Estimates, 1982. - Vóta 37: Roinn na Gaeltachta (Atógáil).

Atógadh an díospóireacht ar an tairiscint seo a leanas:
Go ndeonófar suim nach mó ná £13,393,000 chun íoctha an mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31ú lá de Nollaig, 1982, le haghaidh tuarastail agus costais Roinn na Gaeltachta, maille le deontais le haghaidh tithe agus ildeontais-i-gcabhair.
—(Aire na Gaeltachta.)

Ba mhaith liom a rá ar an Mheastachán seo gurb í aidhm Pháirtí na nOibrí an Ghaeltacht a neartú, a chosaint agus a leathnú.

On the Order of Business, I have been trying to raise another matter.

It is too late.

On a point of order, I can quite understand the concern of the Chair for order and that we should not spend too much time on one item, but when someone is waiting patiently for a matter to be dealt with and rises in his place a number of times and is then not allowed to raise it, we are making a nonsense of the procedure of the House. Before you move on to the next item surely you have a duty to look around and see if some other point of order is being raised. Of course, you must assure yourself that it is a fresh point of order.

Deputy Shatter has been on his feet all the time and he did not sit down when his question was over. I have taken no fewer than five questions from him in relation to the Order of Business. He thinks he may have another point but we have gone on to the Estimates and I will not entertain it.

On a point of order, it is my intention to raise an entirely different matter.

We have moved from the Order of Business. We create a chaotic situation in this House if we do not proceed with business. You are now trying to interfere with Deputy De Rossa's right to speak. The same attempt was made the other day and it will not be tolerated.


Four Members cannot ask for points of order. Deputy O'Toole.

The allegation made by you now suggests to me that you are referring to my attempt allegedly to stop Deputy De Rossa——

You are assuming that.

Correctly, because I was the only one in the House at the time.

You were flanked by four members of your party.


It is not correct to say you were the only person in the House.

I object strongly to the allegation that I stopped Deputy De Rossa from speaking that day. I did not do so but you tried to drag him in as a red herring.

Deputy De Rossa offered to speak and I called him, but you refused to accept my ruling. I now call on him again.

If we are to have order in this House it is important that the Order of Business be conducted in an orderly manner. That means that before we complete the processs it is necessary for you to satisfy yourself if there is a Member on his feet that he does not have a fresh point to raise. I can understand that you might have misunderstood and thought that Deputy Shatter wished to pursue a matter he had already raised, but before proceeding you ought to have checked to see if he had a fresh point. We cannot proceed on the basis that people are excluded from raising points of order because there has been a lengthy discussion on something else. That would be contrary to all the practices and principles of the House.

It would be contrary to all practices of the House if this were to continue with Deputy Shatter deciding to stand all the time. I have left the Order of Business. Deputy De Rossa was speaking and he was interrupted. May I be permitted to proceed to regulate order in this House?

When the Order of Business has been completed it is of course in order to call Deputy De Rossa, but if a Member is on his feet and wishes to raise a fresh point of order I do not think you are entitled to proceed. If in error you do so, as is understandable in circumstances where the same Deputy is raising two separate points, then you could appropriately and courteously be induced to correct yourself.

The Order of Business was completed and Deputy De Rossa was speaking.

On a point of order, you have stated your opinion that people on this side of the House wish to interfere with Deputy De Rossa's right to speak. That is not the case. We are entitled to raise points of order and to pursue them until we have a ruling. In doing so we are not in any way interfering with any Deputy's right to speak. I would ask you to withdraw that remark.

I will not withdraw the remark because it was not a point of order which was raised the other day. I was told I had no right to call Deputy De Rossa and I asserted that I had that right. This was challenged by Members in the Chamber.

Nobody is preventing Deputy De Rossa from speaking, but we must finish the business that is in hand before we go on to the next one.

Business was finished.

Nobody has any intention of muzzling any Deputy on any side of the House. I ask the Chair to withdraw his allegation that we are preventing any Deputy——

I am not withdrawing my allegation. I know that attempts were made to stop him. If I call a Deputy and somebody stops him from speaking without a point of order, that person is interfering with a Member's right to speak.

If the Ceann Comhairle calls a Deputy without waiting for the previous speaker to finish the business, the person prevented from speaking is not the next one on the Chair's list.

I waited almost half an hour. I permitted an expanded time on the Order of Business. I did not interfere with the right of any Member to speak on the matter. We have now proceeded from the Order of Business. Deputy De Rossa was speaking and has been interrupted. Deputy De Rossa to continue.

On a point of order, the Chair has just said that he allowed an expanded time for the Order of Business. For someone not so experienced in the practice of the House, can the Chair indicate how much time is allowed for the Order of Business. Can it go on for a limitless time?

Three minutes.

The practice is to allow it for a few minutes.

What Standing Order allows it to be stopped or axed at any point?

The Standing Order prevents any debate on the Order of Business.

With respect, it allows for points to be raised on the Order of Business until Members are satisfied that they have raised items they wish to raise. Just because there is a long discussion on one item, somebody else who wants to raise a matter on the Order of Business should not be silenced by a ruling from the Chair that half an hour has been given to one item, thereby ruling out five or six other items.

Deputy Shatter was not silenced.

Is there any Standing Order that forbids the Order of Business from going on?

The Seanad permits this, but not the Dáil. There are announcements. There can be questions in relation to those announcements. That is the usual practice.

Without any time limit on those questions as long as they are in order?

As long as they are in order. When the Ceann Comhairle proceeds from one item of business to the next item he should be permitted to do so.

On a point of order, it is easy for the Chair to proceed to the next business if he keeps his head down and does not notice who is trying to raise a point on the Order of Business.

I do not do that.

With respect, the Chair moved on to Deputy De Rossa without seeing whether there were more questions to be raised.

Deputy Shatter did not sit down once.

In the interests of fair play, there are other Deputies who may want to raise matters on the Order of Business after a long discussion has gone on and their rights will be axed if they are not allowed to do so because the Chair proceeds to go into another item of business when he considers we have spent too long on one item. I protest at that.

Did the Deputy have a matter to raise?

No, but in fairness the right of Members is being taken from them.

That is not so; in fact, it is the reverse which occurs.

This is the second day on which this has happened. The Chair will appreciate the concern of this side of the House if legitimate points on the Order of Business are ruled out day after day, as happened on two successive days, because there has been a prolonged discussion on something and somebody who has been waiting patiently is not allowed to make a particular point. The suggestion that any attempt was made to prevent Deputy De Rossa from speaking this morning has no foundation. The only speaker who was prevented from speaking this morning was Deputy Shatter, who was prevented from raising a matter on the Order of Business. We do not know the nature of the matter he wished to raise. We cannot accept on this side of the House the procedure under which matters on the Order of Business may not be raised or are ruled out because you, Sir, do not want to hear them or are unwilling to hear them because there has been a long discussion on some of the points. I ask the Chair to reconsider his position and as long as there is any Deputy with a point to raise on the Order of Business to permit him to do so as long as it is a fresh point, ruling out excessive discussion on matters where the Chair feels the discussion has gone on long enough.

As Deputy FitzGerald will agree, I have given more latitude than any other occupant of this Chair. I must be permitted to exercise control over the House. I called Deputy De Rossa to speak. The Order of Business was completed as far as I was concerned. Deputy Shatter did not stand up: he remained standing. If he does that I am not responsible for his actions. I tried to tell him to resume his seat. He remained standing throughout the debate. I proceeded from the Order of Business to call the next item. Deputy De Rossa was speaking and we had the same turmoil again.

On a point of order, I will not return to the previous matter because we have dealt with it in as satisfactory a manner as we can under the rules of the House. The Chair referred to the fact that I remained standing throughout the time when the previous matter was raised. I go to my feet on a number of occasions but I do not remain standing throughout the half hour. That is not correct. I appreciate it might have been the Chair's perception that I was on my feet all the time.

No, it was not. I tried to tell the Deputy on one occasion to please sit down. I am definite about that. I watched the Deputy very carefully. I had a private discussion with Deputy Shatter in case he might think that I was trying to stop him on previous occasions. I would not do that under any circumstances.

I accept that.

I go to extremes to protect the rights of Members in every way on so many matters. I would feel it very strongly if any Deputy accused me of denying him the right to speak in the House.

That just happened.

That did not happen. Deputy Shatter did not obey the rules of the House. He remained standing.

In fairness to the Chair, having regard to the time the previous matter took I appreciate that when I got to my feet again it would have been a natural conclusion to assume that I was going to continue with that matter. I fully appreciate that. Anybody could reach that conclusion. The fact is I have a totally different matter I wish to raise which will only take a minute. It is a genuine matter on a point of order. It is a matter concerning the Minister for Health, which I have no doubt he will be prepared to answer. I would appreciate the opportunity to raise this matter. I fully appreciate that when I got to my feet it was a natural conclusion to come to that I was seeking to follow on the other matter which proved such an embarrassment to the Taoiseach. I appreciate the Chair's impartiality on that.

Thank you, Deputy. Deputy De Rossa.

On a point of order, before Deputy De Rossa proceeds may I be allowed to raise this one matter with the Minister for Health on the Order of Business?

Sorry, no. If I do, we would bring the whole place into disrepute and make a charade of the whole business. When we proceed from the Order of Business we should stick to that. I will endeavour to watch on all occasions in case someone wishes to raise a matter on the Order of Business. If we go back now, we may as well just adjourn the House.

We talk about time wasted on the Order of Business, but did it ever occur to you, Sir, that the time taken to raise points from these benches would be far less than the time taken by these endless rows? If we did not have a row this morning, the Order of Business would have concluded a quarter of an hour ago.

I agree fully. If I had my way we would have at least an hour for the Order of Business. I am very anxious for the Committee on Procedure and Privileges to have much more reform of the Dáil and make it more relevant to what is happening.

Deputy Shatter has just indicated that the point he wished to raise on the Order of Business a quarter of an hour ago would take about one minute. Why is he not allowed to raise it?

We have proceeded from the Order of Business. If we go back again anybody can ask anything. When we proceed from the Order of Business, it is too late.

In the light of the confusion which arose this morning and to clear the matter, why not say to Deputy Shatter that he can raise this point and let that be the end of it?

The Deputy can raise this matter next Tuesday.

Let me say this.

Is it a point of order?

It arises out of a point of order. I want to say something which the Chair will be sorry to miss.

I would hate to miss anything the Deputy might say.

I must say that the Chair's claim that he has been more generous on the Order of Business than his predecessors is justified. In the few years I have been here, it is noticeable that as the House moves into the second half of June, and more so when it moves into July, tempers become shorter. But, at the same time, I think that what Deputy O'Keeffe says is absolutely true and that it would be a very good thing if your approach to the Order of Business on the days on which you are reasonably liberal became solidified here into the House's convention. It is more interesting to the people and the press, the media inside the House and the public outside, if an important issue which throws light on the way the country is run or not run — like the question of Deputy Shatter's Bill and what happens behind the closed doors which are selectively opened when it suits them — is thoroughly thrashed out here in half an hour at the beginning of business. That is more interesting and more important to the public than, with respect to Deputy De Rossa, a lot of what is going to be said on the Gaeltacht Estimate or any other Estimate in the course of the day.

On a point of order — and let us be reasonable about it — the allegation made by the Chair that I prevented the Deputy from speaking last Friday is not acceptable to me and, a Cheann Comhairle, you know that.

I am sorry, Deputy, I made no allegation about you. I said there were attempts made here to stop——

Well, I was the only one who was in the House.

You were not, Deputy. I said you were flanked by a number of Deputies.

I was the only one who spoke.

No, you were not, Deputy. That is incorrect. I am afraid the Deputy's memory is not the best if he does not remember that he was flanked by four men and two on the other side. I know that, Deputy.

In fact, as it happens, a Cheann Comhairle, it would seem my memory of the incident is much clearer than yours.

Might I suggest to the Deputy that he read the transcript?

You denied to me that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle told you I was to be called on next. Then, subsequently, when you were backed into a corner and not able to give me a guarantee to raise this matter again you admitted that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle had indicated to you that I was to be called next.

I made no such statement. I said you were to be the next Fine Gael speaker.

I sat here for four minutes watching——

No. Please read the transcript and then I feel you will say your are sorry. Please do that.

All I am asking, a Cheann Comhairle, is that you withdraw the allegation that I prevented Deputy De Rossa from speaking.

I never made that allegation, Deputy. You will admit that I had to adjourn the House because Deputy De Rossa was being denied his right to speak.

By members of your party.

Who were they?

Well, there were five or six. They challenged my ruling. That is it.

Sir, that is the second time this morning you have made the allegation that members of this party want to prevent Deputy De Rossa from speaking. I utterly reject that, Sir. What we were concerned to do on Friday last was to establish that Deputy O'Toole had been told that he would be the next to speak, not the next Fine Gael speaker. I ask you to consider very carefully that what we were doing was not seeking to prevent Deputy De Rossa from speaking but merely seeking to ensure that Deputy O'Toole would be the next speaker, as he was told he would be by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. That has nothing whatever to do with Deputy De Rossa's right to speak because at no stage did we say we did not want to hear Deputy De Rossa or that he did not have a right to speak. What we were concerned to do was simply to ensure that Deputy O'Toole would be the next to speak. For you to allege from that that we are preventing any other Member of this House from speaking is a scandalous allegation to make.

If you or any Member challenges the authority of the Chair, the Chair's right to call a speaker and challenges that for over 17 minutes, as happened that day, you are preventing Deputy De Rossa from speaking.

How could we prevent Deputy De Rossa from speaking when he is listed to speak today? We are talking about the order of speakers in the debate, not whether a particular Deputy is allowed to speak.


Deputies should respect the Chair.

On a point of order, the allegation has been made against members of this party that collectively we prevented the Deputy from speaking. This is blatantly untrue.

I am sorry, Deputy, I did not make that allegation.

Furthermore, you also said last Friday that there was an organised strategy or campaign of some sort against you, and you indicated that it was coming from this side of the House. That is also false.

That is incorrect. I did not say that. Secondly, I will tell the Deputy that I spoke with the Leas-Cheann Comhairle again — just to clarify the matter in my own mind — and I understand that he did not tell you that you were the next speaker.

A Cheann Comhairle, might I intervene with your permission? I should like to establish and say how disappointed I am that Deputy Dukes, who was not here at all in the House, should now say that I told Deputy O'Toole that he was next to speak. There was no communication whatsoever between me and Deputy O'Toole and anybody who says otherwise is telling a lie.

Sir, before you came into the Chair — it had been vacated by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle — something which is normal practice was indulged in. You asked, I presume you must have asked, the Leas-Cheann Comhairle who was next. Deputy O'Donnell was speaking. There was nobody on that side of the House except the Minister, Deputy Flynn. There was nobody else in the House except Deputy Begley and myself and Deputy Begley indicated to the Leas-Cheann Comhairle——

And Deputy Enda Kenny.

Deputy Enda Kenny, yes, that is correct. Deputy Begley indicated to the Leas-Cheann Comhairle that he was allowing me to get in then. There he was nobody else in the House. You gave the indication to me that I would be called on next. That was my interpretation of what I saw happening between you and the Leas-Cheann Comhairle, and when the Leas-Cheann Comhairle denied that he had——

Deputy, that is very wrong.

A Cheann Comhairle, I think we have now gone into the business of trying to interpret what may have happened. I am concerned that Deputy Dukes put on the record of this House that I told Deputy O'Toole that he would be next to speak when Deputy Dukes himself was not present in the House at all on that occasion. He presumed to say that there was a conflict between what I was telling Deputies and what the Ceann Comhairle was telling them. In the circumstances I think that Deputy Dukes should now withdraw the charges he has made against the Chair.

For Deputy Tunney to say that I put a matter on the record of the House this morning is, I would say, a very peculiar interpretation of it. What I said this morning, what I said last Friday, and what Deputy O'Toole said last Friday is all on the record. What I said this morning has not been put on the record for the first time in this House.


Deputy Dukes is not on his feet on a point of order so I feel I am entitled to make a point of order. The Government, in agreement with the Opposition, have agreed to sit on Fridays at some considerable expense and inconvenience to Deputies. It was agreed to sit at 10.30 a.m. to take Estimates. I understand there is a fairly unanimous wish on the part of the Opposition Parties to have an opportunity to discuss Estimates. I think the general public will also expect us to discuss Estimates. With that wish in view we have made this rather unusual arrangement at this time of the year to have Friday sittings.

I now want to ask the Leader of the Opposition if he would agree that we bring this disedifying debate to an end and let us get on now with the discussion of Estimates for which we are assembled here today.

I think it is unfortunate that we have spent so much time on this.

On a point of information——

Deputy FitzGerald is on his feet.

I tried to get in before that. The point was made that Deputy O'Toole was flanked by four men. One of the "men" happened to be a woman — me — but I appear to be an invisible Member——

I did not say "men".

You said four men.

I did not say that. I was aware of your presence there.

I am sorry, you said four men.

I did not say that so will the Deputy please remember that? I said four Members.

The difficulty has arisen here because of the phraseology you used about repeated attempts at preventing Deputy De Rossa from speaking. There has been no attempt to prevent him from speaking. I think it was unfortunate that you used that language; on reflection I think you may feel that. There is no purpose in pursuing the matter further at this stage. I think we should now get on with this debate. But I would suggest two things. The first is that language of that kind from the Chair is likely to cause disorder and it would be important that that be avoided. The second is that on the Order of Business, before concluding it, you assure yourself that there is nobody else who wishes to raise a matter. This is the second day running that that has happened and it is unfortunate. We accept there was a misunderstanding today and we will not press the matter further. I hope that in future the Order of Business can be carried out in a way that ensures the right of every Deputy to speak, as the only person prevented from speaking in this House today is not Deputy De Rossa, who is going to speak now, but Deputy Shatter.

Could I also ask if Members would try to have a little order and have respect for the Chair?

Tá sé d'aidhm ag Pairtí na nOibrí an Ghaeltacht a neartú, a chosaint agus a leathnú mar ghné de chultúr uilig na hÉireann. Is oth liom a rá go gcaithfidh mise é sin a rá sara dtosnaím ar an phríomh-rud atá agam le rá inniu. An príomh-rud a bheas i gceist agam ná Údarás na Gaeltachta. Tuigim go bhfuil leas na Gaeltachta, leas na nGael agus fiú leas na hÉireann i gceist anois leis an gcaoi a láimhshigh Aire na Gaeltachta láithreach agus an t-iar-Aire na ceisteanna atá á gcur ag an páirtí s'agamsa le tamall maith anuas.

