chineál seo le seacht mbliana anuas agus is cúis mhór sásaimh domsa gur éirigh liom an Bille seo a thabhairt isteach chun an tÚdarás a bhunú faoi dheireadh. B'fhearr liom, ar ndóigh, dá mbeadh an Bille ar fáil níos luaithe ach bíonn níos mó deacrachtaí ná mar a shíl mé ag gabháil lena leithéid a dhréachtú agus ní miste tamall breise a chaitheamh chun slacht ceart a chur air.

Sa bhliain 1971 mhol Comhairle na Gaeilge go mbunófaí meitheal oibre, comhdhéanta d'ionadaithe ó Ghaeltarra Éireann agus ó Chomhlacht Forbartha Shaor-Aerfort na Sionainne Teoranta, chun tuarascáil speisialta a chur ar fáil i dtaobh na Gaeltachta. Chuaigh an mheitheal i mbun oibre agus d'ullmhaigh siad an tuarascáilGníomh don Ghaeltacht inar moladh Údarás na Gaeltachta a bhunú. Cé go bhfuil moltaí áirithe a rinneadh sa tuarascáil sin á gcur i bhfeidhm sa Bhille seo—mar shampla, seisear comhalta le ceapadh go díreach ag an Aire—ní miste a lua go bhfuil difríocht mhór ó thaobh na hionadaíochta a bheidh ag pobal na Gaeltachta ar an údarás; triúr a moladh sa tuarascáil agus ní trí an ngnáthchóras daonlathach a thiocfaí orthu: seachtar atá i gceist sa Bhille agus iad le toghadh go daonlathach, ar mhodh an aonghutha inaistrithe, faoi mar a thoghtar comhairleoirí contae—córas toghchánaíochta a thuigeann an pobal go maith.

Is léir go bhfuil fonn ar an Rialtas seasamh i bhfad níos láidre a thabhairt do phobal na Gaeltachta ar an údarás ná mar a bhí i gceist roimhe seo. Tá súil againn go nglacfaidh an pobal leis an deis chun ionadaithe cumasacha a thoghadh. Trí na hionadaithe a thoghfaidh siad féin beidh tionchar nach beag acu ar ghnóthaí an údaráis. Thar rud ar bith eile sílimse gur mór an chéim ar aghaidh é go mbeidh roinnt daoine ar fáil faoi dheireadh a mbeidh dlúthbhaint acu leis na fadhbanna atá le réiteach agus a mbeidh ar a gcumas labhairt go húdarásach thar ceann phobal na Gaeltachta: go dtí seo d'fhéadfadh daoine gan mórán tacaíochta a thabhairt le tuiscint gur thar ceann an phobail a bhíonn siad ag labhairt—rud nach mbeidh chomh héasca céanna dóibh feasta.

Trí thoghlach atá beartaithe do na limistéir oifigiúla Ghaeltachta agus is mar seo atá na hionadaithe le toghadh iontu:

—beirt do Dhún na nGall.

—triúr do Ghaillimh, do Mhaigh Eo agus don Mhí le chéile, agus

—beirt do Chiarraí, do Chorcaigh agus do Phort Láirge le chéile.

Beidh deis ag Teachtaí ceist na dtoghchán a phlé go mion—ní amháin ar Chéim an Choiste den Bhille seo ach arís nuair a chuirfear dréacht de na rialacháin faoi Chuid IV faoina mbráid, mar beidh an dréacht sin le ceadú ag an Dáil agus ag an Seanad.

Ach na hionadaithe—seachtar acu—a bheith tofa beidh seisear eile le ceapadh agus lá le hainmniú chun an tÚdarás a bhunú agus Gaeltarra Éireann a dhíscaoileadh. An lá sin aistreofar feidhmeanna, dliteanais agus foireann Ghaeltarra chuig an údarás.

D'fhéadfaí a rá nach mbeadh san eagraíocht ar an lá ceaptha ach Gaeltar-ra faoi ainm nua. Ón lá sin amach, áfach, is gnó do chomhaltaí an údaráis —agus a bhformhór tofa go daonlathach ag pobal na Gaeltachta— féachaint chuige go mbainfear feidhm éifeachtach ar mhaithe leis an nGaeltacht as na cumhachtaí a bheidh acu faoin mBille seo.

Ar ndóigh, beidh na feidhmeanna uile acu atá ag Gaeltarra faoi láthair agus tá forálacha solúbtha chun na críche sin in ailt 8 agus 10 den Bhille atá bunaithe cuid mhór ar alt 4 den Acht um Thionscail na Gaeltachta, 1957, arna leasú sna blianta 1965, 1968 agus 1971. De réir sin leanfaidh an tÚdarás ar aghaidh le foirgnimh a thógáil, deontais a thabhairt agus scaireanna a cheannach d'fhonn fostaíocht a chur ar fáil. Ní miste a lua go bhfuil cumhacht de bhreis ar a bhfuil ag Gaeltarra i ndeireadh alt 10—chun a ráthú go n-aisíocfar iasachtaí a fuair daoine ar thug an tÚdarás cunamh airgid ina leith.

Nuair a bheidh comhaltaí an údaráis i mbun oibre agus a gcumas léirithe acu, má mheasann siad gur fearr a d'éireodh leo forbairt na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn dá mbeadh cumhachtaí eile fós acu, tig leo iarratas dá réir a chur ar aghaidh agus breithneofar go báúil é. Ó tharla gur dheacair cumhachtaí den chineál sin a shonrú go cruinn roimh ré, tá foráil leathan in alt 9—an t-alt is suimiúla sa Bhille, b'fhéidir—faoina bhféadfar na cumhachtaí a thabhairt le hordú ón Rialtas. Luaitear san alt sin go bhféadfar feidhmeanna de chuid údaráis áitiúil a thabhairt don údarás. Luaitear ann freisin go bhféadfar forálacha reachtúla a mhodhnú le hordú: is é sin le rágur féidir Acht a leasú gan Acht nua a rith. Ní i ngan fhios don Dáil a dhéanfaí amhlaidh, áfach, mar bheadh dréacht d'aon ordú le leagan faoi bhráid na Dála lena cheadú.

Beidh airgead mór ag teastáil d'obair an údaráis agus, chomh maith le deontais bhliantúla faoi alt 22, féadfar suimeanna suas go £50m. a airleacan as an bPríomh-Chiste faoi alt 23.

Is ar éigean is gá dom tagairt d'aon fhoráil eile sa Bhille ag an bpointe seo. Is Bille cuimsitheach atá ann agus beidh na hAchtanna um Thionscail na Gaeltachta, 1957 go 1977, le haisghairm. Sa Bhille seo glactar le forálacha maithe sna hAchtanna sin agus cuirtear leo. Sílim gur fearr agus gur soiléire na nithe uile a bhainfidh leis an údarás a thabhairt le chéile in Acht amháin.

Os rud é go mbeidh Gaeltarra Éireann le díscaoileadh nuair a thiocfaidh an tAcht nua i ngníomh ba mhaith liom glacadh leis an deis seo chun lucht Ghaeltarra a mholadh as ucht a bhfuil déanta acu le 20 bliain anuas agus go háirithe ó tugadh cumhachtaí breise dóibh sa bhliain 1965 chun tionscail a chur chun cinn. Is obair leanúnach atá ar siúl chun an Ghaeltacht a shlánú agus is ar an dúshraith atá leagtha go maith ag Gaeltarra a bheidh an tÚdarás ag tógáil. Is amhlaidh a bheidh páirt ghníomhach ag ionadaithe tofa na Gaeltachta san obair feasta agus tuilleadh cumhachtaí fós ar fáil dóibh. Tá súil againn uile go mbeidh rath Dé ar an obair sin.

Is deimhin liomsa go gcuideoidh an Bille seo chun eagar a chur ar chúrsaí i gcaoi go mbeidh fonn ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta fanacht sa Ghaeltacht, leanúint orthu ag labhairt na Gaeilge agus páirt éifeachtach a ghlacadh i bhfeabhsú agus i bhforbairt a ndúiche agus a ndúchais féin.

Molaim an Bille don Dáil dá réir sin agus, má bhíonn leasuithe le tairiscint ag Teachtaí chun feabhas a chur air, beidh áthas orm iad a bhreithniú.

Ní ceart agus ní cóir "An Bille um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1978" a ghlaoidh ar an mBille seo. Níl an tAire ná an Rialtas dáiríre mar gheall ar údarás daonlathach a chur ar fáil do mhuintir na Gaeltachta. Measaim féin nach bhfuil sa Bhille seo ach iarracht ar dallamullóg a chur ar na daoine agus an geall deireannach den manifesto a chur i gcrích, mar dhea.

Scrúdaigh mé an Bille seo arís agus arís chun a fháil amach na cumhachtaí breise a bheadh ag an údarás seachas a bhí ag Gaeltarra Éireann ach theip orm aon chumhacht breise a fheiceáil a rachfaidh chun cúnamh do mhuintir na Gaeltachta. Ag cainnt ar clár radio agus arís sa mhéid adúirt an tAire inniu linn, dúirt sé go mba mhaith leis cumhachtaí pleanála agus a leithéid a fheiceáil ag an údarás, agus bhí súil aige, mar adúirt sé inniu arís, dá n-iarrfadh an túdarás ar an Rialtas go dtabharfadh sé dó iad. Leis na focail sin, admhaoinn gur theip air glan aon chumhachtaí breise i leith na Gaeltachta a bhuachaint ón Rialtas.

Bhí muintir na Gaeltachta ag súil go mbeadh cumhacht ag an údarás forbairt a dhéanamh ar gach gné dá saol ag chur isteach ar a slí maireachtála ach, faraoir mar adúirt an Oráisteach: "What we have we hold". Coiméad gach Roinn Stáit a cumhachtaí féin agus níor tugadh faic don údarás. Bhí seans mór ag an Aire anseo an iascaireacht a chur ar bhonnaí cheart san Ghaeltacht. Is ag an údarás ba chóir go mbeadh tabhairt amach na gceadúnas bradáin. Is é an tÚdarás ba chóir a bheith freagrach as forbairt na cuanta Gaeltachta, ach ní mar sin a bheidh an scéal. Choimeád an tAire Iascaigh, An Teachta Brian Lenihan, agus a Roinn na cumhachtaí. Maidir leis na ceadúnais bhradáin, ní raibh focal ar bith le rá ag an Aire nuair a gheall sé an bord nua maidin inniu.

