Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 6 Jun 2012

Vol. 767 No. 1

Priority Questions

National Cultural Institutions

Robert Troy


1Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he has prepared any estimates of the cost savings from merging the National Library with the National Archives and the Manuscripts Commission; if the merger will have an impact on our cultural heritage; if he has examined the impact in other countries of similar moves; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27114/12]

Maureen O'Sullivan


3Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht if, in view of his commitment to commemorating significant events in Irish history, he will explain the rationale behind the proposal to merge National Library, National Archives and Manuscripts Commission; if he has considered that this proposal will seriously undermine, if not destroy, the cultural infrastructure here; and if he has taken into account the legislative implications surrounding this proposal. [27464/12]

Robert Troy


4Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht the rationale behind the mergers of cultural institutions, particularly the National Galleries; his plans to protect the identity of each of these institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27335/12]

Sandra McLellan


5Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht the way he proposes to address public concern regarding the threatened undermining of the arms length principle in cultural decision making and funding across our national cultural institutions and Culture Ireland in view of his plans to abolish or amalgamate cultural institutions or absorb the functions into his Department. [27463/12]

I propose to take Questions No. 1 and Nos. 3 to 5, inclusive, together.

As Deputies will be aware, the Government's public service reform plan which was published by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Brendan Howlin, on 17 November contains a number of actions in respect of my Department's remit. These include the amalgamation of the National Library, the National Archives and the Irish Manuscripts Commission; the combining of the National Gallery, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, IMMA, and the Crawford Gallery, while retaining separate identities; a critical review of Culture Ireland; a review of board structures at the National Library and the National Museum, and an examination of opportunities for shared services.

I underline the value I place on the role of the national cultural institutions which are the custodians of our arts and cultural heritage. They also have a key role in scholarship and national discourse. For this reason, €47.25 million was provided for our cultural institutions and bodies in the 2012 Estimates. The critical role the arts and culture play in attracting tourists to Ireland is also well recognised. Cultural tourism is a key element of Ireland's tourism industry and the national cultural institutions play a significant role in this respect. The institutions funded by my Department attracted more than 3 million visitors in 2011.

In the overall context of the public service reform agenda, one of my key concerns is to ensure all options are examined in order that the most appropriate implementation approach can be adopted for each institution. The artistic and curatorial autonomy of the cultural institutions is a major consideration in this regard. However, all of our cultural institutions are facing difficult challenges in the times ahead, particularly in terms of resources and funding. Given the difficult economic circumstances, there has been a considerable reduction in Exchequer funding in recent years and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. In this context, it is important that the institutions operate in the most efficient and effective way possible and are seen to provide value for money. Opportunities for sourcing alternative funding through philanthropy, commercial partnerships and other channels will also need to be sought proactively.

I see the reform process as offering all concerned a chance to take stock, assess how our institutions are equipped to deal with the challenges facing them and identify the best options to ensure their successful operation in the future. My Department has been examining the complex issues involved in the various reform proposals. This process has involved consultations with each of the institutions concerned. In addition, I have met the chairs of the various institutions involved in the process to afford them an opportunity to express their views on the actions included in the Government's public sector reform plan. My Department is also considering the various proposals made by the institutions. There can be little doubt, for example, that the sharing of services, in particular common back office services such as information technology, human resources, marketing and procurement, would lead to savings and efficiencies for the institutions. If managed properly by them, such a sharing of services could release resources to enhance front-line services to the public.

I cannot accept the proposition that examining reform possibilities amounts to an attack on the cultural infrastructure of the nation, as has been suggested by some. In fact, the idea that any organisation should be or consider itself to be above examination or review and possible reform is unhealthy and a recipe for a bad deal for the taxpayer who funds these institutions and the public whom they serve. Engagement between my Department and the cultural institutions on the spectrum of actions set out in the Government's public service reform plan is ongoing and I anticipate that I will be in a position to revert to the Government on these matters shortly.

I thank the Minister for his reply which highlights more concerns, rather than providing answers to these questions. There is deep anxiety within the arts sector about the proposed mergers of various cultural institutions, the absence of criteria for these reforms and, despite the Minister's remarks, the lack of consultation with stakeholders. In Fine Gael's pre-election document it promised that the discussion on the arts would be driven up the Government's agenda and that the arm's length principle would be respected. Is this latest development another in a long list of broken promises?