Is léir domsa — agus tá dóthain d'fhianaise curtha os comhair an Aire agam go raibh agus go bhfuil práinn anois le fiosrú iomlán i gcúrsaí Údarás na Gaeltachta agus an foras a bhí ann roimhe, Gaeltarra Éireann. Tá na milliúin mhóra punt curtha amú ag na fir ghnó a fuair airgead bog Stáit i ngeall ar nach raibh dóthain Cúraim i gceist i ndáileadh amach airgead poiblí. Gheall an t-iar-Aire Gaeltachta, an Teachta O'Toole, go mbeadh fiosrú ann. D'fhógair sé go rabhthas ag dul ar aghaidh leis. Deir an tAire láithreach, an Teachta Flynn, nár cuireadh tús riamh le fiosrú poiblí agus nach dóigh leis go bhfuil fianaise ann chuige agus nach gá, dar leis, an fiosrú a fógraíodh sa Dáil ar an 26 d'Eanáir a chur chun cinn. Is é deir an Teachta Flynn nach raibh i gcinneadh an Chomhrialtais ar an 8 Nollaig seo caite ach go rachadh Aire na Gaeltachta agus an tAire Airgeadais i gcomhairle lena chéile agus go dtiocfaidís ar ais go dtí an Rialtas arís. Nuair a cheapadh an tAire láithreach deir sé linn nach raibh dréacht fiú amháin de théarmaí tagartha le fáil. Is fíor, ar an gcuntas sin, go bhfuil ceisteanna le freagairt ag an Teachta O'Toole agus míniú le tabhairt aige ar cad chuige gur éiríodh as an bhfiosrú a d'fhógair sé a bheith ar bun mí Eanáir seo caite.

Ag an am chéanna, ní leor de leithscéal é ag an Aire láithreach nach raibh teacht aige ar théarmaí tagartha a rá nach bhfuil gá le fiosrú a bhrú chun cinn anois. An ndeachaigh seisean chun cainte leis an Aire Airgeadais faoin scéal? Ní léir go ndeachaigh. Tá dhá cheist Dála curtha agamsa le cúpla mí anuas a léiríonn an easpa teagmhála idir Aire na Gaeltachta agus an tAire Airgeadais ar an gceist seo. Sa fhreagra Dála Uimhir 224 ar an 13 Bealtaine 1982 is é dúirt Aire na Gaeltachta liomsa gurb iad na hairleacain inaisíoctha a tugadh do Údarás na Gaeltachta ná £10½ mhilliún sa bhliain 1980 agus £11½ mhilliún sa bhliain 1981, £22 mhilliún ar fad. Sa fhreagra chéanna deir sé gur aistríodh dliteanas a bhain le hairleacain £41 mhilliún a tugadh do Ghaeltarra Éireann don Údarás ach nár áiríodh an tsuim sin i ndáil leis an £22 mhilliún eile sula sroichfí an teorainn a leagtar síos in alt 23(4) den Acht um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1979.

Is é an t-iomlán atá i gceist nuair a chuirtear an dá fhigiúr sin le chéile ná £63,791,000. Is é a deireann alt 23(4) den Acht um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1979 ná nach rachaidh comhiomlán na suimeanna a bheidh airleactha faoin alt seo agus a bheidh gan aisíoc thar £50 milliún aon tráth áirithe. Cad is fiú don Aire a rá leis an Teach seo nach "n-áirítear suim £41 mhilliún a tugadh do Ghaeltarra Éireann leis an teorainn a leagtar síos san Acht" nuair a chuireann an £22 mhilliún a fuair an tÚdarás le dhá bhliain anuas i bhfad thar an teorainn dleathach é? An é an tAire a cheapann agus a mhúnlaíonn an dlí de réir mar a fheileann dó féin nó an ngéilleann sé don dlí? Is léir go bhfuil an dlí briste sa chás seo agus nach leor clisteacht cuntasaíochta ná clisteacht focal an Aire leis an dubh a chur ina gheal orainn go léir.

Admhaíonn an tAire gur aistríodh an £41 mhilliún seo chuig an Údarás. Más fíor sin, conas is féidir leis a rá nach bhfuil sé san áireamh? I ngeall ar nach maith leis méid an airgid atá curtha amú faoi scáth Ghaeltarra Éireann a thabhairt chun solais? Tá scannal chomh mór san scéal seo is a bhí riamh i stair an Stáit seo. Cad chuige go bhfuiltear ag iarraidh é a cheilt?

Ach ní shin deireadh an scéil. De réir alt 23 den Acht um Údarás na Gaeltachta is ar an Aire Airgeadais atá sé an t-airgead a chur ar fáil don Údarás agus de réir fo-alt (2) d'alt 23, is é an t-Aire Airgeadais agus ní hé Aire na Gaeltachta a shocraíonn na téarmaí maidir le haisíoc, ús agus ábhair eile a bhaineann le hairleacain don Údarás nó do Ghaeltarra Éireann.

Ar an ábhar sin, chuir mé ceist ar an Aire Airgeadais ar an 9 Meitheamh seo caite maidir le méid na n-airleacan a bhí dlite ó thaobh Údarás na Gaeltachta de anuas go dtí an 31 Nollaig 1981. Cad é an freagra a tugadh dom ag an Aire Airgeadais? £63,791,000. Mura bhfuil Aire na Gaeltachta sásta éisteacht liom ar an gceist seo, ba mhaith liom fiafraí den Aire Airgeadais an gceapann seisean go bhfuil sárú déanta ar alt 23 (4) den Acht agus suim i bhfad thar an uas-teorainn a bheith gan aisíoc ag an tráth áirithe seo.

Molaim do Aire na Gaeltachta dul i gcomhairle leis an Aire Airgeadais féachaint le freagra cruinn a thabhairt ar an gceist a chuir mé air agus an freagra a tugadh uirthi ar an 13 Bealtaine seo caite. Ní gan chúis a chuirim na ceisteanna seo agus an t-eolas seo ar a shúile don Aire. Tá airgead an phobail i gceist anseo. Tá forbairt agus dul chun cinn na gceantar Gaeltachta i gceist. Tá meanmna agus misneach na heagraíochta féin i gceist. Ní cuidiú don Ghaeltacht nach bhfuair an t-airgead seo, don fhorbairt nár deineadh, don obair nár cuireadh ar fáil na ceisteanna seo a fhágáil gan freagra a thabhairt orthu. Más mian leis an Teach seo leas mhuintir na Gaeltachta a dhéanamh, leas na Gaeltachta mar cheantar agus leas na Gaeilge a dhéanamh, déanfar fiosrú críochnúil faoin scéal agus éireofar as an gceilt atá ar bun.

Ach an chéad cheist atá anois ann, tharla an dá fhreagra éagsúil ón bheirt Aire éagsúil, an tAire Airgeadais agus Aire na Gaeltachta, is ar an Rialtas ina iomláine a chuirim í. An fíor go bhfuil sárú déanta ar alt 23 den Acht um Údarás na Gaeltachta le airleacain ar chomhiomláne dóibh breis agus £63 milliún punt nuair is £50 milliún an uasteorainn atá leagtha síos san alt féin? Tá an dualgas ar an Rialtas anois an cheist seo a shoiléiriú. Cuid den dualgas san, dar liom, fiosrú poiblí críochnúil a chur ar bun. Nuair nach féidir le Aire na Gaeltachta agus leis an Aire Airgeadais bheith ar aon fhocal faoin scéal, is léir gur ceist don Rialtas atá ann agus gur le fiosrú poiblí is fearr an cheist a réiteach. Ní hionann fiosrú ag "Fraud Squad" an Gharda Síochána agus fiosrú poiblí. Tá dóthain fhianaise foilsithe san Irish People le cúpla bliain anuas le tabhairt ar Rialtas fiosrú a bhunú in ainm na macántachta agus na fírinne. Is féidir go mbeidh lucht gaimbín na tíre seo thíos le fiosrú dá shórt — is féidir gur lucht gaimbín Fhine Ghael nó Fhianna Fáil a bheadh i gceist — níl idirdhealú le déanamh eatarthu mar lucht gaimbín — ach i ndeireadh na dála, is iad muintir na Gaeltachta agus go háirithe aos óg na Gaeltachta nach bhfuil job i ndán dóibh an taobh seo den fharraige is mó atá thíos leis an gcineál caimiléireachta seo.

Sin an phríomh-cheist ba mhaith liom a chur ar Aire na Gaeltachta inniu. Ach tá ceisteanna eile le plé anseo faoin Ghaeltacht. Tá sé soiléir go bhfuil an Ghaeilge agus go háirithe an Ghaeltacht in ísle bhrí i láthair na huaire. Tá sé iontuigthe nach mbeidh an Ghaeilge ann gan an Ghaeltacht. Mar sin tá sé de dhualgas orainn féachaint chuig leas na ndaoine ní amháin ar bhonn eacnamaíochta agus sóisialta ach ar bhonn cultúrtha chomh maith. Tá ag teip ar an údarás poist a chur ar fáil trí mhonarchana a thógáil agus tionsclóirí a mhealladh isteach ón taobh amuigh. Ceapaimidne go mba chóir don Udarás dul i gcomhairle leis na státchomhlachtaí atá ann i láthair na huaire agus atá ag forbairt gnéithe áirithe d'eacnamaíocht na tíre — comhlachtaí ar nós Bord na Móna, Bord Soláthair an Leictreachais, an Bord Iascaigh Mhara agus Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann. Le taithí na ndreamanna seo agus an teicneolaíocht atá faoina smacht acu, ba chóir dóibh plean leathan forbartha a cheapadh, bunaithe ar acmhainn aiceanta na dúiche Gaeltachta cosúil le feirmeoireacht, iascaireacht, portaigh, na góilíní farraige, chomh maith le bóithre, gutháin agus eile a chur ar fáil. Ba chóir na ceantair Ghalltachta ar imeall na Gaeltachta a chur san áireamh anseo comh maith ó thaobh forbartha de.

Ba chóir ansin go gcuirfeadh an Rialtas an t-airgead ar fáil chun go mbeadh sé ar chumas an Údaráis a leithéid de phlean a chur i gcrích. Táimid den tuairim go bhfuil sé fíor-riachtanach Údarás lándaonlathach a bheith ann. I láthair na huaire níl ach seachtar tofa go daonlathach as trí bhall déag. Tá sé seo tábhachtach chun stop a chur leis an gcaimiléireacht atá déanta ar an Údarás le blianta beaga anuas.

Tá brú uafásach mór ar an nGaeltacht agus ar Ghaeilge na Gaeltachta ón taobh amuigh. Nuair a dheintear forbairt ar an nGaeltacht ní féidir gan smaoineamh ar an taobh cultúrtha de. Caithfear féachaint chuige go bhfuil freastal ceart oideachais ar an gceantar ó thaobh bunscoileanna agus scoileanna iarbhunoideachais. Tá fadhb ann i gcónaí le téacsleabhair agus ba chóir don Rialtas an fhadhb seo a réiteach láithreach. Tá a lán daoine taréis teacht ar ais ó Shasana agus ag cur fúthu sa Ghaeltacht. Uaireanta níl Gaeilge líofa ag an athair nó ag an máthair, agus mar sin creidim go gcabhródh sé leis na leanaí óga dá gcuirtí naíonra ar fáil dóibh, ní dóibh, ní dóibh siúd amháin ach do na leanaí sna Gaeltachtaí i gcoitinne.

Ó thaobh bunoideachais níl an curaclam ag freastal go hiomlán ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta, go mór mór i leith Béarla agus Gaeilge. Glacann an cúrsa Béarla go bhfuil an Béarla mar chéad theanga ag an dalta — rud nach bhfuil fíor ó thaobh mhuintir na Gaeltachta de. Ba chóir cúrsaí faoi leith a chur ar fáil dóibh, agus sílim gur chóir an rud céanna a rá faoi chúrsa Ghaeilge. Ba chóir leasú a dhéanamh air agus cúrsa faoi leith a chur ar fáil do na daltaí sa Ghaeltacht ó thaobh an Bhéarla agus ó thaobh na Gaeilge.

Ó thaobh meáin chumarsáide de, ba chóir cur le tréimhse chraolta Radio na Gaeltachta agus cláracha a chur ar fáil as Gaeilge a bheadh ag freastal ar gach gné den saol. Tá faillí déanta ar na leanaí go háirithe.

Ó thaobh Achtanna Pleanála in nGaeltachtaí ar nós Conamara atá cóngarach do bhaile mór, tá an-bhrú pleanála uirthi. Ba chóir leasú a dhéanamh ar an Acht pleanála seo chun timpeallacht agus cultúr na Gaeltachta a chaomhnú. Tá scrios uafásach déanta ag "section 4" de na hAchtanna Rialtais Aitiúil. Má thugtar cead pleanála do 100 teach i gceantar Gaeltachta cóngarach do Ghaillimh, tá sé cinnte go gcuirfeadh sé isteach ar an teanga agus ar an chultúr. Rinne an tAire tráchála rialacha áirithe i leith na n-ollmhargaí chun teorainn a chur ar an méid is féidir a thógáil agus sílim go bhféadfadh Aire na Gaeltachta rialacha mar sin a chumadh a mbeidh mar aidhm acu an Ghaeltacht a chaomhnú.

Chun chríochnú, tá ceist amháin eile ar mhaith liom tagairt di, is é sin na scoileanna lán-Ghaelacha i mBaile Atha Cliath, go háirithe, Scoil Mhuire agus Scoil Cholmchille. Tá fhios agam nach bhfuil siad seo mar chúram ar Aire na Gaeltachta, go bhfuil siad faoi chúram an Aire Oideachais, ach tá fadhbanna faoi leith ag na scoileanna sin ó thaobh foirgneamh agus córas iompair.

Cé hiad na scoileanna?

Scoil Cholmcille agus Scoil Mhuire i Sráid Mhaoilbhríde. Let me continue for a few minutes on this school. It is not in my own constituency but I have had representations from those who send their children to this school. The parents come from most of the suburbs around the city and they have particular difficulties in relation to travel. Apparently there are anomalies in relation to the free travel which some of them can get and some of them cannot get because the free travel is only available to families who do not have a school within a certain distance from their home. As it happens there may be a school closer to them in terms of miles but in terms of the transport required to get to these schools the situation might be that a person would have to get a bus into the city centre and get another bus back out again to the all-Irish school that is nearest to them. Because of this and because they are sending their children into the city centre as it is more convenient they are not entitled to free transport.

But the most serious problem that this school is having is in relation to the buildings. I have been down there and have seen the conditions of Scoil Cholmcille, and let me emphasise here that this school is directly under the auspices of the Department of Education. It is one of these model schools and not the ordinary national school which is under the local parish priest. The conditions under which these children are being taught are a disgrace. They are in pre-fabricated buildings which are literally falling down. In my view they are a fire hazard and a health hazard and the Minister should use his influence with the Minister for Education to take steps to provide alternative permanent buildings for this school. There is a development plan for the building of flats and houses in the inner city in that general area and it would be an excellent boost for the language in the city area if provision were made for the building of a permanent all-Irish school in that area. Traditionally that school has drawn its pupils from all over the city but at the same time until the population was moved out of the inner city the vast majority of the pupils in it were local pupils. I feel that there would be a demand and a need for a permanent school there.

I would appeal to the Minister to take particular note of that. I know that the all-Irish schools around the city, such as Gaelscoil Inse Chaoir and Gaelscoil Bhaile Munna, have had their difficulties and Gaelscoil Bhaile Munna are now a long way towards having a permanent school built and just prior to the by-election Gaelscoil Inse Chaoir were promised a site after a long number of years battling to get one so that is positive progress. But I feel that this all-Irish school, being the oldest all-Irish school in the City, should get special attention from the Minister and the Department of Education.

Ba mhaith liom i dtosach cúpla focail a rá faoin Ghaeltacht agus cúrsaí na teanga go ginearálta. Dúirt an tAire an tseachtain seo caite gur linne sa taobh seo den Teach an Meastachán seo — gur muide a d'fhoilsigh é. Bhí an ceart aige sa mhéid sin. Dúirt sé chomh maith nár cuireadh go leor airgid ar fáil le haghaidh Roinn na Gaeltachta. Aontaím go hiomlán leis má cheapann sé nach raibh mise sásta leis an méid a cuireadh ar fáil do mo Roinn ag an am: níor casadh Aire fós orm a bhí sásta leis an méid airgid a cuireadh ar fáil dó le haghaidh a Roinne.

Chuir ráiteas an Aire díomá orm, ach níor chuir se iontas orm. Tá ceithre leathanach sa ráiteas oifigiúil a thug sé uaidh Dé hAoine seo caite, gan focal amháin faoi staid na Gaeltachta, staid eacnamaíochta, staid shóisialta nó staid chultúrtha na Gaeltachta. Níl abairt ann faoi staid na Gaeilge féin mar theanga, sa Ghaeltacht nó sa Ghalltacht, agus níl tagairt dá laghad ann do phlean nó do pholasaí, nó do dhearcadh an Aire féin i leith na Gaeilge nó na Gaeltachta. Taobh amuigh de chúpla abairtí ginearálta le cur in iúl go bhfuil drochbhail ar an teanga agus go leathnófar an teanga mar mheán cumarsáide, níl san óráid ach go bhfuil suim ag an Aire sa scéal.

Maidir leis an teanga féin, bhí an ceart ag an Teachta De Rossa nuair a dúirt sé go bhfuil drochbhail ar an teanga agus go bhfuil sí ag dul i léig. Tá an laige le feiceáil taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht agus, is oth liom a rá, sa Ghaeltacht féin. Tar éis 60 bliana a chaitheamh ag dul do athbheochan na teanga agus ag iarraidh ár ndícheall a dhéanamh, Rialtas i ndiaidh Rialtais, níl feabhas curtha ar an scéal. Caithfidh sé go bhfuil rud éigin mícheart nuair atá an fhadhb ag dul níos deacra an t-am ar fad. Caithfidh go raibh rud mícheart bunúsach leis an chaoi a raibh an fhadhb dá hionsaí. Nílim á rá go bhfuil réiteach na faidhbe agam, ach táim á rá, agus caithfidh chuile dhuine a bhfuil súil air a admháil, go bhfuil teipthe ar na hiarrachtaí a rinneadh go dtí seo, le trí scór bliain.