Caithfimíd cuimhneamh go bhfuil an iascaireacht ana-thábhachtach i saol eacnamaíochta na Gaeltachta. I gcás na hiascaireachta níl faic le fáil ón údarás. Níl tagairt dá laighead san Bhille mar gheall ar an oideachas—bun oideachas, meán oideachas, gairm oideachas nó an tríú leibhéil. Tá fhios ag gach duine, i leith na múinteoirí scoile atá ag teacht amach as na coláistí ullmhúcháin nach bhfuil an Ghaeilge chomh líofa acu agus a bhí. Mar adúirt Eámonn Kelly: "Fadó, fadó".

Cad mar gheall ar na coláistí samhraidh agus an fhorbairt gur féidir na mná tí agus na máistrí scoile a dhéanamh agus, b'fhéidir, coláistí geimhridh a bhunú do leanaí taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht? Tá na cumhachtaí sin ag an Aire Oideachais. Sin mar a raibh, sin mar atá agus sin mar a bheidh.

Níl cumhacht ar bith á thabhairt ag Roinn na Gaeltachta féin don údarás. Mheasfá go dtabharfadh an tAire cumhachtaí áirithe ón a Roinn féin go dtí an tÚdarás ach is dócha na focail adúirt sé: gur mhaith leis rudaí áirithe a fheiceáil ach ní maith leis a shrian féin a scaoileadh in aon chor. A Aire, deirim leat: bíodh muinín agat as muintir na Gaeltachta. Tabhair cead a gcinn dóibh. Ba chóir go mbeadh an tÚdarás freagarthach as na bóithre, séarachas poiblí, deontaisí tithe, halla pobail, cuartaíocht, pleanáil; ach arís choimeád an Roinn Comhshaoil na cumhachtaí sin a bhí acu féin. Ní raibh an Roinn Comhshaoil sásta aon srian nó aon chumhacht a thabhairt don údarás.

Mar adúirt mé, níl sa Bhille seo ach Gaeltarra Éireann. Nílim féin sásta go mbeidh an tÚdarás daonlathach. Chun go mbeadh sé daonlathach caithfí gach aon bhall den údarás a thoghadh ag muintir na Gaeltachtaí. Nílimse sásta go bhfuil sé de chead ag an Aire seisear a ainmniú agus gach seans go n-ainmneodh sé duine nó beirt gur theip orthu san iomaíocht. Mar sin a thuigimse an focal "daonlathach". Lena seisear féin ní gá ach beirt agus beidh an tromlach acu. Masla an cleas sin don fhocal "daonlathach" ins an free world. Nílimse sásta leis na Dáilcheantair, mar adéarfá. I gcás ceantar na Mumhan tá cúig Gaeltachtaí ann—Corca Dhuibhne, Uíbh Ráthach, Oileán Cléire, Múscraí agus an Rinn—agus níltear ach chun beirt a thoghadh ins na Gaeltachtaí sin.

Níl sé sin ceart. Tóg Gaeltacht Phort Láirge agus Gaeltacht Chorcaí, níl an daonradh acu siúd chun duine a chur isteach san údarás. Is dócha go mbeidh an bheirt ó Chiarraí agus tá fhios agat, a Aire agus a Leas-Chathaoirleach, tá i bhfad níos mó brú ar na Gaeltachtaí beaga ná ar na Gaeltachtaí móra, agus iarraim arís ar an Aire é a leathnú amach agus duine amháin a thabhairt do gach Gaeltacht ionas go mbeidh sé ábalta freastal ar an mbord. An scéal céanna mar gheall ar Ghaeltacht Chonamara agus Gaeltacht Chontae na Mí, Ráth Cairn. An bhfuil aon seans acu aon duine a fháil? Iarraim ar an Aire féachaint arís ar an bpointe sin agus b'fhéidir go mbeadh sé ábalta duine amháin a thabhairt do gach Gaeltacht.

Tá na Gaeltachtaí beag agus cúng a dhóthain. Níl gá ar bith leis an Aire seisear a ainmniú. Is féidir leis an mbord na saineolaithe a fhostú agus ós rud é gurb é Gaeltarra Éireann atá i gceist, tá an t-eolas agus an expertise acu cheana féin.

Poinnte eile a chuireann isteach orm agus is é sin na h-oileáin. Tá tagairt déanta cheana féin don gá atá ann chun teorainn na Gaeltachta a scrúdú. Ba mhaith liom go ndéanfadh an tAire scrúdú arís ar alt 8 agus an tagairt sin. Ba cheart dó dul chomh fada leis na hoileáin amuigh ón gcósta, thiar, thuaidh-thiar agus theas. Tá beagán Gaeilge acu i gcuid de na hoileáin agus tá a lán Gaeilge acu i gcuid eile de na hoileáin, agus tá siad ina luí ansin mar dhileachtaí san aigéan thiar. De réir deallraimh, níl suim dá laghad ag éinne iontu. Níl ach scata beag daoine ag maireachtaint sna hoileáin siúd agus iarraim ar an Aire duine amháin ón na hoileáin sin a ainmniú mar bhall den údarás nua seo.

Agus mé ag féachaint ar an mBille, bhíos ag lorg an mbeadh cumhacht ar bith ag baill an údaráis. Measaim nach mbeidh. Faoi section 4 den Acht a bhaineann leis na gcómhairlí chondae, tá na baill in ann a rá leis an bpríomh oifigeach rud áirithe a dhéanamh. Níl rud ar bith mar section 4 sa Bhille seo. Ní thuigim chomh balbh anois agus atá an dream a bhí ag béicíl mar gheall ar Údarás na Gaeltachta nuair a bhí an Teachta Tomás O'Donnell i mbun Roinn na Gaeltachta. Is deacair a dhéanamh amach anois an údarás daonlathach Gaeilge a bhí i gceist acu, nó an raibh siad ar fad i gcoinne an Aire an uair sin. Níl faic le rá ag na heagraisí Ghaeilge. Cá bhfuil na comhar-chumainn, na ceartaí sibhialta? Tá siad an-chiúin anois. An sórt duine anseo is ansiúd a chuaigh ar an radio nó ar an teilifís agus adúirt go rabhadar sásta leis an údarás, is dócha go raibh sé ina gceann go n-ainmneodh an tAire iad nuair a bheadh an Bille rite.

Níl mórán eile le rá agam ag an bpointe seo ach go mbeidh a lán leasaithe againn ag an gcéad Chéim eile chun slacht a chur an an mBille.

Ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur roimh an mBille i bprionsabal. Ba mhaith liom freisin tréaslú leis an Aire mar gheall ar an modh daonlathach in ar thug sé an Bille os ár gcómhair. Má bhíonn sé ar chumas an Teachta Begley feabhas a chur air tré leasuithe, beidh áthas orm iad a bhreithniú. Ta súil agam go bhfuil sé dáirire. Má tá sé, beidh athrú mór ar an mBille sula rithfear é. Dúirt mé go n-aontaim leis an mBille i bprionsabal, agus is mór an prionsabal é údarás a chur ar bun chun an Ghaeltacht a neartú, ach is mór an difríocht idir an prionsabal agus an scéim atá le feiceáil sa Bhille seo.

We are dealing in this Bill with nothing more or less than a national emergency. It is an emergency whose dimensions are not immediately apparent to many people because they do not live with it but nonetheless it is an emergency. It is an emergency that is perhaps not so obvious to people, because the change that takes place in the characteristics of the Gaeltacht appears to be one that is taking place relatively slowly so that there is no particular need for haste or hurry. However, the particular characteristic of change as it affects the Gaeltacht and the people living in it is that it is more radical and less reversible than change in almost any other area of our national life.

It is a truism to say that without the Gaeltacht as such the Irish language will effectively cease to exist. It may exist in scattered households from one end of the country to the other but without a central point, without a series of living and vital communities in which it is established, real, ongoing and part of a tradition the language will become no more than a code spoken by mandarins to each other.

It is precisely because of this point that I must stress the seriousness of the crisis that the Gaeltacht is faced with today. It is a crisis which this Bill, in part, attempts to deal with, although we know that legislation alone cannot solve the problem. When we talk about this Bill we are not dealing with special legislative arrangements to make sure that a picturesque national minority does not become extinct. The people and the communities of the Gaeltacht may be a minority in a numerical sense but they are, and remain, the only authentic representatives of what was once the majority tradition on this island and of a tradition and a culture that is still officially, and more than officially in the hearts of the people of this island, something that is vital and that should be preserved.

I suspect that this is the ultimate rationale behind any legislation that seeks to cut across established lines of administration, of authority and of power, to set up a new organisation with new powers for the Gaeltacht. One could argue that if the situation was going well there would be no need for an Údarás na Gaeltachta or for Bord na Gaeilge, that if every citizen, every Government Department and every local authority played their role in full there would be no need for special provision for those parts of our island in which this tradition is a living, communitarian one. Of course this has not happened. Not everybody is playing a full part. Not every Government Depart-ment or local authority is playing a full part and, therefore, there is a need for emergency action.

If I might draw a parallel with the situation that developed in Northern Ireland in the years after 1969 it might be instructive to the House. The parallel is that involved with the creation of the Ministry of Community Relations in the North. Again, one could argue that if all the public authorities and individual citizens there had a sense of community relations there would be no reason for having a special department to deal with community relations. There was an emergency of a different kind there and the Ministry was set up to do the work that should have been an integral part of all the Ministries. There is a somewhat similar rationale for the setting up of Údarás na Gaeltachta here, although I hope they will be more successful in relation to their objectives than was the Ministry for Community Relations in the North.