The cultural institutions are of systemic importance to our cultural heritage, identity, tourism industry and international reputation. Recently I attended a conference entitled, Culture and the Economy, which the Minister's colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy Lucinda Creighton, addressed. She spoke about the importance of our cultural institutions in terms of Ireland's Presidency of the European Union at the beginning of next year. It is imperative that our cultural institutions retain their autonomy and independence. Will the Minister commit to leaving the independent boards in place, protecting their autonomy and ensuring qualified directors are left in place in the cultural institutions? Given their independent nature under the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997, will he confirm that the public service moratorium does not apply to cultural institutions? Will he ensure all future directorships in the cultural institutions will be advertised externally? It is a matter of concern that the position of CEO in Cultural Ireland is only being advertised internally which runs contrary to the Government's commitment in respect of job advertisements. Will the position be advertised externally?

The Minister referred to the importance of philanthropy in funding this critical sector. Does he agree that it would be much easier to attract philanthropists if the independent boards were left in place and the Government stuck to its pre-election promise and retained an arm's length policy, that is, separating cultural institutions from political interference?

Many of the issues raised by the Deputy will be considered when we make our final decision. My officials are engaged in consultations and will submit proposals to me in approximately two weeks. When the Government made the announcement, the Department immediately set up a reform unit, as well as a reform committee to which the unit would answer. An extensive process is ongoing. For example, there was consultation this morning. The information is available to everyone to show the process has taken place. The fundamental questions raised by the Deputy are being considered. The process is taking place but I cannot say today to what I can commit. Artistic and curatorial autonomy is a major consideration for me. The arm's length approach, evident in the Arts Council's dealings with other bodies, will be taken into consideration.

The National Archives and Culture Ireland are within my Department. There was a proposal to make Culture Ireland an independent body but in 2008 it was decided not to do this, and it is still part of the Department. The contract of the previous chief executive officer, who did a very good job, has expired and the job is now advertised. There are people working in Culture Ireland who do a good job and are well qualified for that position.

I thank Deputy Troy for raising these issues and I will certainly consider them. The overriding factor is that our national institutions, which are important from a cultural and economic point of view, are the custodians of our national treasures and must be protected for the future. They are looking after our heritage and culture for all our people. It is important that whatever is done in the future is done for the benefit of these institutions, and whatever actions will be taken will make them more effective to face future challenges.

Part of me is incredulous that the Minister has come up with this idea, because I know his commitment to the decade of commemorations and his chairing of that committee. I know his support for our cultural institutions and commemorating our history and I find it difficult to believe this proposal is coming from him. These are perfectly functioning institutions and he is treating them as if they were broken when they are not. They have been doing fantastic work since they were set up.

There are two areas where Ireland's reputation is superb, namely, our development aid budget and our arts and culture. Instead of this being a cultural discussion, it will be cultural domination. In 1974, there was an interdepartmental report on the idea of a merger and it came up again in 2008. The reasons given for not going ahead with it then are still valid today. The main reason was the disciplines involved are very distinct. The National Archives has a statutory function which means legislation will be required to deal with any possible merger. The Minister spoke about consultation but the impression I am getting from people in the arts is that there has been no meaningful consultation. Why consult if this is almost a done deal and ready to go to Cabinet?

Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan raised several pertinent issues which I will take on board. First, this was not my initiative as such. The Government's public sector reform plan announced on 17 November goes across all Departments and not just the arts. Several State agencies are being reviewed and not just those under my Department.

The National Archives, in which the Deputy has a particular interest, is within my Department and is functioning well. If the amalgamation went ahead with the National Library, the National Archives would be taken out of the Department. As nothing has been decided yet, it is not afait accompli. I will take a hard look at the proposals coming before me which will then have to go to Cabinet. Before any final decisions are made, their implications will be considered fully. I will have to accept them when they happen.

I am aware of the concerns about these agencies. I have a large number of friends working in these cultural institutions with whom I have worked for the past 30 years in various ways before the institutions got independent boards in 2005 and since then. I am aware of their needs and their future challenges, whether it is more space for archives, digitisation, the use of new technology, attracting funding from external sources or other issues. I would like if Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan discussed this matter with me further because she has a practical and balanced approach to issues.