Ní chuireann sé aon áthas ormsa bheith im'sheasamh anseo á rá sin, ach caithfear a admháil go bhfuil teipthe ar na hiarrachtaí a rinneadh agus go bhfuil rudaí ag éirí níos measa. Dúirt mé cheana sa Teach gurb é an bosca sa chúinne ansin ceann de na cómharthaí sa tír seo go bhfuil teipthe orainn maidir leis an teanga: ní bheadh gá le scéim aistriúcháin ó Ghaeilge go Béarla a bheith sa Teach seo tar éis trí scór bliain dár Rialtas féin muna raibh teipthe orainn. Is mór an trua go bhfuil sé ann. Nílim ag cur locht ar na Teachtaí atá anseo anois, ach caithfidh Teachtaí ó thús a tháinig isteach anseo agus atá anseo go fóill a admháil nár ionsaíodh an fhadhb seo mar ba cheart. Dá n-ionsófaí mar ba cheart í bheadh réiteach na faidhbe ann fad ó shin, agus bheadh feabhas i bhfad níos mó ar an scéal.

Ceann de na deacrachtaí a bhain le athbheochan na Gaeilge ná go raibh sé de aidhm ag Rialtais ón taobh seo den Teach agus ón taobh thall ná deireadh a chur leis an mBéarla mar ghnáth-mheán cumarsáide.

Cé go raibh sé idealaíoch agus go mba mhaith liomsa dá mbéadh a leithéid le tarlú, bhí sé seafóideach nuair a smaoiníonn tú go raibh Béarla ar bhun láidir sa tír nuair a fuair muid ár Rialtas féin trí scór bliain ó shin. Go mbeadh Gaeilge á labhairt ag gach mac máthar sa tír, dá mbeadh sin mar aidhm, ní dóigh liom go bhféadfadh daoine a rá go raibh sé indéanta, mar is é an taithí atá ag daoine eile ar iarrachtaí eile in áiteacha eile a dteanga féin a thabhairt ar aghaidh; is é an taithí a bhí acu sin, agus ba chóir go mbeadh úsáid á bhaint againne as, nach bhféadfaí a leithéid a dhéanamh tar éis trí scór bliain gurbh í an Béarla, teanga thrádála, teanga ghnó na tíre agus an teanga a ghrádhú.

Sé an taithí atá in aon teanga ghnó a bhfuil bun láidir aici, go bhfuil sé deacair í a aistriú go dtí teanga eile agus teanga eile a chur ina háit. Níor éirigh linne, agus níor éirigh le aon duine eile ach amháin i gcás amháin agus seo rud a chloisimid go minic.

Tá iarrachtaí athbheochan na Gaeilge curtha i gcomparáid go minic le hiarrachtaí a rinneadh san Israel na blianta ó shin. Níl aon chomparáid ann — ní féidir an dá rud a chur i gcomparáid. Bhí an náisiúnachas ag brú na teanga ar aghaidh san Israel toisc go raibh an teanga mar chuid den náisiúnachas, agus ní dóigh liom go raibh an teanga chomh láidir mar chuid den aidhm náisiúnta sa tír seo agus a bhí san Israel ins na tríochaidí agus roimhe sin.

Mar sin, ní dóigh liom gur féidir an dá rud a chur i gcomparáid, agus go deimhin ó thaobh na Gaeilge agus ó thaobh Gaeilge a chur in áit an Bhéarla, ní dóigh liom go raibh an deis sin againn ó lár an naoú céad déag. B'fhéidir suas go dtí 1860 nó 1870 go bhféadfaí é sin a dhéanamh, ach ina dhiaidh sin bhí an seans imithe an Ghaeilge a bheith mar mheán cumasáide amháin sa tír seo.

Céard atá le rá ag an Aire faoi seo? Ar leathanach a 4 dá ráiteas tá tagairt gonta amháin aige maidir leis an bhfadhb. Deir sé: "Chun pobal mór na hÉireann a mhealladh i dtreo na teanga beimid ag braith go mór ar imeachtaí taitneamhacha a bheith ar siúl ag na heagrais dheonacha Gaeilge." Níl aon locht agam air sin chomh fada agus a théann sé, ach ní leor é sin. Má tá imeachtaí taitneamhacha le cur ar fáil do dhaoine b'fhéidir go ndéanfadh an tAire féin sciuird thart ar fud na tíre agus seo a chur ar siúl, mar cheapfainn go mbainfeadh daoine taitneamh as más sin atá uaidh. Tá mé cinnte go bhfuil fhios ag an Aire mura ndéantar beart fiúntach éigin i leith na Gaeilge go mbeimid mall, ró-mhall. Tá sé seo ráite aige féin, tá sé ráite agamsa roimhe agus go deimhin ag Airí eile le cúpla bliain anuas.

Faoi dheireadh, sa chéad seo, agus sin faoi ceann scór bliain, má théann an meath ar aghaidh ag an ráta ag a bhfuil sé ag tarlú anois ní bheidh sa Ghaeilge mar theanga ach ábhar acadúil a bheas á phlé ag ollúna ollscoile agus ag daoine eile mar iad, agus is mór an trua sin a bheith ag tarlú. Tá súil agam go n-éireoidh go geal leis an Aire agus chomh fada agus a bhaineann liomsa gheobhaidh sé chuile chabhair is féidir liomsa a thabhairt.

(Cur isteach.)

Mar adeirim, ba mhór an trua é dá ligfí an deis seo ar shiúl gan iarracht a dhéanamh chuige sin — an teanga a choinneáil ón mbás, agus sin atá ar siúl againn as seo amach. Tá bás teanga ag tarlú os ár gcomhair, agus teanga anársa, teanga ina bhfuil litríocht, filíocht, prós de ard-chaighdeán leis na céadta bliain. An tseachtain seo bhí sampla againn de fhear liteartha mór de mhuintir na tíre seo, Joyce, agus tá chuile dhuine ag cainnt anois faoi "Ulysses" agus "Finnegans Wake", daoine nach raibh fhios acu go raibh a leithéid ann fiú amháin go dtí seo. Is ceart dúinn Joyce a chomóradh mar is fear iontach é i measc scríbhneoirí Béarla an domhain.

Bhuail an smaoineamh liom ag éisteacht leis an Aire go bhfuil sé sásta glacadh leis go bhfuil deireadh le polasaí a bhfuil teipthe air leis na blianta, go mbeadh sé sásta glacadh, cuir i gcás, le dearcadh a bhí agam agus atá agam, go bhfuil sé in am againn aghaidh a thabhairt ar an dátheangachas mar pholasaí, agus go mba chóir dúinn chomh fada agus is féidir feabhas a chur ar an Ghaeilge, agus an Ghaeilge mar mheán cumarsáide a leathnú. B'fhéidir, má dhéantar i gceart é, go dtiocfadh an lá go mbeadh an Ghaeilge ar aon leibhéal leis an mBéarla i measc mhuintir na tíre. Tá sampla den dá-theangachas seo le fáil in áiteanna eile, cuir i gcás, ar mhór-roinn na hEorpa ach is i ngeall ar chúiseanna geograife is mó atá sé ar fáil ansin toisc go bhfuil na tíortha chomh gar sin dá chéile. Tá sé le fáil, cuir i gcás, i gCeanada leis an mBéarla agus leis an bhFraincis. Tá samplaí ansin agus ba mhaith an rud dá ndéanfaí iarracht polasaí an dátheangachas a chur i gcion mar gurb é an t-aon bhealach as ag an bpointe seo. Tá fhios agam go bhfuil suim ag Bord na Gaeilge mar bhord sa taithí a fuair muintir Cheanada ó na hiarrachtaí a rinne siadsan ar an dátheangachas. Tá mé cinnte de go bhfuil an tAire ag caint leo faoi céard atá ar intinn acu maidir leis.

Maidir le Bord na Gaeilge, chonaic mé ráiteas ón Aire ansin le déanaí gur iarr sé orthu plean éigin nó polasaí de shaghas éigin a chur ar fáil. Léigh mé an rud céanna agus tá súil agam go bhfaighidh sé an plean sin sar i bhfad. Is mór an trua nach bhfuil polasaí nó plean de shaghas éigin leagtha síos ar pháipéar go bhfeadfaí é a leanúint agus go mbeadh fhios acu féin agus, go deimhin, ag muintir na tíre cá bhfuil siad ag dul mar bhord. Tá freagracht as an teanga taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht agus ceapaim féin go mbeadh plean cuimsitheach ag teastáil faoi seo le tabhairt faoi na deacrachtaí atá ag an teanga faoi láthair.

Maidir le cultúr, cén toradh, cuir i gcás, a bheas ar bhás na teanga. Ní hamháin go mbeidh teanga caillte ach bheidh cultúr Gaelach caillte againn chomh maith, cultúr ina bhfuil ceol, rince, litríocht, nósanna agus, go deimhin, dearcadh bunúsach mhuintir na hÉireann fite fuaite leis an teanga. Go deimhin, cuid de na daoine sa tír seo nach bhfuil Gaeilge ar eolas acu ach a labhraíonn Béarla, tá na nósanna agus an chaoi a labhraíonn siad an Béarla fréamhaithe sa Ghaeilge cé nach bhfuil a fhios sin acu nó ag an chuid is mó díobh. Muna ndéanfar cinneadh don teanga agus mar thoradh air sin don chultúr, tá faitíos orm go mbeidh, mar a dúirt duine éigin cheana, cultúr cineál meán-Atlantach againn. Tá fhios agaibh céard atá i gceist agam, "Sale of the Century" agus "Dallas". Sin an saghas cultúir a bheas againn agus ní féidir cultúr a thabhairt air sin ach meascán mearaí, rud nach tada é. Is mór an trua sin agus ba mhór an trua dá ligfí an teanga agus an cultúr i léig mar téann an dá cheann taobh le taobh.

I ndeireadh na dála, táimid ag caint faoi dhaoine, daoine taobh amuigh and daoine taobh istigh den Ghaeltacht. Maidir le muintir na Gaeltachta féin, tá tábhacht faoi leith ag baint leo, mar toisc go bhfuil an teanga á húsaid acu mar mheán cumarsáide, is orthu sin atá sé an teanga a choinneáil beo. Mar a dúirt mé cheana, agus tá sé seo cruthaithe, tá droch-bhail ar staid na teanga taobh istigh den Ghaeltacht. Is oth liom é sin a rá ach caithfear é a admháil. Tá a lán cúiseanna leis seo. Tá cúrsaí stairiúla ag baint leis agus le déanaí chuala mé taifeadán den ráiteas a thug iar-Thaoiseach, iar-Uachtarán agus bunaitheoir Pháirtí Fhianna Fáil, Éamon de Valera, a thug sé uaidh sna tríochaidí — an t-aitheasc cáiliúil sin faoi "comely maidens" ag na cros-bhóithre. Anois, b'shin dearcadh ar na tríochaidí a bheadh inghlactha sna tríochaidí, ach ní dóigh liom gur féidir a rá go raibh sé praiticiúil agus b'fhéidir gur——

Tá na cailiní sin chomh galánta fós in iarthar na tíre.

Ní dúirt mé nach raibh, tá níos mó acu. Ba mhaith liom a rá leis an Aire go gceapaim gur thosnaigh na deacrachtaí, b'fhéidir, sna fichidí, ach cinnte ní dhearnadh aon iarracht ar rudaí a athrú sna tríocaidí. Níor athraíodh iad toisc go raibh an fhealsúnacht seo á cur ar aghaidh ag daoine mar Éamon de Valera agus daoine eile nach é i 1930. Ní fhéadfadh na "comely maidens" seo, is cuma céard a cheapann tú fúthu, ní fhéadfadh siad maireachtáil ar áilneacht Chonamara nó áilneacht iarthar Chiarraí nó áilneacht Dhún na nGall. Is cuimhin liomsa, agus tá taithí phearsanta agam ar an Ghaeltacht sna seascaidí i lár Chonamara agus mé ag obair ann — agus seo sampla beag amháin a chuireann an rud atá i gceist agam síos go beacht agus go cruinn — rinne mé iniúchadh ar fhigiúirí a bhí ar rolla bunscoile agus thug mé sampla de dhaoine a tháinig in aois inphósta ó 1963, daoine a bhí idir 19 agus 29 bliain d'aois. Chuir sé alltacht orm a fháil amach, den réim aoise sin san scoil cheantair ina raibh mise, go raibh 84 faoin gcéad de na buachaillí imithe, glanta leo, agus 87 faoin gcéad de na cailíní. Ní fhéadfadh duine bheith ag súil go mbeadh athbheochaint na Gaeilge agus leathnú na Gaeltachta ann agus an rud sin ar siúl.

Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil cúiseanna leis. Má tá imirce ag an ráta ar siúl nuair atá os chionn 80 faoin gcéad de dhaoine óga ón cheantar scaipthe ar fud an domhain, go Nua-Eabhrac agus áiteanna eile, ní féidir bheith ag súil go n-éireoidh leis na hiarrachtaí atáimid a dhéanamh. Cuireann sé sin rud amháin in iúl dom: bímid an-mhall ag iarraidh ar ár nAirí dul i mbun nithe sóisialacha na Gaeltachta. Cheap muid go raibh réiteach simplí ann, gurbh fhéidir na daoine sin a fhágáil leo féin gan cur as dóibh, go mbeadh ár n-oidhreacht slán leo gan aon iarracht a dhéanamh a gcaighdeán maireachtála a ardú. Ní go dtí na caogaidí agus na seascaidí a rinneamar dearcadh ar na fadhbhanna seo, nó aon Aire Stáit go háirithe.

Tugann sé sin mé go dtí forbairt eacnamaíochta na Gaeltachta. Na Meastacháin ar fad, nach mór, tá siad ag iarraidh forbairt eacnamaíochta a chur chun cinn in áit éigin sa tír. Bhí an tAire ag clamhsán nach raibh sé sásta leis an méid airgid a fuair mise mar Aire le haghaidh forbairt na Gaeltachta. Sin cineál leithscéal suarach. Cuireann sé an cheist: an ceart deireadh a chur leis an Údarás? Ní dóigh liom gur ceart an cheist seafóideach sin a chur isteach anseo. Tá a fhios ag an Aire go maith, nó ba cheart go mbeadh, nach raibh aon cheist ann deireadh a chur le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta. Deir sé go raibh súil aige go dtiocfainn isteach sa Teach chun mo scéal féin a léiriú agus a mhíniú, go raibh cruinnithe poiblí ar siúl agamsa i nagn fhios don Roinn nó Rúnaí na Roinne. Ba mhaith liom ceist a chur ar an Aire, agus tá súil agam go dtabharfaidh sé freagra uirthi. An raibh seisean ag cruinnithe aireachta le cúpla mí? An mbíonn sé, ar a thoil, ag dul isteach go dtí an rúnaí agus ag rá: "Gabh mo leithscéal, a rúnaí, ach bhí mé anseo ar leathuair tar éis a sé tráthnóna inné agus bhí mé ansiúd go dtí leathuair tar éis a seacht"? An bhfuil air insint chuile áit a raibh sé agus chuile dhuine ar labhair sé leis? Ní dóigh liom go mbíonn ar an Aire sin a dhéanamh, agus ní dóigh liom go mbíonn suim dá laghad ag an rúnaí cá mbíonn an Teachta O Floinn uair amháin tar eis dó oifig na Roinne a fhágáil, taobh amuigh de aon réiteach a bheadh déanta aige obair oifigiúil a dhéanamh.

In regard to the innuendoes and allegations made by the Minister and others about an tÚdarás, and the confusion which has arisen about the so-called inquiry or investigation, a confusion which has sought to cover up certain basic facts, I propose to qualify and justify my part in what is going on. In regard to the proposed inquiry into an tÚdarás I made a statement in the House on 26 January last outlining the reasons for the inquiry. At the time I said the reason for it was in view of the large sums of money being sought by Údarás na Gaeltachta for the closure of companies without any great detail of the background in which all this took place, where the Minister — the present Minister will find this also — attended a Cabinet meeting every so often and asked his colleagues, in particular the Minister for Finance — as the Minister is aware Minister for Finance are difficult people to deal with — to approve the payment of large sums of money to restructure or, in this case, my experience, to close factories or projects in which large sums had already been invested. This new demand normally dealt with terminal payments, extra statutory payments and so on. It was in the light of those demands persistently coming that the Government saw fit to establish how these things came about and in what way they could best serve the interests of Údarás na Gaeltachta and the people of the Gaeltacht by providing large sums of money for expenditure.

The important thing is that the Government wanted to ensure, because public money was being spent, that every reasonable effort was made to get a proper return for the money expended. That was the only reason why this proposed inquiry was mentioned. Subsequent to the decision being made I, as Minister for the Gaeltacht, was asked to consult with my colleague, the Minister for Finance, in order to establish the approach which would be adopted in this proposed inquiry and to come back to the Government with terms of reference or whatever format we felt should be adopted. That decision was made, in principle, on 8 December 1981. It has been suggested to me that the decision to order an inquiry came about through pressure from outside. A publication called The Irish People referred to by Deputy De Rossa, published certain articles down the years in relation to alleged irregularities taking place within the Gaeltacht. That newspaper had no bearing whatever on the decision — I was not even aware that such allegations were being made — and the decision by the Government had been made prior to publication of these allegations in that newspaper.

My colleague, Deputy Begley, was also accused of having influenced that decision by coming on Radio na Gaeltachta with a member of the Údarás board and demanding an inquiry. As far as I can recall, that broadcast took place a few days prior to my announcement in the Dáil on 26 January. I fail to see how that could have influenced a decision taken on 8 December. All these kinds of allegations and counter-allegations have caused problems to many people. I wish to state categorically that the decision to inquire into the ways and means by which the Government of the day could best assist the Údarás in their difficult work was the only criteria which was applied in seeking this inquiry.

I did not announce this on 8 December because we had not finalised details of the format to be adopted. The Minister will not find any reference in his Department to this inquiry beyond that of a Cabinet decision which was furnished to the secretary of the Department to hold an inquiry in principle. The reason there are no records there of any further details is that they had not been finalised. The sequence of events will justify why they were not finalised. If you look at the timing of this, there was the intervention of a discussion on the Estimates and the Minister will understand this very well. We had a subsequent discussion on budgetary proposals, the intervention of Christmas and the defeat of the Government in late January. The end result was that no final details had been worked out because of the direct involvement by the Minister for Finance in all the matters to which I have referred. That is why the format of the inquiry had not been brought to a final conclusion before I left office. It would have been unfair of me during the interregnum between the election and the appointment of the Taoiseach to have initiated that inquiry. It would have been wrong because it is such a serious matter. I now understand that a decision has been made not to proceed with the proposed inquiry and that decision was made prior to the election by the Taoiseach, Deputy Haughey, who said that, in his opinion, there was no need for it, despite the fact that he was unaware of all the circumstances.