There is always the danger that by setting up a specific authority for a specific purpose in an area like this in relation to culture or the Irish language it will afford people the opportunity or excuse of saying that they do not need to do anything about the Irish language and Irish culture, that it is a job for Údarás na Gaeltachta. The way to ensure that people do not do that is to make certain that Údarás na Gaeltachta are given sufficient powers to enable them to do their job properly. In three generations there may be no need for Údarás na Gaeltachta. If they have done their job properly, hopefully there will not be any need for them any more, but there is a great danger that the reason there will not be any need for Údarás na Gaeltachta in three generations is that the Gaeltacht will have died and that this will have happened because Údarás na Gaeltachta were not given adequate scope and powers to enable them to do their job properly.

Deputy Begley in relatively scathing terms referred to the sparseness of the powers conferred on Údarás na Gaeltachta by this Bill. In his opening remarks the Minister said that if Údarás na Gaeltachta after they have been constituted come to the conclusion that they require different powers and functions these can be conferred on them by Government order. I would have thought that we have been examining for long enough and have been familiar for long enough with the problems of the Gaeltacht to know in very broad terms what powers a real Gaeltacht authority would need and what powers could, in broad terms, be conferred on them as a first step in the Bill which leads to their establishment.

I recognise part of the Minister's intention. It is a gesture towards a democratic element on the Údarás, to the fact that people should in some sense have a right to make their democratic input to the structure and function of the Údarás. But that input is by no means a guarantee because it must go through the filter of the Department of the Gaeltacht and need not come through the filter of this House. To put it mildly, I am intrigued to note that part of the Minister's speech in which he says that statutory provisions may be modified by order, that that is to say that an Act may be amended without passing a new Act. The Minister goes on to say that this would not be done without the knowledge of the Dáil, that the draft of any order would have to be laid before the Dáil for approval. I should like to hear more from the Minister as to whether this is the first occasion on which a device of this kind by which legislation has to be amended by order has been laid before the House.

When we talk about the need of Údarás na Gaeltachta for real powers, we may specify a number of areas in which these powers are necessary. First, there is the cultural area and then there are the educational, planning, basic services, research and the industrial development areas. I am putting the industrial development area last deliberately because this is the only area that receives any treatment of a worthwhile nature so far as the Bill is concerned, but even in this respect there are some questions to be asked.

In relation to the cultural area the Bill is sadly deficient because section 8 (1) reads that An tÚdarás

shall encourage the preservation and extension of the use of Irish as a vernacular language in the Gaeltacht and shall ensure that Irish is used to the greatest extent possible in the performance by it and on its behalf of its functions.

With all respect that is perhaps the kind of phrase in a Bill which is like the directive principles of social policy in the Constitution. It has no legislative effect. It does not confer on the Udarás any power to ensure the achievement of the worthwhile objectives.

When we turn to the later sections of the Bill we find that effectively the main area and perhaps the only area in which the Údarás are empowered as a result of this Bill to provide financial assistance is in section 10 and that assistance is for industrial purposes. There is no provision whereby the Údarás can make financial provision for cultural purposes. Subsection (1) of section 9 reads that:

For the purpose of promoting the economic, social, cultural, linguistic and physical development of the Gaeltacht an tÚdarás shall have, in addition to the functions specified in this Act apart from this section, such powers as are conferred on it by order made by the Government.

These Government orders may provide for payments by an tÚdarás but the Bill does not empower the Údarás to spend money on anything that is not authorised in section 10 which is for the purpose of:

establishing, developing or maintaining industries and productive schemes of employment in the Gaeltacht....

The Minister will be aware that there has been considerable controversy during the past few years in relation to the competence of Bord na Gaeilge in terms of the expenditure of moneys in the Gaeltacht areas. To the best of my knowledge the effective governmental decision—and I know not nor care not whether it was a decision of the last administration as much as of this Government—is that Bord na Gaeilge activities and financial assistance should be located effectively outside the Gaeltacht areas. Therefore, we have Bord na Gaeilge who are not allowed, at least not to any appreciable extent, to spend money for cultural reasons inside the Gaeltacht while we are to have the new Údarás who may be allowed at some indefinite date in the future to spend an unspecified sum on the development and the culture of the Gaeltacht. In the meantime it is left to private organisations, like Gael Linn for example, to support, not necessarily by way of grant but so far as they can do so commensurate with their normal commercial activities, the priceless work of recalling and ensuring the continued availability and spread of the Gaeltacht culture. This is the sort of omission that should be remedied before the Bill leaves this House.

I wish to refer, too, to the educational area. During the debate on Bord na Gaeilge we discussed at some length the role of the Department of Education, and it is not my intention to repeat any of the points I made then. However, there are a couple of specific points in relation to which the Údarás should be given specific responsibility. For example, in the primary sphere an tÚdarás should be given, by way of whatever administrative mechanism is deemed to be appropriate, an effective veto on the amalgamation of Gaeltacht primary schools where such amalgamation would involve the transfer of Gaeltacht children outside the Gaeltacht or even to a breac Gaeltacht school. The small primary schools in the Gaeltacht should be given every possible subvention, and more than subvention, they need the kind of structural support which would enable them to resist amalgamation with neighbouring areas which are not Irish speaking or which are only part-Irish speaking.

In the post-primary and third-level areas it is more difficult to think of specific administrative and executive powers that could be conferred on the Údarás in order to enable them to do their job properly, but the over-riding consideration here should be that no Gaeltacht child be deprived of the right to a good education in Irish in his locality or within reasonable proximity to his locality. We have made two major mistakes in the past four or five decades in relation to our attitudes to schools and to the revival of Irish. The first was by concentrating on the schools and on the curriculum as a method for reviving Irish. We have allowed other sectors of society to go their own way unhampered and unhindered by any sense of responsibility for the language.

The second thing we have done, and successive Governments must bear the blame for this, is that we have failed to ensure what I am suggesting the Údaras should have the power to ensure, the availability of good education in Irish for everybody who needs it, above all the Gaeltacht areas but also I would argue outside them. The reason why we have failed to do this is that we have traditionally allowed the provision of education to be dictated with very few exceptions by whether private institutions of one kind or another choose to start schools.

If it should be necessary for the provision of good second level education through Irish for the children of a particular location the Údaras should have the power to establish such a school. I believe that successive Governments have fought shy of allowing any State body, such as the Department of Education, the Department of the Gaeltacht or any semi-State body, such as An Údarás na Gaeltachta as envisaged here, directly to establish schools because that would involve challenging the existing structure of education. It would involve in some cases at least setting up competition between State-owned and privately-owned schools.

In the case of the survival and development of the Irish language above all, there has been an overwhelming argument in favour of the establishment by the State and its agencies of high quality Irish language schools wherever they are needed, inside and outside the Gaeltacht. In so far as inside the Gaeltacht is concerned, I believe the Údarás should be given the facility and the power, and where necessary the money, to establish a school if they believe it to be necessary. No doubt there would have to be some overall con-trol, some interface, as the in-word has it, with the Department of Education on this matter. But to leave them without any function in the area of education is to neutralise any good effect that the establishment of an tÚdarás may have.

The third area to which I want to refer is the planning area. This is vital because a Gaeltacht is not just a line drawn on the map. It is a Community. It is a collection of homes, families, shops, pubs and churches where the Irish language is habitually spoken. If it is not all these things, ultimately it is not a Gaeltacht, no matter where the lines may be drawn on the map, or what the role of an tÚdaras may be.

It is impossible to consider the operation of the planning laws without coming to the conclusion that, very often with the best will in the world, the operation of these laws has been such as seriously to threaten the existence of some relatively small Gaeltacht communities.

The social disruption in any western, south western or north western rural community which is caused by the building of large numbers of houses or factories is a matter of fact, but when the social disruption is accompanied by a linguistic disruption we must be doubly on our guard. If you put 50 or 80 houses into a Gaeltacht area, whether they are for permanent or even summer occupation, and if these houses are to be occupied for the most part by people whose normal language is English, it will be inevitable that in a very short space of time the language of commerce, of the pub, and of the church of that area will change. Irish will retreat to the heartside and eventually will be extinguished there as well.

That is why there is a very strong case to be made for allowing an tÚdarás to exercise in the Gaeltacht areas the planning powers that are currently exercised by the local authorities for those areas. This is a problem that will have to be faced sooner or later. I have no doubt but that the Minister will eventually receive a request of this kind from the new Údarás when it is established. This is all the more reason why we should face it now, because the longer we delay facing it the more damage will be done.

The fourth area I want to refer to is in connection with basic services. One of the main problems affecting the development of the Gaeltacht is not just the absence of basic services but very often a whole series of unresolved conflicts between different statutory authorities about who has responsibility of providing these services. Whether is it a pier at Rossaveel or anything else, the needed development of a Gaeltacht area can be held up for months, if not for years, while the buck is passed from the Department of the Gaeltacht to the Department of the Environment, to the local county council, to the local TDs and back again. It goes round and round in a complete merry-go-round. Development is delayed and ultimately the Gaeltacht suffers. The development of basic infrastructure and services in the Gaeltacht is too important to be left to this haphazard, who pays for it, passing the buck kind of idea. This is where the Údarás should have a role in the preservation and development of the Gaeltacht communities.

The fifth point I would like to discuss is the area of research. This is a fundamentally important area because, while research is sometimes used as an excuse for putting things on the long finger, it is also an essential in the establishment of priorities. Under the Bill an tÚdarás have the right to employ consultants but I suggest that this right is not broad enough, because they should have the right to establish their own research section so that the relationship between the priorities they are establishing and the evaluation of the work that is going on is a constant one, and one which works to the benefit of an tÚdarás and of the communities which they are trying to help.

My sixth point is on the industrial side. Here there is, unfortunately, more than a little evidence to support Deputy Begley's contention that what we have in the present Bill, as unamended, is no more than Gaeltarra Eireann with knobs on. We must look in the light of this assertion at the track record of Gaeltarra Éireann and ask whether enough is being done to ensure that the future industrial development of the Gaeltacht is brought hand in hand with the cultural, social and physical development of the Gaeltacht for which an tÚdarás is being given responsibility and no power. The traditional jibe against certain people is that they seek power without responsibility. Here we are being given an tÚdarás which is being given responsibility without power.