I thank the Minister for his reply. As he is aware, the arts sector is extremely resourceful, creative, pragmatic and working well with other stakeholders to agree savings and efficiencies within the arts. However, there is significant public concern about the threatened undermining of the arm's length principle in cultural decision-making. Does the Minister accept the arm's length principle will be compromised if the proposal to merge several national institutions results in the demise of their individual boards? Will he get rid of the boards?

The principle of independence is vital for the protection of these institutions. I am glad the Minister has met with the chairs of the various organisations in question. How does he plan to address the widespread concerns about the lack of information, criteria and consultation in the changes of the status of the arts, culture, archive and museum bodies under his auspices? Culture Ireland has received great applause both here and internationally. What are his plans for its future? Will the position for chief executive officer be re-advertised? If so, will it be done internally or externally? Does he agree that if Culture Ireland does not remain independent its powers will become eroded?

The Deputy has asked many questions and I will try to answer as many as I can. My officials would not agree there has been a lack of consultation or information on amalgamations. There have been ongoing discussions about amalgamations for several years. The 2009 budget contained a decision to examine this matter. As Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan found out, there were consultations. These have been ongoing over the years. Now, with the Government's decision on public sector reform plan, there have been further consultations which are extensive and continuing. Any Deputy can put down a freedom of information request on these discussions.

As for the criteria, the Government directive was clear in this respect. It will be the best solution that will matter and the one which I will put to the Government.

Culture Ireland has been very effective since it was established in 2005. It was originally proposed that it would be a statutory agency but a decision was made against this in 2008. It has operated effectively within my Department. It is not an independent agency. It had a chief executive officer and an independent board, which was not statutory, which made decisions with the executive on grant applications. When I travelled to America with Culture Ireland, I witnessed its success in making significant connections. With the various artists who have been supported, there has been an attempt to repair the damaged image of Ireland in Manhattan and on Wall Street. It could be said the image of Ireland which Imagine Ireland has helped to create is very different from the example from four years ago. Culture Ireland, through Imagine Ireland, has helped in rehabilitating this image. I agree that Culture Ireland is very important and I am confident it will retain its dynamic nature and effectiveness. It will continue to support the arts community, as it has in the past eight years.

The head of Culture Ireland was very effective; he was an ambassador as much as he was chief executive officer and did a very fine job. Unfortunately, his contract came to an end and could not be renewed because of contractual arrangements established long before my time. The position of head of Culture Ireland has been advertised internally, not externally. I am convinced there are people with experience in the Culture Ireland executive who are adequately qualified to continue the work done by the previous chief executive officer.

We are over time, but I will allow those who have indicated to ask a supplementary question, with a single answer from the Minister.

Artistic autonomy is of importance to the Minister who should commit to ensuring the independent boards will remain in place. He has indicated that this was not his initiative, that it emanated from the public service reform programme, which I accept. It is, however, his responsibility to protect the arts sector and cultural institutions. I advise him to work with various stakeholders which are pragmatic and they will formulate ideas on where savings can be made and efficiencies achieved. The gallery institutions mentioned shared services to him and he should work along these lines. Will he outline a definite timeframe in order that the people concerned know exactly what the Government plans to do with the cultural institutions?

It is important to consider international examples which indicate amalgamations do not work. The process seemed to work in Canada, but there was major investment there. I am delighted to hear the Minister is not driving this process personally, which suggests he is willing to listen and take on board other suggestions. With regard to the director of Culture Ireland, it is vital to have the right person in place, as it is an important role. I hope we will not dismantle the Cultural Institutions Act 1997 which was driven by our new President.

The director of Culture Ireland is an important figure and the Minister has indicated the board is very effective. If something is not broken, we should not try to fix it. I hope the Minister will commit to keeping the board in place.

The board of Culture Ireland is up for critical review, as are the other agencies. I agree with Deputy Robert Troy about the galleries' submission; the three galleries came together in a positive way to present a good proposal which will be seriously considered and reviewed. I expect to receive the proposals in two weeks and will then go to the Cabinet. People will not be left to linger for a long time. I expect to have the decisions made as soon as possible. My officials considered the Canadian example, in which $16 million was required for an amalgamation. There are other examples also in which it was quite expensive. These are all considerations.

Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

Peadar Tóibín


2Deputy Peadar Tóibín den an Aire Ealaíon; Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cé mhéid cruinnithe a bhí ag na Coistí idir-Rannacha atá freagrach as an Straitéis Fiche Bliain a chur i bhfeidhm; cén dul chun cinn atá déanta acu agus cad iad na torthaí atá bainte amach acu; agus cad iad na spriocanna atá acu don bhliain atá le teacht. [27087/12]

Aithnítear sa straitéis 20 bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-30 go bhfuil gá le cur chuige céimneach chun bearta éagsúla na straitéise a chur i gcrích. Le linn 2011, thug oifigigh mo Roinnse faoi chéim an bhunaithe den straitéis inar díríodh ar bhunú na struchtúr eagraíochtúil agus oibríochtúil. Bunaíodh struchtúir ar leith chun an straitéis a sheachadadh agus eagraítear cruinnithe, de réir mar is gá, faoi na struchtúir seo. Tá an coiste Rialtais ar an nGaeilge agus ar an nGaeltacht, a bhfuil an Taoiseach ina chathaoirleach air, ag déanamh maoirseachta ar an dul chun cinn leis an straitéis. Tá grúpa oifigeach sinsearach, atá comhdhéanta d'oifigigh ardleibhéil ó Ranna cuí, ag tacú leis an gcoiste Rialtais. Tá grúpa idir-rannach, a bhfuil mise mar Aire Stáit ina chathaoirleach air, ag déanamh comhordú ar chur i bhfeidhm na straitéise. Tá aonad straitéise i mo Roinn freagrach as pleanáil agus feidhmiú na straitéise a threorú.

Maidir leis an gcoiste Rialtais ar an nGaeilge agus ar an nGaeltacht, bhí cruinniú den choiste sin, faoi chathaoirleacht an Taoisigh, ann inné, 5 Meitheamh 2012. Tá an chéad chruinniú eile den choiste beartaithe don mhí seo chugainn. Maidir leis an ngrúpa idir-rannach atá ag feidhmiú faoi mo chathaoirleacht, bhí an chéad chruinniú den ghrúpa ann ar an 8 Feabhra 2012 chun cur i bhfeidhm réimsí sonracha gnímh sa straitéis a bhrú chun cinn ar bhealach comhtháite. Bhí ionadaithe sinsearacha ó na Ranna ábhartha i láthair. Beidh an chéad chruinniú eile den ghrúpa ann ar an 27 Meitheamh 2012. Taobh amuigh de na grúpaí sin, tá trí ghrúpa oibre ardleibhéil bunaithe ag mo Roinnse leis na príomhpháirtithe leasmhara chun dlús a chur le feidhmiú réimsí gnímh éagsúla den straitéis. Eagraítear cruinnithe de na grúpaí oibre seo, de réir mar is gá.

Mar thoradh ar chinntí polasaí a thóg an Rialtas ar an 31 Bealtaine 2011 maidir leis na struchtúir fhorfheidhmithe don straitéis agus maidir leis an sainmhíniú nua don Ghaeltacht, tá oifigigh mo Roinnse ag tabhairt tús áite do dhréachtú an Bhille Gaeltachta 2012, a thabharfaidh feidhm, de réir mar is cuí, do na cinntí Rialtais sin. Tá mé ag súil go bhfoilseofar an Bille Gaeltachta an-luath an mhí seo, faoi réir chead an Rialtais. Chomh maith leis an obair atá ar siúl ar dhréachtú an Bhille Gaeltachta, ní miste a rá gur fhógair mé dhá thionscnamh shuntasacha faoin straitéis ar an 26 Aibreán 2012. Ar an gcéad dul síos, chuir mé tús leis an bpróiseas pleanála teanga sa Ghaeltacht faoina mbeidh plean teanga á ullmhú ag leibhéal an phobail do gach ceantar Gaeltachta i gcomhréir leis an straitéis. Ar an dara dul síos, d'fhógair mé an clár tacaíochta teaghlaigh, a bhfuil sé mar aidhm aige an Ghaeilge a threisiú mar theanga teaghlaigh agus pobail sa Ghaeltacht i gcomhréir leis an straitéis.