I wish to refer to a matter which has caused much concern both inside and outside the Gaeltacht. It relates to the introduction of the Fraud Squad into the activities of Údarás na Gaeltachta. The Minister referred to peculiar meetings — I think that is the English version of his statement. I met a gentleman in the city, through my colleague Deputy Begley and that gentleman said on television that he also met some of the Minister's colleagues and discussed with them his concern and worry as to how matters were being dealt with in the Gaeltacht. I also met him in the company of Deputy Begley and he gave me the impression that he was a man who was concerned. I have heard nothing since which would make me think that he was not genuinely concerned for the way in which industries in the Gaeltacht were progressing. Naturally, as Minister, I would have been very careful not to act on any oral evidence given to me on any matter. In the course of conversation I am sure I said to this gentleman that if I got written evidence that he or I could stand over, and if the contents were such that needed action, then action would be taken.

On 22 January last, a letter came into my possession signed by an accountant, an employee of Údarás na Gaeltachta. That letter made a very serious allegation in relation to certain companies in the Gaeltacht about which this accountant was aware. Having seen the letter, I decided the allegations were so serious that I should consult the Attorney General who, in turn, advised me to take this to the Government, which I did. The end result was that the Government collectively, decided to hand over this letter to the Minister for Justice who directed the Fraud Squad to institute an investigation.

That letter, the original of which is in the Department, was given, or a copy of it, to the Garda authorities. Subsequently the chief executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta confronted the author of that letter and showed him a copy of it. I would like to find out if it can be established where the chief executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta got a copy of that letter when in effect only two copies existed, the original in the Department and the copy with the Garda or vice versa.I am not sure whether it was the copy that was given to the Garda or whether it was the copy that was kept in the Department.That is a question which should be raised and if possible answered because the result of that letter falling into the hands of the CEO was that the author of the letter was suspended, albeit on full pay, and the allegations subsequent to that are that the suspension may have been a contributing factor to that man's death. At no time did I, or would I cast, or would I be justified in casting one iota of suspicion on the author of that letter. Further, that man acted honourably and in the best interests of the Údarás and of the country in bringing to light matters which he thought were of such a nature that they should be brought to the notice of the Minister who hopefully would take action, and action I took. But the fact that the letter, or a copy of it, got into the hands of the chief executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta is something I would like to have teased out.

A programme on RTE a few weeks ago also raised the level of publicity relating to Údarás na Gaeltachta. I took part in that programme at the request of the programme producers. In that programme certain things were said and in fact as a result of the programme I had — and this may be unusual — a letter from the secretary of the Department of the Gaeltacht, a letter which to me was rather political in that it raised certain matters about what I had to say about repayable advances. It finished off by saying that great damage was being caused and asking was there any limit to the extent to which people would go to cause damage to Údarás na Gaeltachta. I think the secretary of the Department should known me better than to imply that I was trying to do damage to Údarás na Gaeltachta.

I did admit on that programme that in my opinion the limit of £50 million in repayable advances under the Act was breached. I understand the Minister would not admit that, on the basis of his interpretation of section 23 of the Act. The clear purport and intent of the section is to limit the aggregate of advances made by the Minister for Finance to £50 million in respect of all advances made post 1 April 1965. To suggest that section 23(4) relates to advances made only to an tÚdarás and not to Gaeltarra Éireann ignores totally the assumption of the liabilities of Gaeltarra Éireann by Údarás na Gaeltachta as laid down in section 7 of the Údarás Act. Section 7(1) states:

On and from the appointed day Gaeltarra Éireann shall, by virtue of this section, be dissolved and the rights and liabilities which were conferred or imposed on Gaeltarra Éireann by the Gaeltacht Industries Acts, 1957 to 1977, and the duties and liabilities imposed on it consequent on its designation as an approved body under section 4 of the Superannuation and Pensions Act, 1963, shall, by virtue of this section, be transferred to An tÚdarás.

The reference to the limit of the advances of £50 million in section 23 (4) must be taken in conjunction with that and in conjunction with subsection (2) (b) and (2) (c) of section 23, which again state that Údarás na Gaeltachta are responsible for the liabilities passed on to them post 1 April 1965, which amounted to £42 million. There is no doubt about that in any interpretation of the Act.

Let me finish this by asking is it seriously suggested that the Acts authorise a total borrowing of £92 million to Údarás na Gaeltachta? That in effect is what it did — liabilities of £41.7 million and a limit placed on itself, if that is accepted, of £50 million. In fact, we are talking about whether or not Údarás na Gaeltachta is liable for the repayment of £42 million accumulated deficit by Gaeltarra Éireann from 1 April 1965 to its dissolution in 1979. I should like the Minister to clarify that in his reply.

Déanfaidh mé sin.

Go raibh maith agat. In relation to the activities of Údarás na Gaeltachta, far be it from me to suggest until I am sure and have proof positive, that any irregularities have taken place, but let me say that only yesterday I was given a document signed and dated by an employee — not of Údarás but of a company under the aegis of Údarás na Gaeltachta. This document complains of the chief executive of a large company in receipt of large sums of money from Údarás na Gaeltachta and alleges that the chief executive of the company, under the aegis of the company, gave false information to the Garda in connection with a break-in at a certain depot, that he submitted false insurance claims in connection with a break-in at another depot.

I am not too sure about the position regarding the possibility of the identification of the person in question but I would just remind the Deputy that in the House we do not make charges or associate with charges made against people who are not in a position to defend themselves. The Deputy may interpret that reminder in any way he considers appropriate.

I assure you, Sir, that I will not identify the person involved. I am sure that the person concerned will have ample opportunity of defending himself or herself as the case may be at the appropriate time. This chief executive had on the payroll people who were allowed time off to sign on for the dole. He failed to make returns for PAYE and PRSI. He got agreement from the board of directors on which there is an officer of Údarás to falsify the minutes of a board meeting. He had the secretary to the chief executive of a large company steal information from the files of a company which is a household name in this country and make the claim that he could do this at any time. I have that document here.

An tionscal nó fothionscal atá i gceist?

Níl mé sásta é sin a fhreagairt. I have here what amounts to industrial sabotage. That company have been grant-aided by Údarás na Gaeltachta and the company's auditors have stated that weaknesses in their controls and so on were evident. I have here a copy of the letter sent to the company by their auditors pointing out irregularities in their submissions to the auditors and asking that corrections be made and measures taken to ensure the compilation of proper accounts.

In addtion I have here a copy of an internal audit made by an auditor in Údarás na Gaeltachta and sent to the chief executive of this company. One of the more telling statements in this says that what was evident was that all accounting controls had disappeared. That is a company now in operation and in receipt of large sums of money from Údarás. There is the further comment that their own observations and the auditor's later reveal a situation that is wide open to abuse. The report is littered with this kind of serious allegation and it concludes with the words, "I would hope to review the situation with you in about three months' time and if I do not hear from you in the meantime, good luck." That is an internal audit from an auditor from within Údarás na Gaeltachta. In these circumstances I have no option but to hand this file to the Garda authorities and I propose to do that this evening.

The Deputy should keep a copy.

I appreciate the seriousness of the allegations I am making, but I was handed this file. Deputy Begley, who would be speaking here today but for a family bereavement, has told me that he has much more information which he intended giving to the House. I regret that Deputy Begley is unable to be present to give to the House whatever information he has in this matter.

I shall conclude by saying that I have the greatest respect for the Gaeltacht and its people, of whom I am one. Any allegation that my views are anything other than I have stated now in relation to the Gaeltacht is false. Ba mhaith liom a rá leis an Aire go bhfuil mo thacaíocht ag dul dó agus guím rath Dé ar a chuid oibre.

Tá áthas orm bheith anseo inniu ag labhairt ar an Meastachán seo. However, it gives me no pleasure to have to continue my speech in English, the language with which I am more familiar. I regret that I am not fortunate to be as fluent in Irish as are some other Members of the House, but I am in a similar position to that of many new Deputies in Dáil Éireann in that I view the translation paraphernalia with great curiosity, as indeed do many school children who visit the House. When I was elected first I became aware of the great tragedy it is for us that our national language is not one with which we are all sufficiently familiar to enable us to use it in debate in a place as important as this.

I am a product of my generation, a generation who were educated at a time when policies in respect of the Irish language were penal. We had the policy, for instance, of 10 per cent extra markings in examinations in Irish and there were even more severe penalties in this respect up to the mid-70's but these penalties were removed by the then Coalition Government. That sort of approach to Irish in schools at all levels made it very difficult for young people to have a warm and loving feeling towards the language.

I am disappointed that the Minister for the Gaeltacht has not taken up the offer that was made to all of us by Deputy Kavanagh as Minister for Labour, who suggested that we should have a course in Irish and other languages for Deputies. I suggest that the new Minister for Labour and the Minister for the Gaeltacht opposite should look into this. We should set an example in this House. Some Members like myself, who are not in a position to use Irish in debating, are keen and anxious to change that and to become more familiar with the language.

I would like to take up another point with regard to the Minister's contributions. It is generally believed that people who cannot speak Irish, who for all their 11 or 15 or 17 years of Irish at school are not equipped to speak Irish, do not care about Irish and are intolerant of it. I have sen hostility even between groups in a room where people are speaking Irish together and others are totally excluded because they do not understand it. I congratulate the Minister on his fluency and the beautiful way he uses Irish in this House. I envy him and others like him, but I ask him to be aware that he displays a certain Gaelic chauvinism. I am making this criticism with the best of intentions. Of course in his Ministry it is right that he should give example. It is right that he should speak in Irish, certainly in this debate and when he feels like it. However, I put to him that in this debate I missed several of his remarks because I could not pick them up on the headphones. This has happened in debates unrelated altogether to the Gaeltacht when he was contributing for the Government. With the greatest of respect I would ask him to be more tolerant of those of us who do not speak Irish, not to adopt an "Irish or nothing approach" in the House and to consider bringing in a system which would make it possible for us during the House sittings to learn Irish.

I ask myself what the situation will be for my children. I would like them to be familiar with Irish. They are going through an improved educational system with a new policy towards Irish but I am disappointed with the result. Several times on holidays in the west or elsewhere in Ireland we met Irish speakers who addressed my children in the Irish language and my children were absolutely flummoxed. They are meeting a langauge, which to them has been a textbook language, a class room language which they associate with school, coming into their social life, in a hotel or whatever it may be and they cannot cope with it. My children are not necessarily stupid or different from their colleagues or from children in any other schools where English mainly is spoken who also absorb the idea that Irish is a textbook subject to which they must apply themselves for a time during the day, that they must study for an examination and pass that examination. It is the wrong connotation. I would like to think, as many teachers do, that the Irish language could be presented in a more appealing way to children. My children are 13, 17 and 20 years of age. This morning they told me that they could speak Irish but asked who would speak it to them and where would they have occasion to speak it. That is very sad and I regret it. I hope to see a policy change regarding the teaching of Irish. It could be approached in the same way as the teaching of French for which many schools have audio-visual aids. If we are realistic and honest we will admit that many of our second level students are better at French than at Irish and the student exchange system and holidays in France give them occasion to use that language in its natural environment. I hope that the approach to Irish will be less restricted in terms of class, study and textbooks and that it will be broader. I hope, however, that it will not be chauvinistic in implying that this is the right and only way to do it. I would prefer to approach it as a desirable thing and when I visit a school I always make this point to the teachers.

Regarding the teaching of Irish, I pick up the point made by the previous speaker when he spoke about an approach of bi-lingualism rather than revivalism. At one time we believed here that in time we would all be Irish speakers. We know now that that will not happen, but when approaching the idea of bi-lingualism — which I support — I remembered that Canada had a similar problem in Quebec, and perhaps it is to there that the Minister has been looking. I have had some experience of it because I lived in Montreal. The people in Quebec did not succeed in their goal of having French and English spoken there until they brought out very penalising laws which created great divisions in the community on nationalist issues, French versus English, and that was not very desirable. I am sure that the new Minister will not impose such penalising laws.

I would like to talk about the Gaeltacht. Since this new administration came into office we have heard a great deal in this House about the importance of Dublin and how relevant it was to people all over the country, that Dublin is our capital city and its future should not be debated in only Dublin constituencies and by Dublin TDs. I agree with that, but the Gaeltacht and its future and people are not just an issue for those who live there or for public representatives in that area. I an concerned about the Gaeltacht and I believe that many people share my concern. The people who live there, apart altogether from their financial and other difficulties, are living in a barren area which traditionally and historically had a tough time. It is not easy to get jobs there, the land is bad and the area has had a bad history of poverty. We should support the Gaeltacht. We should put money in to keep the Gaeltacht alive and vital, and I hope that this will be done with an economically realistic approach. Recently I saw two factories in the Galway Gaeltacht, newly built, magnificent, but they were empty. There were no workers there, no steam or motion, nobody moving around. That is very sad. Why is it happening? I believe that the unemployment rate in the Gaeltacht is proportionately greater than in the rest of the country. A number of people who came back from England to live in the Gaeltacht area three or four years ago when things were better than they are now, are unemployed. They have built houses and entered into commitments. I support the financial aid to the Gaeltacht because if this erosion continues the Gaeltacht will disappear and the loss will be irreversible.

I note that the Minister has allocated £1 million for student schemes in the Gaeltacht. I wish to record my great admiration for the women who operate these schemes. My 13-years-old child is now in Carraroe and I have been to see her there. I was greatly impressed by the organisation and the approach to teaching. My daughter is very happy there and she may be the one of my three children who can be "saved" in terms of being an Irish speaker. I commend the women involved in these schemes. They work extremely hard and deserve support and a programme from the Minister which shows vision for the future. These schemes are not as well promoted as they might be. The Minister might consider promoting this educational holiday programme at an earlier stage in the year. By the end of May many families have made alternative holiday arrangements.

It disappoints me that this scheme is in general availed of by children who come from an advantaged background whose parents can afford to pay £90 for three weeks. When I was in Carraroe I inquired how many of the 400 children there came from disadvantaged areas and I was told that at the most there were three or four. When public money is being spent on a scheme of this nature it should not go only to children who are already advantaged by virtue of the situation of their parents and who may have better facilities at home for learning Irish or attend schools where there is a greater emphasis on the language. We must not neglect children in poorer areas as if they did not matter. Perhaps something could be done to subsidise such children, who might never otherwise have the opportunity to see the beauty of Gaeltacht areas and realise that there is another language spoken in this island.

When I talk about the Gaeltacht it is the people there I remember. When one walks along a street in the Gaeltacht or goes into a shop or a pub one finds that the people have a gentle, warm approach to people who do not speak Irish. They are helpful and tolerant when one tries to speak the language. I find a completely different approach among Irish speakers in Dublin and perhaps the ambiance of the Gaeltacht could be spread throughout the rest of the country. Irish speakers outside the Gaeltacht should realise that non-Irish speakers will respond to patience and tolerance far more than to the chauvinism I have mentioned.

If we can achieve a goal by conviction, it is the best way. It has always been a pleasure and a joy for me to go to the Gaeltacht and I compliment the people there. Not everybody who must make a speech in English because of lack of knowledge of Irish has an intolerance of that language.

Thank you, Deputy. If I might say so, you have spoken for the Chair and I hope that on the occasions when the Chair has used Irish you have not detected the chauvinism to which you referred.

Caithfidh mé a rá ar dtús gur fada an lá ó chualathas an méid Gaeilge is atá cloiste againn inniu agus Dé hAoine seo caite. Cruthaíonn sé, dar ndóigh, nach bhfuil le déanamh againn ach an deis a thabhairt do dhaoine a bheith páirteach i ndíospóireachtaí agus agallaimh as Gaeilge agus beidh siad lán-sásta bheith páirteach sna díospóireachtaí sin. Molaim na Teachtaí a bhí sásta teacht isteach anseo agus a dtuairimí a nochtadh agus a bheith páirteach sna díospóireachtaí le dhá lá anuas anois. Is dócha go mbeidh seans againn as seo amach, b'fhéidir, níos mó ama a chaitheamh ag caint is ag comhrá maidir le cúrsaí teanga agus cúrsaí Gaeilge sa Teach seo.

Tá sé mar phríomh-aidhm ag Roinn na Gaeltachta agus, dar ndóigh, ag Údarás na Gaeltachta an teanga a chothú agus na Gaeltachtaí a chaomhnú agus a fhorbairt. Caithfidh mé a chur in iúl do chuile dhuine gurb í seo an áit is fearr, i mo thuairim féin, tuairimí a nochtadh maidir le cúrsaí teanga agus cúrsaí Gaeltachta. Cuirim fáilte roimh na tuairimí atá nochta le déanaí sa Teach seo maidir le leas na nGaeltachtaí agus na teanga. Tá sé ar intinn agam díograis agus dúthracht na ndaoine a mhúscailt i measc an phobail ionas go mbeidh tairbhe ag teacht as agus go mbeidh forbairt sna Gaeltachtaí agus go mbeimid in ann an Ghaeilge, ár dteanga dhúchais agus ár gcultúr a chothú agus a chaomhnú. Bhí go leor tagairtí á ndéanamh ag cuid mhaith Teachtaí ar chúrsaí áitiúla agus deacrachtaí agus fadhbanna áitiúla ina ndáil-cheantair féin. Caithfidh mé a chur in iúl do na Teachtaí uilig go bhfuil nóta déanta agamsa maidir leis na deacrachtaí sna fadhbanna sin agus déanfaidh mé aon iarracht is féidir liom a dhéanamh chun feabhas a chur ar an scéal chomh luath agus is féidir liom.

Ar ndóigh, caithfidh mé a rá i dtús báire freisin nár aontaigh mé leis an méid a dúirt an Teachta Kelly ar an taobh eile. Cheap sé go raibh an clamhsán a bhí ar siúl ar maidin maidir le clár ama an Tí seo agus clár oibre an lae níos tábhachtaí ná na Meastacháin a bhí idir lámha againn inniu. Ní aontaím leis an tuairim sin chor ar bith, mar creidim féin gur Roinn an-tábhachtach Roinn na Gaeltachta, gur cúrsaí an-tábhachtach ar fad an teanga agus an cultúr náisiúnta agus go mba chóir go mbeadh seans againn go leor ama a chaitheamh i rith na bliana ar agallamh agus díospóireacht anseo maidir leis na cúrsaí sin. Bhí clamhsán ar siúl Dé hAoine seo caite freisin idir an t-iar-Aire agus an Ceann Comhairle maidir le cúrsaí eager na Dála. Cuireann sé sin díomá ormsa mar ba chóir go mbeimis san Teach seo ar an dá thaobh ag comhoibriú lena céile ar leas na teanga.