When one looks at the composition of an tÚdarás one wonders whether such an údarás without a permanent research service will be able to evaluate sufficiently the industrial projects which will come up for attention and authorisation. Even Gaeltarra which has a fair amount of professional expertise and a fair amount of professional help had its financial fingers severely burned in the recent past by developments which did not take off as they were supposed to take off. The risk of the same sort of thing happening under an Údarás must be a very real one.

The other aspect of all this is the economic development of the Gaeltacht in certain circumstances can contribute to a shift away from Irish towards English directly opposite from the way in which it was supposed to operate. Here, too, is a problem with which the new udarás will have to come to terms no matter how it is constituted. We might leave to Committee Stage the question of the arrangement of the constituencies. It could be argued that no Administration which put Galway, Mayo and Meath into one constituency can have anything further to complain about in the activities of the former Minister for Local Government, Deputy Tully. There is almost an argument for saying that, if you are to have widely geographically spread constituencies, the one widely spread geographical area which has common cause and perhaps needs its own representation is the area comprised by the islands. They are already united in many respects. They share many similar problems and might form a powerful, cohesive and coherent force within the new údarás if they were allowed to become one.

Many of the other points of detail will remain to be raised by us, and I would hope to be listened to constructively by the Minister, on Committee and Report Stages. At this stage I must warn the Minister and the House that the great danger of creating an Údarás with responsibility and without power is that it will provide the people of the island as a whole with an excuse for not doing anything to save that which is most dear to them when they admit it in their heart of hearts.

Is mian liom fáilte a chur roimh an mBille seo chun Údarás na Gaeltachta a bhunú. Táim cinnte gur céim mhór ar aghaidh é agus comhartha eile go bhfuil an Rialtas agus an tAire i ndáiríre faoi thábhacht na Gaeltachta agus faoi thábhacht na teanga. Ní aontaím le focal ar bith adúirt an Teachta Begley. Dá mbeadh an Bille léite aige d'fheicfeadh sé go bhfuil na cumhachtaí go léir a luaigh sé go raibh in easnamh go bhfuil siad san ann agus gur féidir leis an údarás na cumhachtaí sin go léir a ghlacadh cuchu ach dul i gcomhairle leis an Aire nuair a fheiceann siad gur gá iad a bheith acu.

Is dóigh liom gur fearr go mór gan na cumhachtaí sin a chur san Bhille ach iad a fhágáil faoin Aire faoi órdú a dhéanamh. Is fearr a thuigfidh comhaltaí an údaráis cad a bheidh uathu nuair a thiocfaidh siad le chéile agus nuair a chuirfidh siad a gcuid éirim aigne le chéile.

Ní aontaím leis an Teachta Begley ach chomh beag go bhfuil a lán daoine ciúin agus nach bhfuil focal as Chonradh na Gaeilge nó eagrais eile Ghaeilge. Dá léadh sé páipéar de 11 Deireadh Fómhair chífeadh sé go bhfuil a lán lochtanna le fáil ag an gConradh ar Údarás na Gaeltachta, agus aon duine a léadh an t-alt sin chífeadh sé leis gur ar éigean a léigh an dream sin an Bille ach chomh beag. Má bhí an Comhrialtas chomh tógtha le ceist na Gaeilge, is ionadh liom nár dhein siad aon iarracht ar feadh ceithre mblian an tÚdarás a bhunú. Is dóigh liom go ndúirt siad bliain i ndiaidh bliana an fhad is a bhí siad ann go raibh an tÚdarás le bunú ach is beag a tharla ina thaobh sin.

Anois ba mhaith liom dul isteach i gcúpla rud atá san Bhille. Is céim mhór é seachtar a bheith iontofa go daonlathach i dtrí réigiúin Ghaeltachta, agus is dóigh liom go ndeachaigh an tAire agus an Rialtas isteach i gceist daonra ins na ceanntair sin nuair a bhí siad ag socrú cé mhéad Teachtaí a bheadh ós na trí cean-tair. Táim cinnte go neartóidh an tÚdarás cúis na Gaeilge agus go mbeadh dul chun cinn i gcúrsaí eacnamaíochta, cultúrtha agus sóisialta.

Go dtí seo sé an t-easnamh a bhí i nGaeltarra Éireann gur mó an cúram a bhí orthu deantúisí a chur ar bun. Anois beidh cúram orthu gach gné den Ghaeltacht a bhreathnú agus comhoibriú a dhéanamh idir an saol eacnamíochta, an saol cultúrtha agus an saol sóisialta. Is dóigh liom leis go bhfuil an t-ádh linn duine ón nGaeltacht a bheith againn mar Aire mar tuigeann sé siúd fadhbanna na Gaeltachta níos fearr ná mar a thuigimidne atá sa Ghalltacht iad. Tá sé sáite i ngach gné de shaol na Gaeltachta. Tá sé sáite i saol cultúrtha, i gceol agus i rinnce. Chomh maith leis sin, tá an croí san áit ceart aige agus tá misneach aige. Táim cinnte go dtiocfaidh toradh fónta ar aon rud go gcuirfidh sé a lámh leis.

Ar ais go dtí an méid a dúras roimhe seó, nach raibh aon duine ag clamhsán faoin Bhille. De réir an méid a léigh mise le cúpla lá, tá lobby áirithe ag fáil a lán locht ar an mBille, agus ón méid atá scríofa acu dheallródh sé nar léigh siad an Bille in aon chor.

Tá freagra le fáil ar gach locht a fuair siad ar an mBille. Ba cheart dóibh siúd atá ag clamhsán, pé áit ina bhfuil siad, i gCúige Mumhan nó i gCúige Connacht nó in aon áit eile, dul os comhair an phobail ina gceanntar féin agus chífimíd ansan an bhfuil níos mó measa ag muintir na gceanntar sin orthu ná mar atá ar an Aire agus an méid atá leagtha amach aige sa Bhille. Tá aon pháipéar amháin a raibh "leading ar-ticle" ciallmhar aige agus sé sin anGalway Advertiser den 19 Deireadh Fómhair. Dúirt sé:

... over the past six years, successive Governments and Ministers have promised and promised—and failed to deliver.

For that reason alone there will be a general welcome for the Udarás na Gaeltachta Bill published by Mr. Denis Gallagher last week. It marks a major step on the road to Gaeltacht self-realisation. But the Minister in publishing it has demonstrated a determination to push ahead with the Udáras as quickly as possible, and to have the show on the road in the first half of 1979, with the Gaeltacht elections being held, hopefully, before the European poll and the other local elections in June.

... the fact remains that several of the main demands of Gaeltacht interests have been met in the proposed legislation. The principle of an elected majority is conceded. There is provision for transferring local government power to the Udáras in any particular area in which that seems necessary. This would be done by Ministerial Order following recommendations from the Udarás itself. And there is the very important recognition that the body which will replace Gaeltarra, now to be dissolved, must have a positive linguistic social and cultural responsibility.

That is where I believe Gaeltarra Éireann had a lúb ar lár previously. The article continues:

"This role was never spelled out clearly for Gaeltarra in the past and, in restrospect, it may be argued that it was in this area the greatest failures lay. It is now recognised that Gaeltacht development means more than building advance factories at every cross-roads or even getting commercial ventures into some or all of them. Not only that, but the record shows that such activity has serious implications for Gaeltacht life itself which cannot be ignored. It will be the difficult task of the new Údarás not only to provide jobs, but to ensure that this is done in a manner that helps rather than hinders the survival of Irish as the vernacular of those employed.

That in a nutshell sums up the whole content of this Bill. All the complaining we have had of An tÚdarás not having this power and that power in education, in planning, in all the different fields of work and government, show conclusively that an tÚdarás has such powers. As we who have read the Bill carefully know, on the request of the údarás and wherever these powers appear necessary the Minister will be only too glad to deliver the goods to them.

Those are the Deputy's own words. The Minister never said he would deliver them.

Beidh a lán eile le rá gam nuair a bhéas an Bille i gCoiste. Aontóidh aon duine atá macánta go bhfuil éirithe ag an Aire rud a dhéanamh taobh istigh de bhliain nach raibh sé i gcumas an Chomh-Rialtas a dhéanamh an fhaid a bhí siad in oifig. I ndeireadh na dála, pé rud a déarfaimíd faoi Bhord na Gaeilge, nó Údarás na Gaeltachta, nó aon ghluaiseacht eile a bhaineann leis an Ghaeltacht nó an Ghalltacht is orainn féin sa Ghaeltacht is sa Ghalltacht atá slánú na Gaeilge ag brath. Guím rath Dé ar an Aire agus ar an údarás chun cuspóirí an Bhille a chur i gcrích. Tá obair mhór le déanamh acu.

Ba mhaith liom cúpla focal a rá ar an mBille seo atá chun Údarás na Gaeltachta a bhunú. Sé mo thuairim gur cóir go mbeadh sé mar phríomh-aidhm ag an Aire an teanga álainn seo a chothú ní amháin sna Gaeltachtaí oifigiúla ach sna ceantair bheaga atá scaipte ar fud na tíre ar a dtugtar "Breac-Ghaeltachtaí". Tá ceantar mar sin san áit in a raibh an tAire é féin cúpla seachtain ó shin, i ndúiche Fhiachra Éilgeach. Le blianta bhí an teanga beo sa dúiche sin agus is mór an trua é nár deineadh aon iarracht go dtí cúpla bliain ó shin an teanga a aithbheochaint san dúiche sin. Siad na daoine féin a rinne an iarracht sin. Cúig bliana ó shin tháinig pobal an cheantair le chéile agus thosaigh siad gluaiseacht nua chun an teanga a chur chun cinn, agus is íontach an dul chun cinn atá déanta acu san tréimhse sin. Tá an teanga beo anois agus ag feabhsú gach lá. Ach níl aon fhocal misnigh dá chur chuig na daoine sin sa Bhille seo.