Is le muintir na hÉireann an straitéis 20 bliain, atá bunaithe ar obair a rinne eagraíochtaí Gaeilge ó gach coirnéal den tír, Thuaidh agus Theas. Tá an straitéis glactha ag chuile páirtí sna Fiche-Sé Contae agus ag an cuid is mó dóibh sna Sé Contae. Os rud é go bhfuil brú uafásach ag teacht ar an nGaeilge, is rud tábhachtach agus práinneach í an straitéis 20 bliain. D'fhloglaim muid inniu gur tháinig íslú arís i mbliana ar líon na dteaghlach a fuair an deontas faoi scéim labhairt na Gaeilge. Le dhá bhliain anuas, tá go leor ráite ag Fine Gael atá glan in éadan an straitéis 20 bliain. Ag amanna éagsúla, bhí sé mar aidhm ag Fine Gael fáil réidh leis an nGaeilge mar ábhar éigeantach ag leibhéal na hardteiste, deireadh a chur le scéim labhairt na Gaeilge, na rialacha maidir le bunú gaelscoileanna nua a dhéanamh níos déine, scoileanna beaga Gaeltachta a dhúnadh, gan ról lárnach a bheith ag an gComhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta sa straitéis agus laghdú a dhéanamh ar cumhachta Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga. Anois, tá sé ráite go bhfuil buiséad Raidió na Gaeltachta ag íslú. Ar an taobh eile den scéal, d'fhoilsigh an Aire Stáit pacáiste tacaíochta mar pháirt den chlár teaghlaigh atá bunaithe in áit scéim labhairt na Gaeilge. Níl sa phacáiste seo ach treoirleabhar a bhí le fáil ó Comhluadar cheana agus dlúthdhiosca éigin.

Níl ach 13 iarratas curtha isteach chuig an Roinn ag lorg an phacáiste seo go dtí seo. Cé mhéad cruinniú a bhí ag coiste idir-rannach i mbliana? An bhfuil an ceart agam go raibh dhá chruinniú ann sa sé mhí seo caite? Tá faic déanta ag an Rialtas maidir le scéim labhairt na Gaeilge ach amháin rudaí diúltacha.

Tá an Teachta i ndiaidh tagairt a dhéanamh do rudaí nach bhfuil baint dhíreach ag an Roinn seo leo. Ní aontaím ar chor ar bith. Níor tháinig aon athrú ar stádas na Gaeilge san ardteistiméireacht, a mhalairt ar fad a tharla, tá stádas níos láidre ag cumas labhartha na Gaeilge san ardteistiméireacht ná mar a bhí. Tá 40% ag dul do labhairt na Gaeilge san ardteistiméireacht i gcomparáid leis an 25% a bhíodh ann. Céim mhór ar aghaidh í sin.

Maidir le scéim labhairt na Gaeilge, bhí dearcadh coitianta ann nár éirigh léi an aidhm a bhí aici a bhaint amach: cainteoirí dúchais a chothú sa Ghaeilge. Sé an laige mhór a bhí ann sa scéim ná nuair a cuireadh na páistí faoi scrúdú ar scoil, bhí siad sé bliana d'aois. Faoin am sin bhí an chéad teanga lonnaithe sa pháiste. An rud atá i gceist leis an scéim tacaíochta teaghlaigh ná díriú isteach ar na tuisimitheoirí ón am a thagann an páiste ar an saol, fiú sula dtiocfaidh an páiste. Deir teangeolaithe gur seo an tslí cheart le dul. Táimid ag déanamh teagmháil le tuismitheoirí sula dtagann an páiste ar an saol, teagmháil leo chomh luath agus a thagann an páiste ar an saol agus ag tabhairt pacáistí dóibh. An méid atá sna pacáistí a luaigh an Teachta, níl ann ach an chéad chéim agus beimid ag cur leis na pacáistí sin, á méadú agus á bhforbairt sin sna seachtainí amach romhainn. An aidhm atá againn ná an rogha a thabhairt do thuismitheoirí na nGaeltachtaí, nó d'aon tuismitheoirí eile na buntáistí a bhaineann le clann a thógáil trí Ghaeilge a bhaint amach. Is í an deacracht mhór ná go raibh titim ar an líon daoine a bhí ag fáil deontas ó scéim labhairt na Gaeilge. Caithfimid tosnú roimhe sin, caithfimid tosnú leis an pháiste sa chliabhán agus an teanga a lonnú ag an phointe sin. Sin an fáth go bhfuil an clár seo istigh. Tá forbairt agus fás le teacht air, seo í an chéad chéim.