An rud dar liomsa atá in easnamh leis na blianta anuas nach raibh seans againn díospóireachtaí sa Dáil a bheith againn ar chúrsaí teanga agus ar chúrsaí Gaeilge sa tír seo. Tá géarghá le fada an lá leis an agallamh sin. Caithfidh mé a rá leis an Teachta sula n-imí sí, nach bhfuil mise mar chauvinist ar chor ar bith. Tá sé mar shórt traidisiún sa Teach seo nach mbíonn Aire na Gaeltachta ag labhairt ach amháin as Gaeilge sa Teach seo, but I will say I am no chauvinist or elitist in this regard. The Deputy is most welcome and anybody who wishes to contribute in this House in English or in Irish for the betterment of our language and our culture, I am happy either here or in my office to listen to what they have to say. Beidh fáilte rompu.

Tá géarghá leis na hagallaimh sin agus bhí géarghá leis an agallamh atá á phlé againn faoi láthair chun an t-aer a ghlanadh agus chun an droch-phoiblíocht freisin a ghlanadh maidir le cúrsaí teanga, cúrsaí Gaeilge agus cúrsaí na Gaeltachta. Tá an iomarca cúlchainte agus ráflaí ag dul timpeall agus caithfidh mé é seo a rá, is uafásach an dochar atá déanta ag na ráflaí agus an chúlchaint sin. Is uafásach an dochar atá déanta do na Gaeltachtaí, do mhuintir na nGaeltachtaí, do na comhlachtaí agus na heagrais thart timpeall na tíre seo atá ag oibriú ar son na teanga agus na nGaeltachtaí agus caithfimid deireadh a chur leis chomh luath agus is féidir é.

Is cúis mhór sásaimh domsa gur aontaigh an chuid is mó de na cainteoirí ón dá thaobh den Teach seo go gcaithfimid deireadh a chur leis an chúlchaint agus na ráflaí. Tá an iomarca cainte maidir le caimiléireacht ag dul thart sa tír seo faoi láthair. Is dócha go bhfuil botúin á ndéanamh le fada an lá ag eagrais agus comhlachtaí sa tír seo, ach ní sna Gaeltachtaí amháin a bhíonn na botúin sin ar siúl. B'fhéidir go bhfuil míbhainistíocht in áiteacha éagsúla sna Gaeltachtaí freisin. Nílim á rá nach bhfuil. B'fhéidir go bhfuil míbhainistíocht freisin ag dul le heagrais agus comhlachtaí in áiteacha eile ar fud na tíre. Cuireann sé imní orm go bhfuil an dhroch-phoiblíocht an t-am ar fad ag dul leis na ráflaí sin agus an chúlchaint maidir le cúrsaí saoil atá sna Gaeltachtaí faoi láthair.

Ní fédir le haon eagras forbartha maitheas ar bith a dhéanamh fad agus a bhíonn siad faoi scamall. Tá sé mar phríomh-aidhm agamsa an scamall sin a ardú ó dhroim na n-eagras forbartha atá ag obair ar son na nGaeltachtaí. Mar a dúirt mé cheana an Dáil an áit is fearr agus an áit ba chóir chun na cúrsaí seo a phlé agus bhí seans iontach againn i mbliana díospóireacht a chur ar siúl sa Teach seo maidir le cúrsaí na teanga. Ní raibh sé mar sin le fada an lá. Ní cuimhin liom chomh fada siar is a bhí sé sula raibh an seans ag an Teach seo agallamh a dhéanamh maidir le cúrsaí teanga agus cúrsaí fostaíochta agus forbartha agus chuile rud atá ag tagairt agus baint aige leis na Gaeltachtaí.

Sin é an fáth gur iarr mise cúpla seachtain ó shin ar an Phríomh-Aoire an deis a thabhairt dúinn uile — mé féin agus sibhse agus chuile dhuine a bhfuil baint acu agus suim acu i gcúrsaí teanga, cúrsaí cultúrtha agus cúrsaí Gaeltachta sa tír seo, na cúrsaí seo a phlé anseo. Sin é an fáth go bunúsach a thug mé an cuireadh don iar-Aire an ráiteas iomlán soiléir a dhéanamh sa Teach ionas go mbeadh deis agamsa chomh luath agus ab fhéidir é an t-aer a ghlanadh agus chuile rud a chur thart agus a chur taobh thiar dínn ionas go mbeimis araon in ann comhoibriú agus dul ar aghaidh agus feabhas éigin a chur ar an scéal atá sna Gaeltachtaí agus tairbhe éigin a fháil do na daoine atá ina gcónaí ann agus atá sásta fanacht ann. Caithfimid slí bheatha agus mhaireachtála a chur ar fáil dóibh ar aon leibhéal leis na daoine atá fostaithe in aon áit eile sa tír.

Chuir an t-iar-Aire in iúl don Dáil an tseachtain seo caite go raibh sé ar intinn aige ráiteas a dhéanamh agus ba chóir go mbeadh sé an-bhuíoch domsa an seans sin a thabhairt dó. Sin an fáth go raibh mé á spreagadh teacht isteach anseo agus an ráiteas a dhéanamh. Tá sé déanta aige. B'fhéidir go bhfuil rudaí eile san áireamh freisin anois seachas an ráiteas atá tugtha aige ar maidin ach sin mar atá sé agus sin mar ba chóir bheadh sé. Beidh go leor le rá agamsa maidir leis na cúrsaí sin agus na rudaí atá nochta aige ina ráiteas, ach beidh lá eile againn maidir leis sin.

Cad is bunús leis an chlamhsán a bhí ar siúl anseo an tseachtain seo caite? Má chreideann sé go bhfuil sé i bponc maidir leis an méid a bhí ráite agamsa ins an ráiteas gearr a rinne mé an tseachtain seo caite, bhí go leor ama aige an tseachtain seo caite, fiú amháin sna míonna seo caite, ráiteas a chur os comhair na Dála dá mba mhian leis é sin a dhéanamh. D'fhéadfadh sé socrú a dhéanamh le haon duine de na cainteoirí óna thaobh féin am a thabhairt dó chun é sin a dhéanamh. Ní dhearna sé é sin, ach is dócha go raibh rud éigin ar intinn aige. Tá an ráiteas tugtha uaidh anois agus táimid go léir fíor-bhuíoch dó. Caithfidh mé a rá, mar fhocal scoir maidir leis an chlamhsán a bhí ann an tseachtain seo caite, gurb annamh a bhí an t-iar-Aire ar buile agus dar ndóigh bhí ar buile an tseachtain seo caite. Más rud é go bhfuil rud éigin ag cur isteach air is féidir leis ráiteas poiblí a dhéanamh aon uair is mian leis.

Cuireann sé gliondar ar mo chroí go raibh na daoine go léir a labhair san díospóireacht seo sásta cúnamh a thabhairt dom agus comhoibriú a dhéanamh liom maidir le feabhas agus forbairt a dhéanamh sna Gaeltachtaí agus rud éigin fiúntach a dhéanamh ar son na teanga. Táimid go léir ag iarraidh ár ndícheall a dhéanamh chun é sin a chur i gcrích. Ní gnáth-chúrsaí polaitíochta atá i gceist maidir le teanga. Caithfimid an dearcadh céanna a bheith aontaithe againn. Sin é an fáth go bhfuil mé ag lorg comhoibriú ionas go mbeimid in ann an teanga a chur chun cinn.

Chuir sé áthas mór orm bheith ag éisteacht leis na baill ar gach taobh den Teach seo. Ní raibh sé ar mo chumas nó ar chumas aon Aire le fada an lá a dhéanamh amach cad a bhí ar intinn na dTeachtaí ar gach taobh. Tar éis na díospóireachta seo beidh mé in ann leanacht leis an job mar tá fhios agam go mbeidh comhoibriú le fáil agam agus is féidir liom dul ar aghaidh agus an t-eolas a bheith agam go bhfuil na Teachtaí go léir sásta cabhair a thabhairt do Aire na Gaeltachta atá ina sheasamh anseo ar son na tíre ar fad. Cuireann sé gliondar orm freisin go bhfuil na Teachtaí go léir ag iarraidh orm brostú ar aghaidh leis an bplean cuimsítheach atá ar intinn agam maidir le leas na nGaeltachtaí agus na Gaeilge. Déanfaidh mé é sin. Tá mé fíor-bhuíoch as ucht an chomhoibriú atá geallta dom ag urlabhraí Fhine Gael, urlabhraí an Lucht Oibre agus chuile dhuine eile a bhí sásta teacht isteach anseo ó gach taobh den Teach agus cúnamh agus comhoibriú a dhéanamh liomsa maidir leis na cúrsaí seo.

Níl creidiúint ar bith dar liomsa ag dul do na daoine a leanann an bealach diúltach. Ní haon mhaith leanúint leis an bhealach sin. Is fiú na pleananna atá réitithe agus atá aontaithe agam, ní amháin leis an Roinn, ach leis an Údarás agus Bord na Gaeilge ach libhse freisin. Táimid go léir páirteach ins an mór riaradh seo atá á dhéanamh againn chun an Ghaeilge a shábháil, leis na Gaeltachtaí a chothú agus a chaomhnú. Bhí go leor le rá ag cuid mhaith de na Teachtaí a bhí sásta bheith páirteach sa díospóireacht seo agus tá mé chun tagairt a dhéanamh do chuid de na rúdaí a bhí ar intinn ag cuid acu. Tógfaidh sé tamall fada chun é sin a dhéanamh, seo an seans is fearr dá bhfuil agamsa agus b'fhéidir an seans deireanach a bheidh agamsa go ceann i bhfad chun é seo a dhéanamh. Caithfidh mé an seans iontach seo atá tugtha dom anois a thógaint i mo dhá lámh agus leanúint ar aghaidh leis. Beidh mé ag iarraidh príomh-aoire mo pháirtí féin agus ar phríomh aoirí na bpáirtithe eile an seans seo a thabhairt dúinn cúpla uair i rith na bliana ionas go mbeimid in ann teacht isteach agus tuairimí nua a nochtadh. Beidh mé ag tagairt do chúpla cinn de na tuairimí speisialta sin, cuid acu a nocht an Teachta O'Donnell go háirithe an tseachtain seo caite. Rudaí bunúsacha iad seo agus caithfimid bheith ag éisteacht leo. Ní féidir linn é a dhéanamh aon áit eile. Seo an áit is fearr. Sin an fáth go bhfuilim ag iarraidh ar chuile duine agus ag iarraidh ar na Teachtaí atá in a mbaill de na páirtíthe polaitíochta eile a chur in iúl don Phríomh-Aoire agus do cheannairí na bpáirtithe sin go gcaithimid an seans seo a bheith againn gach uile bhliain agus gan bheith ag fanacht ar feadh deich mbliana nó mar sin chun seans mar atá faighte againn i mbliana a bheith againn.

Nuair a bhí An Teachta Higgins ag caint — agus níl mé ag déanamh dearmad ar urlabhraí Fhine Gael ar chor ar bith; tiocfaidh me chuige sin ar ball beag — ar an urlabhraí ar chor ar bith mhol sé go láidir go gcuirfí béim ar fhorbairt acmhainní nádúrtha na Gaeltachta, mar shampla, an iascaireacht agus an fheirmeoireacht éisc. Bhí sé sin le rá freisin ag an Teachta ó Dhún na Gall. Tá sé furasta aontú leis an moladh sin ach ní foláir tabhairt faoin obair ar bhealach eagraithe críochnúil i gcaoi go seasfaidh na tionscail ar leith ar a mbonnaibh féin agus go ngnóthófar brabach as an infheistíocht. Tá sé seo luaite agam ins an díospóireacht ar an gcáinfhaisnéis. Caithfidh mé a chur in iúl ag an bpoinnte seo nuair a bhí daoine ag rá — agus bhí sé á rá ag an iar-Aire agus roinnt daoine eile freisin — nach riabh mórán sa ráiteas a chuir me os comhair na Dála an tseachtain seo caite. B'fhéidir gur mar sin a bhí. Caithfidh mé anois a n-aigní a dhíriú ar an méid a bhí le rá agamsa ins an díospóireacht ar an gcáinaisnéis cúpla seachtain ó shin. Bhí roinnt mhaith le rá agam ins an díospóireacht sin. Caithfidh mé a rá gur aontaigh chuile dhuine sa Teach seo leis an gcuid is mó den méid a bhí le rá agamsa ins an díospóireacht sin, más mian leo stracfhéacaint eigin a thabhairt ar an díospóireacht sin. Tá mo thuairimí féin nochta ansin maidir leis an Údarás agus fostaíocht agus achmhainní nádúrtha agus cúrsaí teanga. Ní gá dom teacht isteach anseo agus é a bheith á ath-rá agamsa gach uile lá. Molaim díobh dul go dtí an leabharlann agus stracfhéachaint a thabhairt ar an méid a bhí le rá agamsa ar an ócaid sin. Creidim féin gur nocht mé tuairimí bunúsacha a bheith ann maidir leis na cúrsaí pleanála atá i gceist agamsa as seo amach.

Is mian liomn tréaslú leis an Teachta Kenny as ucht a bheith ceaptha arís mar urlabhraí Fhine Gael ar son cúrsaí teanga. Tá aithne agamsa air le fada an lá ach níor chuimhnigh mé riamh go mbeadh dearmad ann go mbeimis chomh measctha agus go mbeadh daoine á rá gur Enda Flynn mé fhéin. Bhí an meascadh sin ann ar maidin. Ag an am céanna ceapaim go bhfuil sé ag aontú leis na tuairimí atá nochta agamsa le déanaí go mórmhór ins an agallamh sin ar an cháinaisnéis.

Labhair na Teachtaí sin, na Teachtaí Kenny, Higgins, Coughlan agus McGinley agus caithfidh mé a rá go bhfuil an Ghaeilge go blasta acu. Cuireann sé gliondar croí orainn bheith anseo agus bheith ag éisteacht leo.

(Cur isteach.)

Ní bhíonn an taithí agamsa agus ní raibh an taithí agam le fada an lá cleachtadh ar líofacht ach ag an am céanna ta sórt líofacht beag ag teacht ann anois le déanaí os rud é go bhfuil ceachtanna á bhfoghlaim agam an t-am ar fad ins na Roinn agus caithfidh mé mo bhuíochas a chur in iúl dos na hoifigigh agus go mórmhór don Rúnaí maidir leis sin.

Luaigh na Teachtaí seo an imní a bhí orthu maidir leis an oideachas trí Ghaeilge. Teastaíonn uainn go léir, measaim, go mbeadh pobal fíordhátheangach sa tír. Cé nach féidir leis an gcóras oideachais amháin an aidhm sin a bhaint amach is léir go bhfuil áit an-tábhachtach aige i mbeartas slándála na teanga. Aontaím leis an tuairim sin. Is é mo thuairim go mbeidh dul chun cinn suntasach le haithint nuair a bheidh torthaí le feiceáil ar na moltaí a rinneadh sa Pháipéar Bán um Fhorbairt an Oideachais a leag rialtas Fhianna Fáil faoi bhráid gach Tí den Oireachtas tamall ó shin. Ar ndóigh, beidh lánchomhoibriú na múinteoirí agus an phobail i gcoitinne de dhíth d'fhonn feidhm éifeachtach a thabhairt do na moltaí sin. Beidh go leor le déanamh agam maidir leis na tuairimí sin atá foilsithe ins an Páipéar Bán agus iarraim ar an urlabhraí, an Teachta Kenny, agus ar dhaoine eile nach raibh an seans acu é a léamh stracfhéachaint a thabhairt ar an Pháipéar Bán sin freisin. Tá tuairimí ann agus tá baint go bunúsach acu le cúrsaí oideachais agus leis an teanga. Caithfidh mé bheith ag plé leo go luath anois agus tugaim cuireadh do na Teachtaí moltaí a chur chugam ina dtaobh sin.

Rinne na Teachtaí seo freisin tagairt don ghá atá ann bunstruchtúr na Gaeltachta a fheabhsú. Luadh gurbh inmholta feabhas a chur ar shaoráidí calaíochta in áiteanna áirithe agus moladh go gcuirfí airgead ar fáil chun bóithre portaigh a fheabhsú. B'fhéidir go bhfuil na rudaí seo measctha suas beagán ach tá mé ag iarraidh freagra a thabhairt ar na rudaí a bhí ar intinn na dTeachtaí a bhí ag caint. Leanfar den obair atá ar siúl ag mo Roinn d'fhonn bunstruchtúr na Gaeltachta a fhorbairt. B'fhéidir nach bhfuil mórán airgid ann faoi láthair chun gach rud a dhéanamh maidir leis na bóithre agus na bóithre portaigh go bunúsach ach nuair a bheidh deireadh leis an bhliain seo beidh sé ar eolas ag chuile dhuine go bhfuilim chun iarracht a dhéanamh an rud sin a dhéanamh.

Bhí amhras ar Theachtaí áirithe faoin bhfiúntas a bhaineann leis an scéim dheontais do Labhairt na Gaeilge — an deontas £10. Dúradh nach cóir go gcaillfeadh teaghlach deontas tithíochta dá dteipfeadh ar na páistí an deontas £10 a fháil. Is é bun is barr an scéil gur coinníoll reachtúil é go gcaithfidh an Ghaeilge a bheith mar theanga theaghlaigh ag an líon tí de ghnáth chun cáilíocht a bhaint amach faoi Achtanna na dTithe Gaeltachta. Mura dtuilleann páiste an deontas nach comhartha é sin nach í an Ghaeilge gnáth-theanga an teaghlaigh? Bíonn cásanna ann, agus caithim é seo a rá, cuir i gcás nuair a fhilleann teaghlach ar an Ghaeltacht ó thír iasachta, nuair nach raibh deis ag na páistí nó ag bean an tí b'fhéidir cleachtadh a fháil ar úsáid na Gaeilge. I gcás den chineál sin, bhíodar sásta tréimhse b'fhéidir sé mhí nó bliain a thabhairt don teaghlach chun deis a thabhairt dóibh cáilíocht faoi choinníoll na Gaeilge a bhaint amach, agus táim sásta leis sin. Mura mbíonn fonn ar iarratasóir fanacht ar feadh tréimhse — agus tuigim na deacrachtaí a bhaineann leis sin sna laethanta seo nuair a bhíonn costas tógála ag méadú chomh sciobtha sin — tig leis dul ar aghaidh chun an teach a thógáil agus iarratas a dhéanamh ar chúnamh faoi scéim spreagtha na Gaeilge.