Sé an príomh-aidhm atá ag na daoine sna Breac-Ghaeltachtaí ná bheith aitheanta mar Ghaeltachtaí oifigiúil, agus bheidís réidh don chéim sin. Iarraim ar an Aire an suim agus an t-aitheantas chéanna a thugann sé do na ceantair Ghaeltachta a thabhairt do áiteanna bheaga mar Baile Mhic Óda, An Rinn agus áiteanna mar iad. Tá fhios agam nach bhfuil, b'fhéidir, caighdheán na Fhíor-Ghaeltachta ag na háiteanna seo ach níl aon amhras orm dá mbeadh a leithéid acu sna Breac-Ghaeltachtaí agus a bhí acu cheana go mbeadh an caighdheán seo go furasta ionnta. Níl ann ach ceist bheag ama sula shroisfidh cuid de na háiteanna seo ar a laghad caighdheán a bheidh ag fás i dtreo go mbeidh caighdheán sár-ard sroiste acu a thuillfidh dóibh aitheantas oifigiúil mar Fhíor-Gaeltachtaí. Mar a dúirt an tAire féin cúpla seachtain ó shin, tá formhór na ndaoine ansin ag caint agus ag cleachtadh na teanga agus ag freastail ar ranganna Gaeilge agus rinncí Gaelacha.

De réir mar a thuigimse an t-údarás seo, tá gach seans ann nach mbeidh aon daoine tofa lasmuigh de na fíor-Ghaeltachtaí. Faoi mar atá leagtha síos ag Roinn na Gaeltachta faoi láthair ba mhaith an rud é dá mbeadh duine nó beirt ar a laghad ó lasmuigh de na fíor-Ghaeltachtaí i dtreo is go bhféadfai meon agus cuisle na ndaoine lasmuigh de na fíor-Ghaeltachtaí a mhothú ó am go ham. Sa chaoi sin bheadh sé soiléir nach raibh dearmad déanta ag an Aire ar na daoine sna breac-Ghaeltachtaí agus chomh maith le sin thaispeánfadh an tAire a spéis agus a shuim sna breac-Ghaeltachtaí. Chuimhnigh go bhfuil suim na ndaoine sna ceantair sin chomh láidir ó thaobh na Gaeilge agus atá sé san bhfíor-Ghaeltacht.

Tá fhios againn na mí-bhuntáistí atá ag baint le hiarrachtaí an Ghaeilge a chur ar aghaidh san Ghalltacht i gcomparáid leis an Ghaeilge a chur ar aghaidh sa Ghaeltacht. Toisc gur air-gead an náisiúin atá i gceist níorbh aon díobháil dá gcaithfí cuid den airgead leo leis an Ghaeilge a chur ar aghaidh sna breac-Ghaeltachtaí agus sna Galltachtaí. Tuigimid an méad atá déanta agus atá á dhéanamh ag Bord na Gaeilge do na Galltachtaí. Ach teastaíonn níos mó ná sin. Cúis mhisnigh agus dóchais dom féin gur tháinig an tAire nua chugainn i mbliana agus tá mé fíor-bhuíoch dó dá bharr sin.

I had to prepare those few lines in Irish because I am in the process of endeavouring to re-learn the language. It is many years since I went to school and when I took up farming I had not time to develop my knowledge of the language.

I appeal to the Minister to involve in this Bill areas that are genuinely interested in becoming Irish-speaking districts. I referred to one, not because it is within my own constituency but because I believe that if we are serious about the language as a living language we cannot just set up a number of pales or iron curtains around the land. We must allow for a growth and there is no reason why efforts made with enthusiasm in a new area cannot be successful. Due help and consideration must be given in the fostering of that effort. Not enough is being done in this field.

In the past we had this idea of a breac Gaeltacht and that in itself gave status and recognition to those areas. They were entitled to special grants. Those things in themselves were incentives, but above all the areas were identified in the minds of people as special areas where the Irish language was being fostered successfully. For whatever reasons, those areas have dwindled. The language has failed. In one generation we have almost succeeded in losing the language that was successfully preserved through penal days. I appeal to the Minister to ensure that the Bill deals not only with specific Gaeltacht areas, which are the real home of the language, but breac Gaeltacht areas as well. We admire what has been done and what will be done in the future for the Gaeltacht areas. It is very necessary work and our children can visit those areas during the summer to learn the language. However, I should not like to think that we are continuing the "closed shop" approach to the language. I should like to see the reintroduction by the Minister of the breac Gaeltacht in specific areas where the efforts of the people merit recognition, though not the recognition as a full Gaeltacht; that would not be right. Recognition as a breac Gaeltacht would be a preliminary step towards becoming a full Gaeltacht. Because the Minister comes from the Gaeltacht he would perhaps appreciate this more than anybody else. I hope he will act on what I have said.

The efforts made by Gaeltarra Éireann have won worldwide recognition. I hope that a similar effort under the údarás will carry on that good work. We are not doing half enough to foster the cottage-type industry. Rarely does anyone take any notice if a group of Irish people get together with a good idea, but people from abroad with plans for a project get lots of attention. Very often such projects are not successful. In Ballymacoda and other such places there are wonderful opportunities for cottage-type industries. There are opportunities for boat building or for a woollen industry or even, as in Ballymacoda, the construction and manufac-ture of form machinery in a small factory. The Minister saw some of these things for himself. This is how to keep a community together.

There is very little point in spending a lot of money on the language if we cannot keep the people at home to speak it. If people from Gaeltacht areas must go abroad, they very often forget their Irish. This is not the ideal system. The communities within the Gaeltacht areas should be built up and the people should be allowed to make their living at home. For this reason I should like to see an emphasis on the industrial aspect of this Bill. I do not want to project the mercenary idea, that people should learn Irish for what they can get out of it. The practicality of the situation is that, if you have industries, you will have people and, if you have people, then you have the language. I should like to think that the Minister would bear in mind our small area of east Cork where an effort is being made. I am sure there are other such areas around the country. I hope that something positive will be done in the future in giving them identification.

Ba mhaith liom i dtosach fáiltiú roimh an mBille seo toisc go bhfuil sé faoi bhráid an Tí agus go bhfuil an chaint ar fad thart maidir leis an mBille a bhí le teacht. Tá an oiread sin cainte déanta faoin mBille seo le cúpla bliain anuas taobh amuigh den Teach seo go bhfuil sé in am dúinn anseo beagán díospóireachta a dhéanamh faoi sa Teach.

Anois, agus an méid sin fáiltiú déanta agam roimh an mBille, ba mhaith liom i dtosach cúpla focal a rá faoin mBille go ginearálta. Beidh mé ag rá cúpla rud agus is deacair iad a rá os rud é gur Maigh Eoch eile atá san Aire agus atá freag-arthach as Roinn na Gaeltachta, ach tá mé cinnte go dtuigfidh sé céard atá i gceist agam agus go dtuigfidh sé cén fáth go mbeidh mé ag clamhsán beagán.

Maidir leis an mBille go ginearálta, tá sé toirtiúil. Tá an-chuid scríobhtha ann ach má scrúdaíonn tú an Bille diabhal mórán atá ann taobh thiar de na leathanaigh fada ann. Mar tá leagtha amach ann céard a d'féadfaí a dhéanamh dá mbeadh sé ar intinn ag an Aire é a dhéanamh nó dá mbeadh an tAire sásta é a dhéanamh. An t-aon rud amháin atá leagtha amach ann ná go bhfuil Údarás na Gaeltachta á bhunú. Chomh fada agus is eol domsa ó bheith ag léamh an Bhille—agus léigh mé cúpla uair é—maidir leis an údarás céanna níl mórán difríochta idir Údarás na Gaeltachta mar atá sé sa Bhille anseo agus Gaeltarra mar atá sé ann faoi láthair. Níl ann ach aistriú cumhachta ó Ghaeltarra go dtí an rud nua seo ar a dtugann an tAire Údarás na Gaeltachta air. Go deimhin ceapaim féin go bhfuil cailliúint le feiceáil maidir le muin-tir naGaeltachta chomh fada agus a bhaineann leis an údarás seo; go raibh siad i bhfad níos fearr as ag plé le Gaeltarra. Thuig mise i gcónaí go raibh an rud go bhfuil an-eolas air sa tír seo special position—a cuireadh ar ceal in áit eile cúpla bliain ó shin—go raibh sé ag Gaeltarra maidir le forbairt eacnamaíoch na Gaeltachta; sé sin nach raibh ar Ghaeltarra dul i gcoimhlint leis an IDA, cuir i gcás maidir le forbairt eacnamaíoch sa Ghaeltacht. Feictear dom chomh fada agus a bhaineann leis an mBille agus le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta gur fíor-bheagán is féidir a dhéanamh gan dul chun cainte le beirt Aire, go gcaithfidh Aire na Gaeltachta agus an tÚdarás dul chun cainte leis an Aire Tionscail, Tráchtála agus Fuinnimh—bhí sé sin ann i gcónaí—ach b'fhéidir go ndéanfaidh an tAire, nuair a bhéas sé ag tabhairt freagra orainn, léiriú dúinn céard atá i gceist leis seo agus an bhfuil aon difríocht idir an chaoi a n-oibríonn Gaeltarra faoi láthair agus an chaoi a n-oibreoidh an tÚdarás nuair a bhéas sé curtha ar bun agus nuair a bhéas an Bille seo reachtaithe ina Acht. Sin ceann de na ceisteanna, mar má thuigimse an Béarla agus an leagan Gaeilge atá san mBille anseo beidh ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta agus ar na cean-tair Ghaeltachta a bheith i gcoimhlint náisiúnta anois le haghaidh monarcana nó le haghaidh forbairt eacnamaíoch a fháil dóibh féin, rud nach raibh orthu a dhéanamh go dtí seo toisc go raibh staid speisialta ag Gaeltarra agus go raibh brú faoi leith á chur ag Roinn na Gaeltachta ar Ghaeltarra agus chomh fada agus a thuigimse tharla sé go minic go bhfuair an Ghaeltacht tús áite maidir le reachtú monarcain nó forbairt eacnamaíoch, rud nach mbeidh fíor faoin údarás.