Tugaim aitheantas d'Fheidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte go bhfuil sé sásta agus toilteanach chomhoibriú a dhéanamh linn san fhiontar seo.

Níl fadhb agam leis an bpácaiste tacaíochta do theaghlaigh; aontaím leis an togra sin, táim ag iarraidh mé féin mó pháistí a thógáil le Gaeilge. An fhadhb atá ann, áfach, ná nach bhfuil pacáiste ann ag an nóiméad; níl ann ach leabhar a bhí ann cheana féin ag Comhluadar agus dlúthdhiosca éigin. Níl eolas ar bith ag na tuismitheoirí atá ag iarraidh a gclann a thógáil le Gaeilge. Praiseach atá ann fós. B'fhéidir go mbeadh sé níos fearr sa todhchaí ach níl rud ar bith ann anois díreach chun tacaíocht a thabhairt do theaghlaigh.

Tá deis an-chuid rudaí a dhéanamh mar gheall air, rudaí beaga nach bhfuil aon chostas ag baint leo, cosúil le beartas luath-thumoideachais iomlán a chur i bhfeidhm sna bunscoileanna Gaeltachta agus ról lárnach a thabhairt do COGG sa choiste oideachais sa straitéis 20 bliain agus aonad náisiúnta pleanála a chruthú dá thoradh.

Tá tuairim fhorleathan ann anois i measc lucht na Gaeilge go bhfuil an straitéis ar shlua na marbh, nach bhfuil aon treise inti agus nach bhfuil an Rialtas ag obair uirthi. Tá an t-am ag sleamhnú thart ag an Rialtas agus tá an straitéis ag feidhmiú le dhá bhliain anuas anois ach fós níl aon rud láidir ann chun tacú le daoine.

Tá an-chuid oibre déanta go dtí seo maidir leis an straitéis. An clár tacaíochta teaghlaigh, níor láinseáladh é go dtí mí ó shin agus tiocfaidh fás agus forbairt air sin. Tá suim ag an Teachta sa rud seo ar fad, chonaic mé é féin agus a pháistí nuair a bhí mé i Rath Carn agus an Ghaeilge á labhairt acu. Mar Aire Stáit sa Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta, tá fáilte agus céad agam d'aon mholtaí fiúntacha, réadúla a thagann isteach chugainn maidir leis an straitéis. Maidir leis an gclár tacaíochta teaghlaigh, na rudaí atá sa chlár go fóill, tháinig siad ón phobal mar bhí cruinnithe againn. Má tá moltaí ag an Teachta, nó ag éinne eile, beidh fonn orainn iad a chur sa phacáiste. Tá seo seolta le mí anuas, beidh suíomh Idirlíne againn agus beidh cead, ceart agus deis ag na tuismitheoirí thart ar an suíomh agus gach saghas eolais a fháil chomh maith.

Tá ról tábhachtach ag COGG. Tá fochoiste d'oifigigh ard-leibhéal idir mo Roinn agus an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna. Bhí COGG istigh cheana féin ann agus bhí Údarás na Gaeltachta agus Foras na Gaeilge istigh lena gcuid tuairimí a chur i láthair. Níl aon fáth ar an domhan nach mbeidh siad ag teacht isteach arís agus arís eile fá choinne a ndearcadh, a mbarúlacha agus a gcomhairle a thabhairt dúinn. Táimid go léir ag obair as lámh a chéile, níl aon duine i gcoinne aon duine eile, táimid ag brú an rud ar aghaidh.

Tá an Bille Gaeltachta réidh le teacht agus táim cinnte go gcuirfear fríd an Teach seo é roimh an samhradh. Bille an-chuimsitheach é, an chéad Bille Gaeltachta ó 1956, a thabharfaidh cumasú don Stát agus do na Ranna dul ar aghaidh leis an obair thábhachtach i gcur i bhfeidhm na straitéise. Tá Impleachtaí aige do na Gaeltachtaí agus d'Údarás na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeilge agus mar sin. Tá sé ar tí teacht roimh an Teach. Is mór an dul chun cinn sin agus tá an obair sin ar siúl ag oifigigh mo Roinne.