Creidim, de réir mar a chloisimse agus de réir mar a chuala mé na rudaí a bhí le rá ag cuid de na Teachtaí an tseachtain seo caite, nach bhfuil eolas cruinn na scéime sin ag roint mhaith de na Teachtaí, agus caithfidh mé a chur in iúl dóibh gur mar seo atá. Deontas tógála £2,000 a bhíonn ar fáil faoi Achtanna na dTithe Gaeltachta, agus is féidir le duine a thógann teach le cabhair deontas £1,000 on Roinn Comhshaoil, suim bhreise comh hard le £800 a fháil faoi scéim spreagtha na Gaeilge má éiríonn leis an Ghaeilge a chur i réim mar ghnáththeanga ina theaghlach laistigh de dhá bhliain. Bíonn dhá bhliain aige chun an socrú sin a dhéanamh, dul ar aghaidh leis an deontas ón Roinn Comhshaoil ar dtús agus ansin iarratas a chur isteach chun bheith páirteach ins an scéim. Agus más mian le Teachta ar bith teacht agus caint maidir leis an scéim sin a fheabhsú, beidh mé lan-tsásta. Más gá na rialacha maidir leis an scéim a chur amach níl le déanamh aige ach iarratas a chur isteach nó glaoch orm, nó glaoch ar an Roinn agus beidh siad lán-tsásta freagra a thabhairt d'éinne.

Ní fíor a rá nach dtugtar poiblíocht go leor don scéim sin mar cuirtear cóip chuig gach uile iarratasóir.

Nuair a bhí an Teachta Gallagher ag caint an tseachtain seo caite, luaigh sé cuid mhaith pointí a bhaineann ach go háirithe le Gaeltacht Dhún na nGall. Luaigh sé chomh tábhachtach agus a bhí cúrsaí fostaíochta do mhuintir na Gaeltachta i gcaoi go mbeidís in ann slí maireachtála shocrach a bhaint amach ina gceantair féin. Sin é an fáth gur cuireadh Údarás na Gaeltachta agus Gaeltarra Éireann ar bun, ionas go mbeidh daoine in ann fostaíocht a fháil ina gceantar féin agus bheith sásta fanacht ann, agus slí bheatha agus slí maireachtála a bheith acu ar aon leibhéal le daoine atá fostaithe in áiteanna eile sa tír. Sin é an rud bunúsach a bhí ann agus freisin bhí sé go bunúsach in Acht Údarás na Gaeltachta cúpla bliain ó shin go mbeadh baint faoi leith ag an Údarás le pleanáil na teanga. Tá sé sin scríofa i mír 8 den Acht atá luaite agam. Tá sé go fíor-bhunúsach go gcaithfidh sé teagmháil leis an teanga freisin - b'shin an fáth gur cuireadh ar bun iad. Chun é sin a dhéanamh caithfidh siad níos mo fostaíochta a chur ar fáil d'fhonn go mbeadh na daoine agus an daonra sásta fanacht sna Gaeltachtaí. Is é an fáth go bhfuil an seans á thabhairt dom anois an tuairim seo a nochtú, b'fhéidir nach raibh siad go léir ins an ráiteas a chuir mé os comhair na Dála ag tús na díospóireachta seo ach bhí sé ráite agam sa díospóireacht cháinaisnéise agus táimid ag déanamh atagairt anois do na rudaí a bhí ráite agam sa ráiteas sin.

Mheas sé freisin gur mó an tairbhe a d'fhéadfaí a bhaint as na tionscail bheaga áitiúla agus gur ceart níos mó a dhéanamh ar mhaithe leis an iascaireacht. Aontaím go hiomlán leis sin. Is ceann de na hacmhainní nádúrtha é agus ba chóir go ndéanfaimis iarracht faoi leith na hacmhainní sin a fhorbairt. Sin iad na rudaí go bunúsach atá ann do na daoine, an talmhaíocht, an iascaireacht, an turasóireacht agus rudaí mar sin. B'fhéidir nach ndearna na heagrais a bhí ag plé le cúrsaí poiblíochta an obair is fearr, go mórmhór maidir leis na cúrsaí eacnamaíochta sin. Ach tá mise tar éis iarraidh orthu agus a rá go gcaithfidh siad sin comhoibriú linn ins na pleananna nua atá á ndéanamh againn maidir le cúrsaí fostaíochta ins an Ghaeltacht. Rinne sé tagairt freisin ag an am sin do na hOileáin Ghaeltachta ar chósta Dhún na nGall agus is eol dom go maith go mbíonn deacrachtaí as an ghnáth ag lucht na n-oileán agus bímid i gcónaí ag iarraidh cabhrú leo. Tá géarghá ann an bun-struchtúr a neartú ins na hoileáin sin. Más féidir liomsa méid áirithe airgid, b'fhéidir nach mbeadh mórán ann i mbliana ach déanfaidh mé mo dhícheall chun beagán airgid a chur ar fáil chun na bóithre a fheabhsú agus a neartú, déanfaidh mé é agus ní cúrsaí polaitíochta a bheidh i gceist maidir leis na hoileáin sin.

Rinne na Teachtaí Kenny agus Cope Gallagher agus daoine eile tagairt do Radio na Gaeltachta agus thug siad ardmholadh do Radio na Gaeltachta as ucht na sár-oibre atá ar siúl acu. Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas féin a chur in iúl do Radio na Gaeltachta freisin. Tá seirbhís den scoth á tabhairt acu don Ghaeltacht agus don Ghaeilge agus tá dóchas agam go n-éireoidh leo níos mó fós a dhéanamh sna blianta atá romhainn. Rinneadh tagairt don stiúideo iontach atá ann. Bhí go leor le rá agamsa maidir leis an stiúideo tamall ó shin agus caithfidh mé é seo a rá maidir leis an rud sin, is é an stiúideo de chuid Roinn na Gaeltachta atá le bunú i gCaisleán an Bharraigh; ní maith liom bheith ag tagairt do rudaí mar seo i mo dháilcheantar féin ach b'fhéidir gurb é seo an seans is fearr dá bhfaighidh mé chun é sin a dhéanamh. Cuireadh ceisteanna ina thaobh sin agus tá áthas orm a rá go dtuigim gur dócha go mbeidh an stiúideo sin i mbun oibre faoi lár na míosa seo chugainn. Caithfidh mé a rá leat gur cóir go mbeadh sé ar siúl tamall roimhe seo ach lár na míosa seo chugainn atá i gceist againn anois. Tá na deacrachtaí cóiríochta a bhí i gceist agam, tá siad sáraithe againn agus beidh cóiríocht oifige ar fáil go luath i gCaisleán an Bharraigh. Níl ach deacracht amháin agus fadhb amháin le réiteach maidir leis seo.

Beidh Contae Mhaigh Eo chun tosaigh.

B'fhéidir go mbeidh siad chun tosaigh agus aontaím go bhfuil géarghá le cúrsaí Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta a chur chun tosaigh i gContae Mhaigh Eo, mar is iad sin na Gaeltachtaí amháin a bhfuil laghdú daonra iontu le deich mbliana anuas. Tá ardú daonra i ngach uile chontae a bhfuil Gaeltacht ann le tamall anuas ach amháin Contae Mhaigh Eo. Tá laghdú ar an méid fostaíochta atá ins an chontae sin freisin sna Gaeltachtaí. Caithfidh mé athrú scéil a dhéanamh air sin. Tá aon deacracht amháin fágtha maidir leis na háiseanna riachtanacha a bheith le fáil ón Roinn Poist agus Telegrafa. Tá sé seo i gceist agus tá sé sin ar eolas ag an Teachta Kenny freisin. Beidh an réiteach ann maidir leis na háiseanna atá riachtanach don stiúideo sin agus tá súil agam go mbeimid araon, mé féin agus an t-urlabhraí ar son Fhine Gael, i láthair nuair a chuirfear amach an chéad chraolú ó Chasla.

Caithfidh mé a rá anois—agus go háirithe leis an Teachta Kenny—nach bhfuil ach rud beag ins an mhion-stiúideo seo atá i gceist againn maidir le cén fáth nach bhfuil sé in áit éigin sa Ghaeltacht, go bhfuil sé lonnaithe taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht. Caithfimid mór-stiúideo a chur ar fáil áit éigin sa chontae agus na mion-stiúideonna sna Gaeltachtaí eile, Tuar Mhic Eide, Béal an Mhuirthead agus áiteanna mar sin. Tá sé riachtanach na mion-stiúideonna sin a bheith againn chun deis éisteachta a thabhairt do na daoine atá sásta a bheith ag éisteacht le Radio na Gaeltachta i mo chontae. Níl an deis éisteachta acu faoi láthair mar táimid ar theorainn na dtonnta, beagáinn taobh amuigh díobh. Dá bhrí sin ní féidir linn é a chloisteáil ar chor ar bith agus tá daoine lán-sásta bheith páirteach sna gníomhartha a bhíonn ar siúl ag Radio na Gaeltachta. Ta sár-rud déanta ag an gcóras sin le deich mbliana anuas ach níl seans againne bheith páirteach ann. Ní hé Maigh Eo an Ghaeltacht is mó sa tír ach tá sé tríú háit maidir leis an daonra atá ann. Caithfimid an deis a thabhairt do mhuintir Mhaigh Eo sna Gaeltachtaí go luath. Seo tús leis an obair agus is dócha nuair a bheidh sé ann beidh an brú ag teacht isteach ansin. Beidh an t-éileamh ann ansin chun rud níos fearr a dhéanamh agus mór-stiúideo a chur ar fáil ins an chontae agus ansin beimid go léir i gcóras iomlán an tíre sula dtiocfaidh an córas teilifíse do mhuintir na Gaeltachta.

An gceapann an tAire go bhfuil an guth atá aige sách láidir ——

Tá guth sách láidir agam, caithfidh mé é sin a rá agus tá mé ag súil go mbeidh an guth sin le cloisteáil ar na claíocha i gcontae Mhaigh Eo go ceann i bhfad. Bhí tagairt déanta ag chuid mhaith daoine do na Meastacháin seo. Luaigh mé ar dtús — agus bhí sé ins an ráiteas a chuir mé amach Dé hAoine seo caite — nár thug an t-iar-Rialtas méaduithe mar a bhí geallta acu féin ar dheontais áirithe. Is iad na deontais a bhí i gceist agamsa — agus caithfidh mé é a rá go poiblí anois — na gnáthdheontais tógála faoi Achtanna na dTithe Gaeltachta, bhí siad geallta ag an iar-Rialtas iad a mhéadú ó £2,000 go dtí £3,000. Níor cuireadh an t-airgead ar fáil domsa chun an gheallúint sin a chomhlíonadh.

Bhí sé ar intinn acu deontas labhairt na Gaeilge a mhéadú — bhí sé sin geallta — ó £10 go £20. Deineadh poiblíocht maidir leis an scéim sin ach níl an t-airgead agamsa chun é a dhéanamh sna Meastacháin, níl aon dul as. Freisin an deontas do mhná tí Gaeltachta a choinníonn foghlaimeoirí aitheanta Gaeilge a raibh geallta é a mhéadú ó £2 go £3 in aghaidh an lae. Bhí na mná tí ag súil leis an méadú sin anuraidh ach ní bhfuair siad é agus i mbliana níor tugadh ach méadú 25p dóibh go dtí £2.25 in aghaidh an lae. Níl aon dul as. Nílim ag cur an mhilleáin ar dhuine ar bith ach caithfimid na rudaí seo a aithint. Bíonn toscairí ag teacht chugamsa agus ag iarraidh orm breis airgid a chur ar fáil. Deireann siad liom nuair a thagann siad isteach go raibh breis airgid geallta ag an iar-Aire. Tá sé cinnte go raibh sé geallta aige ach nuair a cuireadh na Meastacháin le chéile i dtús na bliana seo níor cuireadh isteach an t-airgead chun é sin a chomhlíonadh. Sin an cruachás ina bhfuil mé.

Bhí na méaduithe sin — agus nithe eile nach iad freisin — geallta sa doiciméad caíliúil úd "Clár don Rialtas 1981-1986" a d'fhoilsigh páirtithe Fhine Gael agus an Lucht Oibre sular tháinig siad le chéile mar Chomhrialtas. Ar ndóigh, is beag aird a thug siad ar na gealltanais nuair a bhí na Meastacháin á n-ullmhú acu i mbliana. Cinnte ní raibh ar chumas an iar-Aire an méid airgid a bhí ag teastáil chun na geallúintí sin a chomhlíonadh a chur ar fáil. Dá mbeadh sé ann bheinnse lán-sásta na harduithe agus na deontais sin a chur ar fáil do na daoine sna Gaeltachtaí. Ach níl an t-airgead ann agus ní féidir liom geallúint a thabhairt do na mná tí i mbliana ach an oiread. Déanfaidh mé aon rud is féidir liom a dhéanamh maidir leis na Meastacháin a bheidh ann an bhliain seo chugainn.

Bhí go leor le rá ag Teachtaí maidir le Údarás na Gaeltachta. Ba mhaith liomsa go dtuigfí go soiléir nach raibh agus nach bhfuil eolas ar bith á cheilt ag Gaeltarra ná ag an Údarás. Tá sonraí an chaiteachais le fáil sna tuarascálacha agus sna cuntais atá foilsithe. Is féidir teacht ar na híocaíochtaí a rinneadh le gach uile tionscal agus, i gcás na bhfoththionscal agus na gcomhthionscal ina mbíonn scaireanna ag an Údarás, luaitear na cinn ina mbíonn infheistíochtaí díscríofa. Caithfidh mé é sin a rá arís mar tá daoine ag dul thart is ag teacht isteach anseo agus ag cur in iúl do chuile dhuine agus ag iarraidh an dallamullóg a chur ar daoine go bhfuil rudaí ceilte sna cuntais sin. Níl sé mar sin ar chor ar bith. An rud amháin atá ann go bhfuil siad go léir scríofa síos as Gaeilge agus b'fhéidir nach bhfuil sé ar chumas daoine éagsúla iad a léamh go héasca sa teanga sin. Níl rud ar bith ceilte sna cuntais sin. Tá sé sin ráite agam cheana féin ach fós tá daoine ag cur na ceiste, cad tá ar siúl maidir le hinfheistíocht agus maidir le hinfheistíocht atá díscríofa?

Ó mhí Eanáir seo caite rithfeadh sé le duine gurb amhlaidh atá dream éigin ag iarraidh dochar a dhéanamh don Údarás d'aon ghnó. Tá rud amháin cinnte agus is é sin nach cabhair ar bith don Údarás ná don Ghaeltacht go mbeadh ráflaí á scaipeadh agus droch-phoiblíocht á cothú. Is rudaí iad sin a chuireann lagmhisneach ar an eagraíocht agus a dhéanann an obair níos deacra fós trí thionsclóirí a mbeifí ag iarraidh iad a mhealladh go dtí an Ghaeltacht a chur ó dhoras. Sin atá ag titim amach faoi láthair agus caithfidh mé a chur in iúl do chuile dhuine go bhfuil tionsclóirí ag dul ó dhoras agus nach bhfuil siad sásta teangmháil a dhéanamh leis an eagras forbartha sin, Údarás na Gaeltachta, de bhrí go bhfuil an droch-phoiblíocht á scaipeadh thart timpeall, ráflaí agus cúlchaint, agus an iomarca den rud sin atá ar siúl. Caithfidh mise deireadh a chur leis agus sin an fáth go bhfuilimid anseo inniu agus go bhfuil an dara lá tugtha againn ag dul ar aghaidh leis an agallamh agus an díospóireacht seo. Sin an fáth go bhfuilim fíor-bhuíoch d'aoirí pháirtí Fhine Gael agus don phríomh-aoire le Fianna Fáil, go raibh siad sásta an t-am a thabhairt dúinn chun a t-aer a ghlanadh. Is comhoibriú agus tacaíocht atá ag teastáil ón Udarás ag an nóiméad seo le go bhféadfar dul chun cinn mar is mian linn a dhéanamh sa Ghaeltacht. Caithfidhmidne a chur in iúl do na baill eile sna páirtithe go gcaithfidh siadsan an tacaíocht sin a thabhairt dúinn. Tá an páirtí ag cur in iúl domsa sa díospóireacht seo go gcaithfidhmidne comhoibriú le chéile, dul i gcomhairle le chéile agus a iarraidh orthu an tacaíocht sin a spreagadh ionas go mbeidh tairbhe ag teacht as an méid atá le déanamh againn agus as an fhorbairt atá ar intinn ag Údarás na Gaeltachta a dhéanamh ar son na Gaeltachta. Caithfidhmid deireadh a chur leis an chúlchaint seo agus leis an gcaint maidir le caimiléireacht an t-am ar fad. Mar a dúirt mé cheana b'fhéidir go bhfuil sé le rá ag daoine éagsúla go raibh mí-bhainistíocht ag dul le comhlachtaí éigin nó b'fhéidir botúin déanta maidir le fostaíocht éigin nó le tionscal éigin a mhealladh isteach anseo agus deontais a chur ar fáil dóibh. B'fhéidir go bhfuil sé sin ann ach nach bhfuil sé sin fíor maidir le deontais a tugadh ó chórais agus eagrais forbartha eile sa tír seo. Nílim sásta go mbeadh daoine ag dul thart chun droch-phoiblíocht a scaipeadh.

(Cur isteach.)

Má tá rud éigin le rá aige tagadh sé isteach anseo agus abradh sé os ard agus beimid in ann uilig léirmheas a dhéanamh ar a bhfuil le rá aige agus freagra a thabhairt freisin. Mar a dúirt mé cheana, nach léir go bhfuil gá le fiosrúchán den saghas a luaigh an t-iarAire anseo ar an 26ú Mí Eanáir, agus sin rud amháin atá i gceist agam. Bíonn fiosrú i gcónaí ar siúl agamsa agus ag Aire ar bith go bhfuil cúram air agus dualgas air maidir lena Roinn féin. Bhí sé ar siúl agamsa freisin agus tá an t-athbhreithniú sin ag dul ar aghaidh chuile lá fad is atá mise in mo Aire, ní hé amháin do Údarás na Gaeltachta agus na heagrais deonacha eile, Bord na Gaeilge, agus na heagrais Stáit áirithe freisin. Tá sé sin ar siúl an t-am ar fad agamsa.