Anois tá clamhsán eile agam. Mar adúirt mé i dtosach, bhí a lán cainte faoi Údarás na Gaeltachta le cúpla bliain anuas. Bhí mé i láthair ag cruinnithe in iarthar na tíre seo agus bhí an cheist seo faoi chaibidil ag a lán daoine agus bhí siadsan ag súil—gnáth phobal na nGaeltachtaí—nuair a chuirfí an tÚdarás ar bun (1) go mbeadh sé daonlathach agus (2) go mbeadh cúmhachtaí aige. Anois maidir leis an daonlathas—tá fhios agam go ndéarfaidh an tAire go bhfuil iarracht á dhéanamh a bheith chomh daonlathach agus is féidir agus tá an t-iarracht sin déanta, ach ní dóigh liom go dtéann sé fada go leor. Tá seisear á thoghadh ag an Aire ar an údarás agus fágfar seachtar le toghadh ag muintir na Gaeltachta. Ní dóigh liom go mbaineann daonlathas le sin sa chiall ina dtuigimse daonlathas agus, tá mé cinnte, sa chiall ina dtuigeann an tAire daonlathas agus mar gheall ar sin ní dóigh liom go mbeidh pobal na Gaeltachta sásta ar an bpointe sin. Deirim nach leor é sin agus chomh fada agus is eol dom deir pobal na Gaeltachta an rud céanna faoi láthair. Mar sin níl a nguth láidir go leor taobh istigh den údarás. Ar ndóigh braitheann sé ar cé hiad na comhaltaí a thoghas an tAire é féin. B'fhéidir, má thoghann sé daoine ó na Gaeltachtaí go mbeidh sé ag déanamh rud éigin leis an fhadhb a cheartú.

Ach maidir leis na cumhachtaí—agus seo é an fhadhb is mó a fheicimse go bhfuil daoine ag clamhsán faoi—cé hiad na cumhachtaí a bhéas ag an údarás taobh amuigh de na cumhachtaí atá ag Gaeltarra faoi láthair? Ní dóigh liom ó léamh an Bhille seo go mbeidh aon cheo níos fearr acu ná mar atá ag Gaeltarra agus ag an Roinn faoi láthair. Dúirt an tAire é féin, agus bhí mé ag éisteacht leis agus d'aontaigh mé leis, gur mhaith leis ceist phleanála a fheiceáil faoi bhráid an údarás sna ceantair Ghaeltachta.

Ní dóigh liom gur leor é sin. Ba cheart go mbeadh an cumhacht sin anseo sa Bhille. Bhí an tAire ag caint ar RTE an Domhnach tar éis don Bhille a bheith foilsithe. Ní raibh mise ariamh in mo Aire agus níl fhios agam céard a tharlaíonn istigh ag cruinnithe an Rialtais, ach tá mé cinnte go mbeadh an tAire in ann a rá le muintir na Gaeltachta agus muintir na tíre: beidh cumhacht pleanála ag an údarás, nó ní bheidh mar ní bhfuair mé comhoibriú ó mo chomh-Airí sa Rialtas. Seisean an tAire agus tá an cumhacht aige an cheist phleanála seo a réiteach agus é a chur sa Bhille má tá chomhoibriú agus má tá tacaíocht aige óna chomh-Airí sa Rialtas. Iarraim air anois a insint dúinn anseo sa Teach an bhfuil an tacaíocht sin aige agus an mbeidh cead ag an údarás ceisteanna pleanála a réiteach. Sé sin: an aistreofar an cumhacht pleanála atá ag na comhairlí contae go dtí an údarás chomh fada agus a bhaineann leis na ceantair Ghaeltachta?

Ceann eile de na mí-bhuntáistí a fheicimse maidir leis an údarás taobh amuigh den phleanáil agus sin ceann an-mhór, is í ceist na cumhachtaí atá ag na comhairlí contae, cuir i gcás, bóithre, uisce, séarachas agus a leithéid. An bhféadfaí go n-aistreofaí na cumhachtaí sin ó na comhairlí contae mar—agus tá mé cinnte go bhfuil fhios ag an Aire é seo—seo é a bhí ar intinn ag muintir na Gaeltachta. Nuair a bhí mé ag cruin-nithe le blianta beaga anuas bhíodar i gcónaí ag leagan béime ar an taobh seo den údarás—nár b'fiú faic an t-údarás muna mbeadh na cumhachtaí seo acu, cumhachtaí pleanála agus freagrathas maidir le bóithre, uisce, séarachas agus a leithéid; sé sin na cumhachtaí atá faoi láthair ag na comhairlí contae sna ceantair seo.

Tá sé de cheart ag an Teach seo ordú a chur ar ceal taobh istigh de lá is fiche muna n-aontaíonn an Teach seo leis an ordú sin. Thuig mise go raibh sé de dhualgas ag an Rialtas am a chur ar fáil leis an ordú sin a phlé. Sé mhí ó shin thug mise isteach anseo ceist faoi ordú a chur ar ceal taobh istigh den lá is fiche atá leagtha síos de réir dlí. Níor cuireadh an t-am ar fáil domsa. Anois ní Aire na Gaeltachta a bhí i gceist ach ceann dá chomh-Airí. Níor chuir an Rialtas an t-am ar fáil. Dúradh liom dá mba mhian liom an t-ordú seo a phlé go gcaithfinn é a phlé in am príobháideach an Fhreasúra, rud nach raibh mé sásta a dhéanamh, mar tá sé leagtha síos go gcaithfidh an Rialtas an t-am a chur ar fáil. Anois iarraim ar Aire na Gaeltachta—agus tá mé cinnte gur fear ionraic é—geallúint solúnta a thabhairt go gcuirfear am ar fáil, agus go bhféachfaidh sé chuige go ndéanfar amhlaidh, le horduithe a phlé taobh istigh den lá is fiche atá leagtha síos.

Tá rud eile an-aisteach ann. Baineann sé le heolas a nochtú faoin mBille. Ní nochtóidh aon duine aon eolas a bhfhaighidh sé agus é ag comhlíonadh a dhualgais mar chomhalta den údarás nó mar chomhairleoir nó mar shain-chomhairleoir. Má chionntaítear éinne as eolas a nochtú mar sin gearrfar fineáil air nach mó ná £100, faoi alt 15 den Bhille. Ní thuigim cén fáth go bhfuil gá lena leithéid de mhanadh. Ní fhaca mé a leithéid i mBille ariamh. Más gá a leithéid do chur síos ar pháipéar, d'féad-faí an cheist a chur, cén mhuinín atá ag an Aire agus ag an Roinn as daoine go bhfuil páirt á ghlacadh acu san údarás, muintir an údarás féin nó saineolaithe atá ag cur comhairle orthu? Ní mórán muiníne atá astu más gá a leithéid d'fhoráil a chur ar fáil, go ngearrfaí £100 orthu má thugann siad eolas ar bith faoi rudaí a tharla ag cruinnithe an údaráis nó aon chruinnithe eile a bhaineann leis an údarás. B'fhéidir go gcuirtear rudaí dá shórt i mBillí, níl fhios agam, ach ba mhaith liom go ndéanfadh an tAire é sin a mhíniú agus an fáth go bhfuil sé ann a thabhairt dúinn.

Maidir leis an Ghaeltacht go ginearálta, níl rud ar bith sa Bhille seo a chuirfidh le forbairt eacnamaíoch, for-bairt na teanga, forbairt shóisialta nó aon ghné eile de shaol na Gaeltachta. Cuir i gcás, an bhfuil tada ann maidir le feirmeoireacht, iascaireacht, forbairt céanna? Níl, níl ann ach athrú ainme ar Ghaeltarra Eireann agus ar an obair atá ar siúl acu, ach amháin de bharr an Bhille seo go mbeidh rudaí níos measa don Ghaeltacht. Tá díomá ar chuid mhór daoine sa Ghaeltacht i ngeall ar na pointí a luaigh mé go dtí seo.

Ag breathnú siar 50 bliain agus na polasaithe a cuireadh i bhfeidhm i leith na Gaeilge agus i leith na Gaeltachta caithfear a admháil go bhfuil teipthe ar na polasaithe sin. Tá teipthe orthu má bhreathnaítear ar na Gaeltachtaí mar Ghaeltachtaí, áiteanna a raibh daoine ag suil go gcaomhnófaí an teanga iontu. Séard atá anseo ná leanúint ar aghaidh don pholasaí, más féidir polasaí a thabhairt air, a bhí ann leis na blianta, sé sin, ar iarraidh ar dhaoine iarrachtaí deonacha a dhéanamh ar theanga a labhairt, fanacht sa bhaile, agus ansin forbairt eacnamaíoch a chur ar fáil arís chomh fada agus is féidir.

Bhí bun-aidhm ag an tír seo leathchéad bliain ó shin i leith na Gaeltachta agus dob í an aidhm sin athbheochaint na Gaeilge mar theanga labhartha. Ar fhaitíos go mbeadh aon dul amú ar éinne i dtaobh cad atá i gceist agam, séard atá ann ná revival of spoken Irish for all the people of Ireland. B'shin í an bhun-aidhm a bhí ag an tír seo. Ansin am éigin sna tríochadaí tharla rud éigin, níl fhios agam céard é féin, ach dob é an toradh a bhí air ná cúlú i leith na bun-aidhme seo, agus ní athbheochaint a bhí ann as sin amach ach caomhnú, sé sin d'iompaíomar ó revival go preservation. B'shin cúlú agus do réir mar a chuaigh na blianta ar aghaidh bhí cúlú níos faide siar ó preservation go reservation.

An aidhm seo, athbheochain na Gaeilge mar theanga labharta do mhuintir na hÉireann, tá sé caillte le fada, agus mar adeirim, sna triocadaí, na dachadaí agus na caogadaí a thárla an cúlú sin. Tá revival, preservation agus reservation anois againn. Tá fhios againn ar fad céard is ciall le "preservation". Séard atá ann anois, agus sé polasaí an Rialtais anois, ná cineál claí na muice duibhe a chur timpeall ar an nGaeltacht, agus muintir na Gaeltachta a fhágáil istigh, agus iarraidh orthu fanacht ann ar son cultúr na tire, ar son na teanga agus ar son na hEireann, agus gan tada eile a dhéanamh. Sin é an polasaí de réir mar fheicimse polasaí na blianta a chuaidh thart—cúlú an t-am ar fad.

Céard tá sa mBille seo? Tá faitíos orm go bhfuil cúlú le feiceáil anseo freisin, mar sé ceann de na rudaí atá le feiceáil go soiléir go nglacann a lán daoine go mbeadh réiteach ar fhadhb na Gaeltachta agus ar fhadhb na teanga dá ndéanfaí iarracht é a chur i bhfeidhm, sé sin, in ionad an cúlú seo agus an reservation philosophy atá againn go ndéanfaí leathnú ar an nGaeltacht. Bhí deis ag an Aire sa Bhille seo é sin a dhéanamh, agus tá an deis aige fós. B'fhéidir leis breathnú ar an scéal agus ceantar an larthair go ginearálta a leathnú amach.

Cuir i gcás, ní féidir leat iachall a chur ar dhaoine teanga faoi leith a labhairt. Tá teipthe ar an nós sin agus ar an bpolasaí sin. Tá fhios ag an Aire, tá fhios ag chuile dhuine sa Teach seo agus taobh amuigh den Teach nach féidir leat a rá le daoine, "Caithfidh tú seo, siúd agus eile a dhéanamh", agus bheith ag súil go ndéanfaidh siad é, mar ni dhean-faidh siad. Ach féadfaí ceantar an Iarthair a leathnú amach, cuir i gcás go dtí na hoileáin. Tá cuid de na hoileáin nach bhfuil chomh fada sin ón Aire, agus cén fáth, cuir i gcás, go bhfuil oileán amháin nach bhfuil na buntáistí céanna ag dul leis is atá ag oileáin eile toisc go bhfuil Gaeilge á labhairt i gceann amháin agus Béarla i gceann eile?

Mar adúirt mé cheana, agus deirim arís agus arís eile é, theip ar an bpolasaí sin blianta ó shoin, sé sin, ag iarraidh béim ró láidir a leagan ar usáid na teanga, mar tá na hoileáin ann agus tá ceantair imeallach ann thart ar an nGaeltacht, agus tá na fadhbanna céanna ag baint leo is a bhaineann leis an nGaeltacht fhéin, agus níl ann ach timpist go bhfuil Béarla á labhairt iontu. Tá na fadhbanna céanna sóisialach, eacnamaíochta agus talmhaíochta acu agus atá ag na ceantair Ghaeltachta. Ach, tre thimpist, is Béarla atá á labhairt iontu, agus mar sin níl na buntáistí céanna ag dul leis na ceantair is atá ag dul leis an nGaeltacht.

Mar dúirt mé scór bliain ó shin, ní bhéinn anseo ag rá na rudaí seo ach gur cheap mé fhéin go mba cheart an Ghaeltacht a choineáil mar Ghaeltacht agus go mba cheart caomhnú a dhéanamh ar an méid atá fagtha againn agus chuile iarracht a dhéanamh an teanga a choinneáil beo taobh istigh de cheantair áirithe. Ach, faoi 1978, biodh mé ceart nó mí-cheart, tá mé anois ar an tuairim go bhfuil teipthe glan ar an bpolasaí seo faoi chungú agus chaomhnú agus go gcaithfear an Ghaeltacht a oscailt agus ceantair faoi leith a thógáil isteach a mbeidh na buntáistí céanna ag baint leo is a bhaineann leis an nGaeltacht inniu.

Sé an t-aon bhealach amháin gur féidir an Ghaeltacht agus an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn ná tré forbairt eacnamaíoch. Ní féidir leat bheith ag súil go bhfanfaidh daoine in áit nach bhfuil fostaíocht ann dóibh, nach bhfuil caighdeán maireachtála ar aon chéim leis an gcaighdeán atá in áiteanna eile sa tír. Is ceist stairiúil é agus is ceist geographic é go dtarlaíonn sé go bhfuil na ceantair Ghaeltachta ar na ceantair is bochta sa tír, agus ní tré thimpist a thárla sé sin. Is ceist stairiúil é.

Maidir leis an nGaeltacht, tugadh aghaidh ar an fhadhb sin i dtosach. Déanadh leathnú ar an nGaeltacht i 1956. Comharsa liom fhéin agus comh-arsa leis an Aire a bhí mar Aire na Gaeltachta ag an am. Tugadh "Lindsay na Gaeltachta" air, agus anois níl éinne in ann seasamh suas agus a rá gur dearnadh dochar, mar níor déanadh aon dochar, agus tá fhios ag an Aire é sin. Go deimhin, ba mhaith liom a rá nuair a bhí an tAire ina shuí anseo go raibh seisean i bhfabhar leathnú na Gaeltachta tré na hoileáin a thabhairt isteach agus ceantair imeallach na nGaeltachtaí, áiteanna go raibh na fadhbanna céanna ag baint leo agus bhí leis an Ghaeltacht a thabhairt isteach faoi réim na Gaeltachta. Níl sé sin ró fhada ó shin, ach ar ndóigh nuair a chuaigh an tAire ar an taobh sin den Teach bhí athrú scéil aige. Muna bhfuil daoine sa Ghaeltacht ní bheidh Gaeltacht againn agus ní bheidh teanga againn, agus is é forbairt eacnamaíochta, mar adúirt mé cheana, an t-aon pholasaí amháin gur féidir leis aon chaomhnú nó aon dul chun cinn a dhéanamh ar an staid atá ann faoi láthair sa Ghaeltacht.

Ba mhaith liom, mar fhocal scoir, a rá go mbeadh an t-údarás ann. D'fhéad-faimid a bheith ag clamhsán faoi phointí faoi leith maidir le cumhachtaí, maidir le daonlathas agus rudaí eile. An mbeadh sé ceart glacadh leis go ndéanfaidh an tAire beart de réir a bhriathair chun dul chun cinn na Gaeltachta agus dul chun cinn na teanga agus na fadhbanna a bhaineann leis a réiteach trí obair an údaráis? Taobh amuigh den clamhsán ar fad atá déanta agamsa faoin údarás, mar adúirt mé cheana fáiltím roimhe toisc go bhfuil sé ann. Níl sé mar a shíl a lán daoine a bheadh sé. Bheadh an Bille seo ábalta a lán rudaí a dhéanamh dá mbeadh an tAire sásta nó ábalta bheith ag comhoibriú lena chomh-Airí, na rudaí gùr mhaith leis a fheiceáil i ngníomh sa Ghaeltacht atá ann.

We had revival, we had preservation, we now have reservation. Might I hope that the Minister will without further reservation ensure that the expansion of Irish in the Gaeltacht will be his priority and that he will abandon the policies which have been seen to have failed down the years. The only solution that I can envisage to the problems that beset the Gaeltacht areas and the expansion of Irish is a broadening of our political vistas, a broadening of the designated areas including the peripheral areas and the islands, giving them the same advan-tages that the Gaeltacht areas now enjoy.

I congratulate the Minister on this Bill which is the fulfilment of an election promise contained in our manifesto. Some criticism has been levelled at the Minister because this Bill was not introduced in the first year that this Government took office as we had stated it would. However, I am sure the fair-minded people in the Gaeltacht will accept the Minister's explanation that the drafting difficulties were quite considerable and will be very happy that within 18 months of our return to office this Bill is now before the House.

I admitted before the House the sadness I feel at not being able to speak in Irish, but I am very keen to see that my children learn to speak Irish. I see one of the functions of an t-údarás as being the very important task which the minister referred to in his Second Stage speech of furthering the use of the Irish language. I hope that one of the first tasks on the cultural side to be undertaken by this new body taking over the functions of Gaeltarra Éireann, which was largely concerned with industrial development in the Gaeltacht, will be the teaching of Irish to children from the cities such as Dublin. I am aware that people can go to the Gaeltacht and stay with Irish-speaking families, but I hope an t-údarás will take on this important task.

I am glad to note that the majority on this committee will be elected by the people of the Gaeltacht. I agreed with the Minister's sentiments when he said that up until now individuals with little backing could convey an impression that they spoke on behalf of the community. This is true in all areas where groups of individuals have access to the media and get more coverage in propagating their views than people who are directly elected by the people. There is nothing more sobering to the people who like to be the great pundits than the test of going through an election. It is very important for the democratic credibility of an t-údarás that the majority of members will be elected.

The fact that it will be possible to advance sums totalling up to £50 million out of central funds under section 3 for the work of an t-údarás as well as annual grants under section 22 is to be welcomed. This is not by any means a small sum, and I am aware of the tremendous responsibility which the first board of an t-údarás will have in setting up the framework within which future succeeding boards will work. One of the most important aspects of their work will be in the gradual taking on to themselves of the powers of a local authority, which the Minister stated will be contained in section 9 of the Bill, which will allow the Minister to confer on an t-údarás powers giving them more and more autonomy as they earn it. To start off by setting up an autonomous body without any real direction would be an error. We are giving them certain functions—the initial ones being the functions carried out by Gaeltarra Éireann in the past—plus the extra authority of now having democratically elected members.

There are many people who have a tremendous lack of faith in the Gaeltacht and its future. Successive Governments have endeavoured in many ways to encourage people to stay in the Gaeltacht by giving them incentives and this has caused resentment in some quarters because some people felt that all people were not being treated equally. We have all heard statements to the effect that people in the Gaeltacht were being spoon-fed. I do not agree with that attitude. It is very important for the survival of our culture that the Gaeltacht receives every possible assistance and encouragement. I do not think any Member would suggest otherwise. I accept that there may be a few individuals who believe that the Irish language should be done away with, that it should be allowed die a natural death but we have always had to live with such people who found it embarrassing to be Irish. Sometimes those who turn out to be most ardent supporters of retaining our culture are those who may have lost the language in previous generations. They now wish to reacquire a knowledge of it and our traditions for the sake of their children.