Tá méid uafásach ama caite leis na hoifigigh ag plé na rudaí sin, fiosrú ag dul ar aghaidh an t-am ar fad. Ní féidir go mbeidh tairbhe ar bith in aon eagras muna mbíonn tú sásta an t-athbhreithniú sin a bheith ar siúl agat an t-am ar fad. Sin é an sórt fiosrú is gá a dhéanamh an t-am ar fad agus sin an sórt fiosrú atá á dhéanamh agamsa. Ní fiosrú ginearálta atá i gceist chor ar bith, ag iarraidh ar dhaoine dul isteach, comhairleoirí agus eile. In ainm Dé, tá an iomarca comhairleoirí ag tabhairt comhairle dúinn ins an tír seo leis na blianta anuas.

Ar an ócáid sin i Mí Eanáir dúirt an t-iar-Aire go dtáinig an t-iar-Rialtas ar chinneadh áirithe ar an 8ú Mí Nollag seo caite, ach chomh fada agus is féidir liomsa a dhéanamh amach ní raibh sa chinneadh sin ach go rachadh sé féin agus an tAire Airgeadais i gcomhairle lena chéile agus go dtiocfaidís ar ais go dtí an Rialtas arís. Tá sé cruthaithe aige inniu gurb é sin a bhí i gceist acu agus nach raibh caint ar bith maidir le caimiléireacht na foirne. Is ceist eile í sin agus déanfaidh mé tagairt di faoi cheann tamaillín. Ní raibh na téarmaí tagartha ar fáil domsa nuair a chuaigh mé isteach, agus chuala mé an méid a bhí le rá ag an iar-Aire maidir leis sin ar maidin. Creidim go bhfuil an fhírinne á rá aige agus nílim chun dul in a aghaidh maidir leis na rudaí sin. Creideann sé féin go ndearna sé an rud ceart agus tá sé ráite aige go poiblí anois.

Faoi mar is léir ón Acht um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1979, tá cumhachtaí nach beag ag an Údarás. Ar ndóigh, níorbh fhiú comhlacht reachtúil dá leithéid a bhunú mura mbeimís sásta saoirse agus neamhspleáchas áirithe a thabhairt dó. Bíonn cúnamh airgid le tabhairt do thionscail le monarchana a thógáil, talamh agus maoin eile a cheannach agus conarthaí éagsúla a dhéanamh. Is dócha nach féidir a bheith ag súil go mbeidh gach uile dhuine sásta i gcónaí le gach cinneadh a dhéanann an tUdarás. Ní mar sin a bhíonn in eagras nó i gcomhlacht ar bith. Ach is ró-mhinic, áfach, a bhíonn formhór na ndaoine sa tír seo réidh taobh amháin den scéal a shlogadh agus breithiúnas a thabhairt gan an scéal ar fad a bheith acu. Ina theannta sin, bíonn daoine mailíseacha ann uaireanta a dtugann sé sásamh éigin dóibh ráflaí gan bunús a scaipeadh. Cén sórt daoine iad sin? An bhfuil sé ar intinn acu rud éigin fiúntach nó éifeachtúil a dhéanamh ar son na teangan, nó ar son na Gaeltachta? Creidim féin nach bhfuil sé ar intinn acu ach an teanga agus an Ghaeltacht a scriosadh. Caithfimid deireadh a chur leis sin. Cuireann sé gliondar orm go bhfuil an t-urlabhraí ar son Fhine Gael agus na Teachtaí iontacha atá taobh thiar de ag aontú liom go bhfuil daoine mar sin ins an tír seo agus go bhfuil siad tagtha anois chun tosaigh le roinnt míonna anuas. Caithfidh siad cúlu a dhéanamh go luath nó beidh mise ar a dtóir agus, mar is eol don Teachta Kenny as Maigh Eo Thiar, nuair a théim ar thóir rud ar bith ní bheidh mé sásta go dtí go gcuirfidh mé deireadh leis. Cuirfidh mé deireadh leis na daoine seo atá ag déanamh an-dochar do chúrsaí teangan agus do chúrsaí Gaeltachta sa tír seo faoi láthair agus bítear ag brath ar an Úsdarás agus ar aon chomhlacht eile dá leithéid, go bhfuil siad ag feidhmiú go ciallmhar, discréideach agus de réir nós imeachta inchosanta. Tríd agus tríd is é mo thuairimse gur mar sin a bhíonn an tÚdarás ag feidhmiú.

Tá bainisteoirí proifisiúnta thíos ins an áit sin ag déanamh a ndíchill. B'fhéidir go ndearna siad botún am éicint; b'fhéidir nár thóg siad an cinneadh ceart an t-am ar fad; ach ní raibh sé ariamh ar intinn acu an Ghaeltacht a scriosadh nó an teanga a scriosadh — a mhalairt a bhí i gceist acu an t-am ar fad, im' thuairim féin. Níl mé chun teacht isteach anseo agus taobhú leo. Níl sé mar sin scríofa i mo thaobh ar chor a bith. Ach tá mé ag cur in iúl do chuile dhuine go bhfuil siad ag déanamh a ndíchill agus tá mise chun cúnamh a thabhairt dóibh chun eagar níos fearr a chur ar a n-iarrachtaí ionas go mbeidh tairbhe níos mó ag teacht as na hiarrachtaí sin, agus sin é an sórt fiosrú atá ar siúl agamsa an t-am ar fad. Bhí roinnt mhaith cruinnithe agamsa le tamall anuas leis na daoine sin, agus dá mba rud nach mbeadh an fothoghchán ar siúl bheadh níos mó cruinnithe ar siúl agam. Ach go luath anois beidh mé ag dul in éineacht leis na hoifigigh. Tá tuairimí éagsúla ar intinn agamsa maidir le córas eagarthóireacht nua atá ag an Údarás agus cuirfidh mé sin os a chomhair. Le comhoibriú tá súil agam go dtiocfaidh tairbhe as na cruinnithe sin, ach bheinn lán-tsásta teacht ar ais anseo agus a bheith freagarthach as na tuairimí agus na polasaithe atá le cur os ár gcomhair chun an éifeacht sin a chur i gcrích maidir leis an nGaeltacht.

Dá dtabharfaí fianaise dom — agus bhí sé seo le rá freisin ag an Teachta Ó Domhnaill — aon uair go raibh a mhalairt ar siúl ach amháin rudaí éifeachtúla a bheith ar siúl ar son na teangan agus na Gaeltachta. Bheadh sé de dhualgas orm aon ní ba ghá a dhéanamh chun an scéal a leigheas. Déanfaidh mé é sin agus níl sé ar intinn agam ar chor ar bith cur i n-aghaidh an dlí. A mhalairt de scéal atá i gceist maidir le mo chúrsaí féin agus tig liom a dhearbhú nach mbeidh aon leisce ormsa an dualgas sin a chomhlíonadh. Geallaimse é sin ní hé amháin do oifigigh mo Roinne féin ach do na Teachtaí uilig sa Dáil seo.

Mar is eol daóibh tá sé mar phríomhdhualgas ar Údarás na Gaeltachta leathnú agus caomhnú na Gaeilge mar phríomh-mheán cumarsáide sa tír a spreagadh agus lán-fhostaíocht a chur ar fáil i gcóir cainteoirí Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht. Tá an dá rud ann, agus ní gá dúinn dearmad a dhéanamh ar leathnú agus caomhnú na Gaeilge mar príomh-mheán cumarsáide. Chun an phríomh-aidhm sin a chur i gcrích is gá lán-fhostaíocht a chur ar fáil ionas go mbeidh an daonra sásta fanacht agus a bheith ann ag labhairt na Gaeilge an t-am ar fad. Sin é an rud bunúsach a bhí san Acht um Údarás na Gaeltachta agus cloím leis sin.

Tá deacrachtaí ann. Bíonn deacrachtaí ann i gcónaí ach tá deacrachtaí faoi leith ag baint le eagrú an Údaráis. Tá deacrachtaí tíreolaíochta ann, agus tá deacrachtaí bun-struchtúr na háite ann freisin. Tá deacrachtaí bainistíochta agus infheistíochta ann agus le tamall anuas bhí deacrachtaí caipitil bunaíochta. Is ins an gceantar sin go bunúsach a bhí an deacracht is mó. Ní ceart, dar liomsa, an tslat tomhais céanna a úsáid ag déanamh léirmheas ar thionsclaíocht ins na Gaeltachtaí agus na tionscail atá bunaithe sa chuid eile den tír. Tá fadhbanna faoi leith ag dul leis na deacrachtaí atá luaite agam, agus tá rud eile níos tábhachtaí fós le cur san áireamh, agus an príomh-rud ná an teanga agus an cultúr dúchais, agus nuair a chuirtear iad sin san áireamh cad atá le rá againn ansin maidir leis na deacrachtaí tíreolaíochta agus caipitil bunaíochta? Sin mar a bhí sé le tamaillín anuas, ach caithfimid oibriú leis na deacrachtaí sin agus réiteach a fháil ar na fadhbanna uilig.

Bhí orainn le roinnt blianta anuas suimeanna móra airgid a infheistiú. Aontaím leis sin — tá sé sin ráite ag an Teachta Kenny — agus tá suim mhór airgid in infheistíochtaí díscríofa. Tá sin ar siúl le roinnt blianta anuas anois, ach nach fíor a rá freisin agus a chur san áireamh go bhfuil cuid mhaith comhlachtaí agus tionscail i gcruachás infheistíochta agus dífhostaíochta freisin in áiteacha eile ar fud na tíre faoi láthair. Tá an cúlú eacnamaíochta domhanda ann fós agus bhí an cúlú céanna ag bagairt ar na Gaeltachtaí. Tá an cúlú sin ag déanamh scrios ar fhostaíocht agus tá an tÚdarás ar a ndíthcheall ar iarraidh an Ghaeltacht a choinneáil slán ó dhrochthorthaí an cúlú tubaisteach eacnamaíochta sin. Mothaíonn na daoine ins na Gaeltachtaí an cúlú sin, ach bíodh fhios go mbíonn sé ins an gcuid eile den tír agus ar fud na hEorpa ar fad.

Sé an cúlú eacnamaíochta céanna atá i gceist an t-am ar fad againn agus níl siad sásta sa tír seo an cúlú sin a chur san áireamh nuair a bhíonn an infheistíocht díscríofa. Is é an fáth go bhfuil an méid poiblíochta ann maidir leis an infheistíocht díscríofa ins na Gaeltachtaí ná go bhfuil scaireanna ag daoine ins na fo-thionscail. Linne féin na tionscail sin agus nuair a thiteann siad tagann brú iontach ar na polaiteoirí agus na córais éagsúla gan ligean dóibh dul síos agus méid áirithe airgid a chur suas le iad a tharrtháil.

Sin an sórt brú a bhíonn ann nuair a bhíonn fo-thionscail agus mórthionscail i gceist. Ní bhíonn an brú céanna ann de ghnáth nuair a thugtar deontais amach ó eagrais fhorbartha eile do fho-thionscail agus tionscail mhóra sa gcuid eile den tír mar nach bhfuil scaireanna ag na húdaráis eile agus ag an Rialtas ins na tionscail sin.

Sin an fáth go raibh drochphoiblíocht ann, agus i rith na mblianta nuair a bhí na tionscail agus na fo-thionscail i dtrioblóid bhí chuile dhuine agus toscairí ag teacht isteach ó gach uile pháirtí san Teach seo ag iarraidh ar an Aire "Ná lig dó dul síos. Cad mar gheall ar an bhfostaíocht?"Rinne chuile Aire a bhí anseo romhamsa iarracht ar leith gan ligean dóibh dul síos, ach anois tá siad ag déanamh drochphoiblíocht. An bhfuil athrú scéil tagtha anois, agus nach bhfuil muidne ag iarraidh na fo-thionscail sin a tharrtháil? Nach bhfuil iarrachtaí ar leith á ndéanamh ag an Rialtas agus nach raibh ag an iar-Rialtas na tionscail eile thart timpeall na tíre a tharrtháil freisin, agus na milliúin airgid á chur suas le blianta anuas chun na comhlachtaí sin a tharrtháil mar bhí an brú go hiontach ó dhreamanna éagsúla ar fud na tíre ag iarraidh ar an Rialtas an méid airgid sin a chur suas? Agus ní cúpla céad míle punt, ná cupla milliúin punt ach oiread: tá na céadta milliún i gceist. Cén fáth nach bhfuilimid anois sásta iarracht chun tarrthála a dhéanamh ar cheithre mhíle jobanna ar chósta iarthar na tíre? Cén fáth nach bhfuilimid sásta méid áirithe airgid a chur suas, agus caithfidh mé a rá leis an iar-Aire nach raibh sé i gceart an cúlú airgid sin a bheith fágtha, leis an gcúlú airgid sin ins an Mheastachán a chuir an t-iar-Rialtas os comhair na Dála ag tús na bliana seo?

Bhí droch-thionchar freisin ar na comhlachtaí sna Gaeltachtaí ar na méadaithe móra i bpraghasanna ola. Maidir leis na praghasanna sin agus an t-eagar a bhíonn orthu siúd leis na Gaeltachtaí, bíonn muid go léir le cloisteáil an t-am ar fad maidir leis an mbrú a chuireann sé ar comhlachtaí agus fostaíocht ins an gcuid eile den tír. Agus de thoradh na ndeacrachtaí go léir, bíonn an tÚdarás ag iarraidh comhlachtaí a shlánú nó a tharrtháil. Tá sé de pholasaí ag an Údarás, agus caithfidh mé é seo a rá go soiléir le chuile dhuine atá ag éisteacht, gan leanacht de thionscail nach féidir a chruthú go bhfuil rath i ndán dóibh. Aontaím leis an bpolasaí sin. Agus má tá duine sa Teach seo, nó taobh amuigh den Teach seo, atá in aghaidh an pholasaí sin, seo an áit ba chóir dó bheith ag déanamh na díospóireachta agus an ghearáin, agus gan a bheith ag dul thart agus ráflaí agus drochphoiblíocht á dtabhairt do dhaoine atá ag déanamh a ndíchill iarracht faoi leith a dhéanamh chun rudaí a cur i gceart.

Aontaím leis an bpolasaí sin. Muna féidir le tionscail iad féin a chruthú anois caithfimid deireadh a chur leo agus an infheistíocht a dhíscríobh. Níl aon dul as faoi láthair. Sin an méid atá i gceist. Dá mba rud é go raibh mise sásta, agus an t-iar-Aire agus na hAirí a bhí ann roimhe sin sásta, leanúint ar aghaidh agus an méid áirithe airgid a chur ar fáil maidir le infheistíocht agus breis a chur ar fáil maidir leis na comhlachtaí sin leanúint ar aghaidh cosnóidh sé an t-uafás airgid i gceann roinnt blianta.

Tá dearcadh ann anois, agus aontaím leis, go gcaithfimid féachaint go géar ar cé mhéad ceann de na comhlachtaí agus na fothionscail atá ag oibriú ionas go mbeidh sé le rá fós le rud a aithint, le laigí a aithint, agus dul chun oibre chun na comhlachtaí a tharrtháil más féidir, agus mura féidir linn é a dhéanamh agus más rud é nach bhfuil maitheas ag dul leo, caithfimid cúlú leo. Nuair atá caipitil i gceist caithfidh gach bainistíocht cumasach a bheith ann an t-am ar fad, agus bíonn monatóireacht leanúnach i gceist i gcónaí i gcaoi go n-aithneófar aon laige go tapaidh, agus ní foláir gníomhú láithreach chun iad a chneasú. Tá sé sin go bunúsach i mo pholasaí féin maidir le dul chun cinn an Údaráis agus chun fostaíocht a chur ar fáil ins na Gaeltachtaí as seo amach. Tá géar-ghá leis an moltóireacht sin. Gníomh leanúnach atá i gceist agamsa anois an t-am ar fad, agus tá sé sin taobh thiar den athbhreithniú atá á dhéanamh agamsa maidir leis na comhlachtaí atá ag oibriú sna Gaeltachtaí. Caithfimid go n-aitheofar na laigí chomh tapaidh agus is féidir. Tá sé sin ar siúl ag eagrais fhorbartha eile sa tír seo. Cén fáth nach mbeimisne in ann é a dhéanamh? Tá sé sin ordaithe agamsa don Údarás agus curtha in iúl dóibh go gcaithfidh siad an mhonatóireacht, leanúnach sin a chur ar fáil ionas go n-aithneófar na laigí i bhfad roimh an am gur gá dúinn suimeanna a dhí-scríobh. Ansin nuair a bheidh an obair sin déanta againn roimh ré, b'fhéidir go mbeimid in ann tarrtháil a dhéanamh agus más gá níos mó airgid a chur ar fáil, agus beidh mé lán-sásta é a chur suas chun poist a sholáthar sna Gaeltachtaí. Tá scrúdú á dhéanamh ag an Údarás chun réiteach a fháil ar na fadhbanna éagsúla atá ann. Le comhoibriú leis an Roinn agus leis na heagrais eile atá curtha ar fáil chun forbairt na Gaeltachta, beidh an lá linn. Ar an ábhar sin, tá mé ag iarraidh ar chuile bhall den Theach comhoibriú liom maidir leis na polasaithe nua agus an eagraíocht atá ar intinn agam maidir leis an bhfostaíocht atá idir lámha ag an Údarás a chur chun críche.

Táim fíor-bhuíoch de chuile dhuine faoin seans atá tugtha dom inniu deireadh a chur leis an chaint a bhí ar siúl le tamaillín, maidir le Údarás na Gaeltachta. Bhí an iomarca caint timpeall na tíre agus tá mise anois chun iarracht a dhéanamh an scéal a mhíniú faoi mar a thuigimse é. Mhínigh mé an teorainn úd £50 milliúin i bhfreagra ar cheist ón Teachta De Rossa anseo sa Dáil ar an 13 Bealtaine mar seo a leanas:

Is iad na hairleacain inaisíochta a tugadh d'Údarás na Gaeltachta ná £10.5 milliún sa bhliain 1980 agus £11.5 milliún sa bhliain 1981. D'fhág sé sin £28 milliún eile sula sroichfí an teorainn a leagtar síos in alt 23 (4) den Acht um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1979.