I do not accept the view that has been expressed that the Bill amounts to the setting up of a mini-republic in the Gaeltacht. That is a cynical view and one which does not merit much attention. The new authority will give the people of the Gaeltacht a new sense of pride in themselves. It amounts to a new challenge to them to show what they are capable of. It will inspire in many young people a new sense of direction and idealism and will rekindle a love for our language in many.

I should like to pay tribute to the work done by Gaeltarra Éireann and in particular to the dedication and idealism of the general manager, Cathal Mac Gabhann. I have known him for many years and I am well aware of his dedication to work. He has made a great success of Gaeltarra Éireann and under the new framework I am sure he will play an equally important role. The new authority which will oversee all the work that is to be done in relation to the Gaeltacht will have a tremendous responsibility and the importance of its work cannot be underestimated. I am sure all Members will extend to the members their good wishes. We will watch with interest and sympathetic understanding the initial difficulties we expect the authority to experience. In the final analysis those who are elected to the authority by the people will be chosen because of their definite concern for the development of Gaeltacht areas. I hope the authority will be allocated a sizeable budget for cultural development so that they can encourage people to live in the Gaeltacht for long periods. I have often had a desire to take leave of absence and go to the Gaeltacht to live for six months or 12 months.

Ar aghaidh leat and 19 others with you.

While some constituents might appreciate my absence for such a lengthy period others would not. I am not likely to ask the Chief Whip for leave of absence but I would recommend that young people spend a long period in Gaeltacht areas. I would like the new authority to pay attention to that aspect. We can have many industries and all the trappings that go with prosperity but without our cultural heritage and our language we have nothing. We will become another part of one industrial mass. A Gaelic speaking Gaeltacht in a free Ireland should be the initial aim of this new authority. In those areas people should be encouraged to delve into their heritage.

Más mian leis an Teachta Briscoe teacht go Gaeltacht Mhuigheo beidh fáilte roimhe, ach ní dóigh liom go mbeidh morán in éineacht leis mura dtiochfaidh sé ann sé mhí amach anseo.

Ba mhaith liom a rá leis an Aire i dtús báire go gcuirim fáilte roimh an mBille seo chun Udarás na Gaeltachta a bhunú. Is mór, go deimhin, a bhfuil ráite agus scríobhta faoin údarás seo cheana féin agus go dheimhin bhí sé geallta dúinn le fada. Ar an bpointe seo cuirim fáilte roimhe. Níl dabht ar bith ann, agus ní fhéadfadh duine ar bith cur ina aghaidh, go ndearna iar-Aire na Gaeltachta, an Teachta O'Donnell, forbairt iontach ar son na Gaeltachtaí ar fad. Bhí an t-údarás seo le bheith bunaithe aige anois, ach mar a deirtear sa Teach seo, sin ceist eile. Is mór an trua nach raibh sé bunaithe aige anois mar bheadh an tAire in ann na deachrachtaí a bheadh ann a fheiceáil níos fearr, agus an rud ba cóir a dhéanamh fúthu a dhéanamh.

Deirtear nach bhfuil sa Bhille seo ach taibhse de Ghaeltarra Éireann. Is iad na nithe is tabhachtaí sna Gaeltachtaí ná obair do na ndaoine, oideachas, cursaí sóisialta, talmhaíochta, iascaireachta, bóithre, uisce, teanga, cultúr na nGaeltachtaí, agus eile. Deirtear freisin nach bhfuil an cumhacht ba gá ag an údarás nua i leith na nithe seo.

In this Bill the Minister is afforded a unique opportunity of initiating an everlasting flow of progress for all Gaeltachtaí. Coming from a Gaeltacht area he knows, possibly more intimately than many people in this House, the problems encountered in those areas.

In welcoming this Bill, which will dissolve Gaeltara Eireann, I too should like to mention its successes, its tremendous workload and that of its officials, particularly in recent years, in the formation, expansion and development of all Gaeltacht areas. There have been calls from different bodies in Gaeltacht areas that the údarás should have been democratically set up long ago. In this Bill the Minister proposes to have six appointees by ministerial appointment and seven by election from within the Gaeltacht areas themselves. Anybody who has studied any political figures in the past 18 months will realise that the probable result will be that the board will be subject to the Minister's instructions and the Government's intentions in respect of political attitudes. But from the point of view of being democratic, it cannot be said that elections will not take place democratically. Perhaps the Minister would spell out the intentions he has in relation to those elections, how he intends having candidates nominated and so on.

The use of Irish is to be promoted in Gaeltacht areas, which is to be highly recommended. I trust the údarás will work in close liaison with Bord na Gaeilge to this end, endeavouring to promote the use of Irish as a living, vibrant, everyday language of people of all shades of opinion within Gaeltacht areas. That is a very desirable aim of any Bill.

Section 8 (7) of the Bill states:

For the purposes of this section an tÚdarás shall have power to acquire, receive on transfer, hold, sell, mortgage, lease, let, or otherwise dispose of land, buildings, markets, premises or plant and to erect, alter or maintain buildings, markets, premises or plant.

In relation to the setting up of an industry or possible widening of roads for that purpose there might be objections made by landowners in any particular area. I wonder what authority the údarás will have in relation to the acquisition of such holdings. This is a problem proper to the Department of the Environment in areas outside the Gaeltacht. It might happen that there would be very few suitable sites for certain industries, when problems in that regard would be encountered in some areas.

The core of this Bill, to my mind, is contained in section 9 (2) (d) which confers on the údarás such local authority functions as it may specify. In this Bill the Minister is afforded a unique opportunity of furthering the progress of all Gaeltacht areas in no uncertain terms.

Deputy O'Toole called for an expansion of Gaeltacht areas. I have no doubt that if the Minister could announce an expansion of all Gaeltacht areas today he would do so. Bearing in mind that he comes from a part of the country, a section of which is in the Gaeltacht and a section of which is not, I am sure nobody more than he would like to make an announcement of such importance to the people there. I understand that there will be problems in relation to the expansion of Gaeltacht areas, some difficult to overcome. I have no doubt that the Minister will be investigating these problems to see what action he might take. Travelling as he does from Gaeltacht to non-Gaeltacht areas he will appreciate that there is very little physical difference between a Gaeltacht area and a non-Gaeltacht one, except that in recent years the standards of physical structures in Gaeltacht areas has improved immensely in comparison with some other non-Gaeltacht ones. Here I am thinking specifically of such matters as roads, bridges, sewerage schemes, lighting systems and so on. Regardless of the titles of Bills or of what words they contain, what people are interested in are the benefits to be derived from their implementation. In other words the titles of Bills and the words contained in them may not have great significance for people living in Gaeltacht areas. They do not really mind so long as the benefits accruing to them are for their further progress.

Many areas outside the Gaeltacht are being discriminated against to some extent in the development of these physical structures. We have several inhabited islands off the west coast and the Minister would probably have to include these in any planned expansion or extension of the Gaeltacht limits. The frustrations and physical barriers that people have to contend with in many of these areas have to be experienced at first hand before a definite understanding of what they are all about can be reached. Coming as he does from such an area and having experienced these problems at first hand, the Minister has within his Department the power to take such progressive opportunities as he thinks fit. That is the heart of the Bill and, no doubt, the Minister will have representations and advice at meetings with different groups and organisations and with people from the non-Gaeltacht areas who wish to be included in the benefits that are in evidence for people living within the specific limits.

It is not stated in the Bill that the areas for election would be breac-Ghaeltachtaí or Gaeltachtaí as in-troduced under specific Acts. I would like the Minister to clarify that because there will be people and groups who feel that they should be represented and if they are not they may seek to be included under the terms of the Bill. The core of that point is that the further extension of the Gaeltacht areas is of paramount importance to people living outside them at present. That is what the údarás should be all about; not alone about development within specific limits but possibly also about extension of those limits and the promotion and use of Irish inside and outside and right across the whole spectrum.

There has been a tremendous increase in tourism in Gaeltacht areas in recent years mainly because many of those areas contain some of the finest landscapes in our country, and this aspect has been opened up to foreigners only in the relatively recent past. The local authority powers that should be conferred on the údarás would go a long way towards a decent promotion and furthering of the tourism industry within the Gaeltacht areas which would be to the benefit of everybody and especially to the people directly involved, those living in the areas.

In relation to the planning aspect of housing, it has become increasingly evident that ribbon development is begining to sprout wings, as it were, and this brings with it an immense number of problems in the provision of water, sewerage, proper lighting, road widen-ing, footpaths and so on. I find nothing in the Bill that will confer upon the údarás proper powers to develop the Gaeltacht areas to the extent that local authority areas are developed. Section 10 (4) states:

An tÚdarás shall not provide financial assistance in any particular case where financial assistance has been provided by the Industrial Development Authority.

Where an industry is set up by the IDA in a non-Gaeltacht area which could be on or very close to the border of a Gaeltacht area and people from Gaeltacht areas are trained to work in that IDA factory, does the finance for that training come from the Department of Labour or from the údarás? It would seem contradictory to the terms of the Bill that no assistance can be provided by the údarás where finance has previously been granted by the IDA.

I am quite sure that before the passage of the Bill has been completed there will be many representations from different groups and organisations stating their point of view that the Bill does not have the authority they would like to see contained in it. However, being a fellow TD of the Minister and from the same constituency, I welcome the introduction of the Bill. There are points in it that I will discuss with him later, and I have no doubt that he will bear in mind the essential point of my contribution, that the problems in relation to the expansion of Gaeltacht areas should be looked at intently with a view to making a major announcement that we can provide goodies for living people outside the areas. If the Minister wishes I shall give him every assistance necessary on that.

I welcome this Bill and the establishment of Údarás na Gaeltachta. It should promote the social, cultural, linguistic and physical developments of the Gaeltacht.

Cuireadh an díospóireacht ar athló.

Debate adjourned.