Aistríodh chuig an Údarás an dliteanas a bhain le hairleacain £41,791,000 a tugadh do Ghaeltarra Éireann ach ní áirítear an tsuim sin i ndáil leis an teorainn atá luaite agam.

Ní thuigim cén fáth nach mbeifí sásta leis an ráiteas sin uaimse. An amhlaidh atá bata ar bith dá laige é á lorg chun an tÚdarás a bhualadh mar chuid den fheachtas suarach atá ar siúl?

Ní raibh i gceist riamh ach go mbainfeadh an teorainn sin leis na hairleacain a thabharfaí don Údarás amháin agus is treoir dá réir a tugadh don dréachtóir parlaiminte nuair a bhí an Bille á ullmhú aige roinnt blianta ó shin. Chomh maith leis sin tá deimhniú anseo i mo láimh agam ón Ard-Aighne gurb é sin an bhrí atá le baint as alt 23. Céard eile is féidir liom a rá? Is dócha nach bhfuil duine ar bith chomh dall leis an té nach áil leis rud a fheiceáil. Caithfídh mé a chur in iúl anois go bhfuil an chomhairle ón Ard-Aighne scríofa as Béarla agus caithfidh mé dul taobh amuigh de thraidisiún chun freagra a thabhairt ar an Teachta a labhair ar maidin. Ní chauvinist mise i dtaobh na teanga, agus mar sin caithfidh mé iompu ar an Bhéarla chun seo a mhíniú don Teachta Kenny, agus don Teachta De Rossa atá as láthair anois. Is mar seo a fuair mise an chomhairle ón Ard-Aighne:

Section 7 provides that Gaeltarra Éireann be dissolved and that its rights and liabilities be transferred to An tÚdarás. These liabilities included liability to the Minister for Finance for advances made to Gaeltarra Éireann under previous legislation.

Bhfuil an Teachta Kenny ag éisteacht?

Tá mé.

Bí cúramach anois. Tá sé seo go fíor-thábhachtach. Tá aiféala orm nach bhfuil an Teachta De Rossa i láthair chun freagra na ceiste seo a bheith aige go cruinn agus go soiléir.

Section 23 permitted the Minister for Finance to make advances to the Údarás. Subsection (4) of the section set out ... the aggregate at any one time of sums advanced under this section and not repaid shall not exceed £50 million. The question is whether the liabilities taken over under section 7 should be reckoned when calculating the limit of £50 million. In my view the answer is clearly no. The liabilities taken over under section 7 could not be said to be sums advanced under this section. In section 24 (4) the liabilities simply were not advanced under section 23. They were taken over under section 7.

An féidir é bheith níos soiléire? Seo an chomhairle atá faighte agam ón Ard-Aighne. Tá sé scríofa i dtuairisc an Tí ionas nach mbeidh aon mhíthuiscint ann as seo amach. Tá súil agam go mbeidh deireadh leis an chúl-chaint agus na ráflaí mar gheall air seo. Níor bhris an tAire aon dlí.

Níl sé ar intinn ag an Aire Ó Floinn mar Aire Gaeltachta cur in aghaidh an dlí ar chor ar bith. Bhí sé sna nuachtáin agus in irisí le déanaí go raibh an tAire ag briseadh an dlí maidir leis na teorainneacha airleacan atá ag dul d'Údarás na Gaeltachta. Caithfidh mise dul le comhairle an Ard-Aighne. Más mian le héinne, Teachta nó éinne taobh amuigh den Teach, dul in aghaidh chomhairle an Ard-Aighne, tá slí ann é sin a dhéanamh. Ach ná bí ag teacht isteach anseo ag iarraidh dallamullóg a chur ormsa agus ar an phobal maidir le droch-phoiblíocht a fháil faoi na rudaí atá a ndéanamh agam. Cuireann sé gliondar chroí orm an Teachta Kenny a fheiceáil ag aontú liom maidir leis sin. Tá súil agam go mbeidh na Teachtaí eile a bhí ag cur na drochphoiblíochta thart sásta teacht isteach anseo agus cur in iúl don Dáil go bhfuil siad sásta anois maidir leis an chomhairle atá faighte agamsa ón Ard-Aighne.

Bhí clamhsán anseo an tseachtain seo caite nár tugadh deis do dhaoine éagsúla caint ar an Mheastachán seo. Bhí an Teachta O'Toole i gceist go speisialta. Ní thuigim cén fáth ar thug an Teachta O'Toole le tuiscint gur shíl sé go raibh clúmhilleadh de shaghas éigin sna tagairtí a rinne mé dó: is ag lorg eolais uaidh a bhí me. Ós é féin a bhí freagrach i bhfoilsiú an Mheastacháin a bhí á phlé againn, is amhlaidh a thug mé cuireadh dó an scéal ar fad a shoiléiriú dúinn.

Dúirt mé nach foláir nó ba léir don iar-Rialtas nach bhféadfadh Údarás na Gaeltachta a chuid gealltanas a chomhlíonadh leis an gcaipiteal laghaithe a cuireadh ar fáil dóibh, laghdú thart ar 27 faoin gcéad ón mbliain seo caite. Is uafásach an laghdú é sin. Ba chóir go feidhm a thabhairt dó toisc go mbíonn gealltanais charnacha ag aon eagraíocht ghníomhach. Luaigh mé cruinnithe a bhí ar siúl ag an iar-Aire. Is amhlaidh a léigh mé i nuachtán ar an 16 Bealtaine gur dheimhnigh an Teachta Ó Tuathail gur bhuail sé le duine áirithe trí nó ceithre huaire déanach sa bhliain seo caite, agus gur bhuail sé, ar iarratas ón duine sin, le hionadaithe ó ghnólacht cuntasaíochta.

Thug mé cruinnithe aisteacha orthu sin toisc gurb aisteach an rud é, dar liomsa, má bhí sé ag súil le heolas údarásach faoi imeachtaí reatha ó dhuine a d'fhág Gaeltarra Éireann sa bhliain 1976 de réir na tuairisce céanna Níor thuig mé ach oiread cén fáth nár ghlac sé comhairle leis an Roinn faoina raibh i gceist aige.

Tar éis dom éisteacht leis an Teachta inniu ní léir dom fós go raibh fiúntas ar bith sna cruinnithe úd: is é mo thuairimse go mbeadh níos lú fadhbanna ag a lán daoine mura gcuirfí ar siúl riamh iad.

Beidh mé ar ais air seo sula gcríochnóidh mé. Tá a lán daoine i gcruachás de bharr na gcruinnithe sin. Níl mé á rá go raibh sé ar intinn ag an iar-Aire rud ar bith millteanach a dhéanamh maidir le fostaíocht, le cúntasóireacht nó rud ar bith mar sin.

Bhí áthas orm gur labhair an Teachta O'Donnell sa díospóireacht, mar is duine é a chaith beagnach ceithre bliana mar Aire Gaeltachta. Mar sin, tá eolas faoi leith aige ar na fadhbanna atá ag dul leis an bpost seo. Bhí mé ag éisteacht leis an chaoi ar léirigh sé nár aontaigh sé chor ar bith leis an mbata a cuireadh in aghaidh Údarás na Gaeltachta. Ba mhaith an rud é dá mbeadh Teachtaí eile ón pháirtí sin, nach bhfuil an taithí chéanna acu ar ghnáth chúrsaí rialacháin a bhaineann leis an Ghaeltacht, sásta dul i gcomhairle leis faoi chúrsaí mar sin. Molaim an Teachta sin as ucht na n-iarrachtaí atá ar siúl aige rún a chur trí Pharlaimint na hEorpa chun cúnamh breise a fháil don Ghaeltacht. Ba mhór an chabhair dúinn dá gcuirfí airgead ó Chomhphobal na hEorpacha ar fáil sa tslí sin.

Ní raibh an Teachta ró-shásta leis an ráiteas gearr a thug mé i dtús na díospóireachta. Bhí cúpla chúis agam faoi sin ach is dócha go bhfuil siad intuigthe anois. Ar an gcéad dul amach, fágadh an Meastachán mar oidhreacht agam ón iar-Aire. Tá sé ró-íseal chun dul chun clinn mar ba mhaith liom a dhéanamh. Níl sé ach cupla seachtain ó ghlac mé leis an chéad deis a bhí agam, sa díospóireacht ar an gcáinaisnéis ar an 27 Bealtaine, chun roinnt mhaith smaointe i dtaobh na Gaeltachta agus na Gaeilge a léiriú, agus níor mhaith liom iad a tharraingt anuas arís chomh luath seo. Ní mar a chéile bheith ag caint ar Roinn na Gaeltachta agus Ranna eile ina mbíonn rudaí ag dul ar aghaidh an t-am ar fad. Is cúrsaí pleanála atá i gceist i Roinn na Gaeltachta beagnach ar fad. Ní féidir liom an rud céanna a bheith le rá agam an t-am ar fad. Bhí ráiteas sách fada agam sa díospóireacht sin: bhí mé anseo ag caint ar feadh uaire a chloig nó mar sin. Cúrsaí polasaí a bhí i gceist, agus nocht mé mo smaointí ar an méid atá le déanamh againn. Ní raibh mo ráiteas an tseachtain seo caite chomh gearr sin ar fad, agus mar is eol do Theachtaí, tá mé ag dul ar aghaidh anois chun mo thuairimí a leathnú. Freisin, an tseachtain seo caite bhí mé ag iarraidh ligean do na Teachtaí a dtuairimí a nochtadh, rud nach raibh seans acu a dhéanamh leis na blianta anuas ar an Mheastachán seo. Anois, tá a dtuairimí nochta acu agus tá siad ag aontú liomsa san méid a bhí ráite agam san díospóireacht ar an cháinaisnéis, agus molaim go mór go bhfuilimid ar an intinn chéanna mar gheall ar chomhoibriú a dhéanamh maidir leis na tuairimí sin. Beidh mé ag dul i gcomhairle leo go luath maidir leis.

Molaim go mór an iarracht atá déanta ag an Teachta O'Donnell. Rud atá ag dul leis an Teach seo, dar liom, is annamh a bhíonn cúrsaí polaitíochta i gceist ar chor ar bith, ach rudaí nádúrtha agus rudaí náisiúnta atá i gceist chun an teanga a chothú agus a chaomhnú, agus caithfimid an comhoibriú sin a bheith ag dul ar aghaidh an t-am ar fad ionas go mbeimid in ann polasaí seasmhach leanúnach a chur ar fáil; ní sheasfaidh sé ar feadh mí nó dhó, seasfaidh sé ar feadh na mblianta, agus sé sin atá i gceist agam faoi láthair — an polasaí sin a chur i gcrích.

Caithfidh mé a ath-rá go bhfuilim fíor-bhuíoch den Teachta O'Donnell as ucht an méid atá déanta aige ins an Chomhphobal Eorpach chun breis airgid a fháil dúinn chun polasaithe fiúntacha agus éifeachta a chur ar fáil do na daoine sna Gaeltachtaí. Tá ráiteas, nó dréacht, faighte agam ón Teachta ina bhfuil scríofa síos aige go bhfuil sé ag iarraidh ar an gComhphobal Eorpach coimisiún a chur ar fáil tar éis a ráiteas a dhéanamh. Tá sé seo scríofa as Béarla agus caithfidh mé aistriúcháin beag a dhéanamh de réir mar atá mé ag dul ar aghaidh. Tá sé ag iarraidh coimisiún a chur ar fáil agus a bhunú. B'fhéidir go mbeidh sé níos fearr é a dhéanamh mar sin agus tá mé ag briseadh leis an traidisiún den tríú huair an t-am seo, ach tá sé chomh bunúsach anois agus caithim é a dhéanamh soiléir do chuile dhuine ionas go dtuigfidh siad cad tá i gceist againne. Táim chun comhoibriú a dhéanamh leis an Teachta O'Donnell agus leis na Teachtaí eile atá ag freagairt dúinne as ucht a bhfuil á dhéanamh acu ins an EEC chun an polasaí sin a chur i gcrích ar son na teanga. Tá foilsiúchán agam, The European Parliament, agus an t-ábhar atá i gceist ná “Integrated Development Programme for the Gaeltacht — Irish-speaking Regions of Ireland”.

This is a big advance and I am not slow to put on record and to recognise that Deputy O'Donnell, together with his colleagues, will do a great service for our language development if they can achieve the aim laid out in this document. The integrated development programme for the Gaeltacht, Irish speaking regions of Ireland, atá i gceist. The European Parliament recognises that the Gaeltacht has a special significance since the region is a source and foundation of our language and culture and are aware that the Irish speaking communities are located almost exclusively in the poorest and most isolated areas of the community which includes several small islands. And whereas the Gaeltacht areas have suffered substantially from depopulation and under development — Nach bhfuil sé sin ráite agam trí nó ceithre uair fad is bhí mé i m'Aire? — and whereas the future existence of the Gaeltacht as a viable and distinctive economic and cultural region is now threatened — Agus nach bhfuil sé sin aontaithe againn freisin, sinne go léir atá sásta aontú leis an tuairim sin? — substantial measures must be taken in the immediate future. And whereas the member state concerned has established a development body to encourage the cultural and economic development of the areas concerned, and whereas a number of local community co-operatives have already been encouraged to begin the development of the area and whereas a number of community measures are already applicable in the Gaeltacht areas and whereas these measures should be brought together in one development plan and further specific measures should be proposed for the areas concerned and whereas the Gaeltacht regions are peripheral regions of the community experiencing particularly serious structural problems — Nach é sin a bhí le rá agamsa maidir leis na seirbhísí bunúsacha atá ag teastáil uainne, go fíor-thábhachtach, go fíor-riachtanach ins na h-áiteacha sa limistéar ar a tugtar na Gaeltachtaí? — and therefore have priority status in both the national and community context and benefit from several types of specific action in various fields — Is é seo an rud is tábhachtaí maidir leis an rud seo.

No. 1 calls on the Commission to establish, in consultation with the Irish Government, an integrated development programme for the Gaeltacht. San chéad mhír sin, tá sé ag iarraidh ar an gComhphobal an coimisiún seo a bhunú le chomhoibriú lenár rialtas féin chun an rud seo a chur i gcrích.

No. 2 requests that special attention be given to the cultural as well as the economic development of these regions. Nach é sin a bhí go bunúsach inár n-intinnne——

Is trua liom chur isteach ort, ach caithfidh mé a chur in iúl duit nach bhfuil ach dhá nóiméid fágtha agat.

Cheap mé nach raibh aon srian leis an méid a bheadh le rá agamsa——

Uair go leith don chríochnú. Ní raibh srian ar bith ar an oscailt ach tá tú teorannaithe d'uair go leith chun deireadh leis an óráid.

Cén t-am atá fágtha agam?

Tá sé sin go huafásach mar bhí roinnt rudaí le rá agamsa maidir le pleanáil teanga agus maidir leis na rudaí atá ráite ag an iar-Aire agus maidir le forbairt comharchumann Gaeltachta atá an-thábhachtach. B'fhéidir go mbeidh seans agam am éigin eile. No. 3 requests its President to forward this resolution to the Council and its Commission. Táimid fíor-bhuíoch as ucht an méid atá déanta ag an Teachta ins an Chomhphobal chun é sin a bhunú, agus beidh mé lán-sásta cómhoibriú a dhéanamh leis más mian leis.

Táim fíor-bhuíoch den Aire agus aon uair is féidir liom cabhrú leis chun leas na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn déanfaidh mé é, sa bhaile nó thar lear.

B'fhéidir go mbeidh seans agam ar a laghad an píosa seo a dhéanamh maidir le pleanáil teanga.

Sílim go gcaithfidh tú a ghlacadh go bhfuil lá maith oibre curtha isteach agat. Níl mé in ann breis ama a thabhairt duit agus is trua liom é sin.

Bhí cuid mhaith le rá agamsa maidir leis na comharchumainn Ghaeltachta, agus b'fhéidir go mbeidh seans agam é a dhéanamh taobh amuigh den Teach. Caithfidh mé a chur in iúl don Teachta De Rossa go n-aontaím leis an méid atá ráite aige maidir leis na scoileanna lán-Ghaelacha agus go rachfaidh mé i gcomhairle leis leis chun feabhas a chur ar an scéal maidir leis na scoileanna atá luaite aige.

An rud is suimiúla domsa agus caithfidh mé focal scoir a rá maidir leis, ná go raibh an díospóireacht ar siúl ar fad beagnach sa Ghaeilge. Is sa teanga sin amháin a nocht na Teachtaí a dtuairimí, ach nílim ag cur in aghaidh aon duine atá sásta a smaointe a nochtadh as Béarla. Tá fáilte roimhe, agus caithfidh mé é sin a chur in iúl do chuile dhuine. Tá súil agam go mbeidh seans againn as seo amach níos mó ama a bheith againn chun díospóireachtaí mar seo a chur ar siúl. Ní raibh an seans agam, agus bhí go leor le rá agam maidir leis an méid a bhí á rá ag an Teachta O'Toole ar maidin. Os rud é nach raibh an méid sin ama agamsa, tabharfaidh mé an freagra ar an méid sin go luath.

Táimid uilig ag iarraidh pobal mór na hÉireann a mhealladh i dtreo na teanga. Tá sé thar a bheith tábhachtach go mbeidh tacaíocht le fáil againn ón bpobal mór. Gan an tacaíocht sin ní féidir linn dul chun cinn ar bith a dhéanamh. Caithfidh na heagrais dheonacha go léir comhoibriú le chéile chun an pobal a spreagadh. As an spreagadh sin tiocfaidh an t-éileamh ar bhreis aitheantais a thabhairt don teanga. Tá sé aontaithe againn go bhfuil an teanga i mbaol. Caithfimid deireadh a chur leis an meath, agus creidim go bhfuil tús curtha leis an phleanáil chun an meath sin a stopadh. Is é cothú na Gaeilge an chéad cloch ar mo phaidrín, agus tá mé ag iarraidh oraibh tacaíocht a thabhairt dom chun an feachtas sin a chur i gcrích. Táim fíor-bhuíoch de chuile dhuine a bhí páirteach ins an díospóireacht seo agus tá súil agam ag teacht ar ais dúinn go dtí na Meastacháin an bhliain seo chugainn, go mbeidh an phleanáil déanta agus aontaithe agus go mbeidh dul chun cinn iontach déanta againn ar son ár dteanga dhúchais.

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