An Bille um Údarás na Gaeltachta (Leasú), 1993 [ Bille Airgid Deimhnithe ] : An Dara Céim.

Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go léifear an Bille an Dara Uair."

Donegal South-West): Ar an gcéad dul síos ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leat féin as tú bheith tofa inniu mar Leas-Chathaoirleach an tSeanaid.

Is mór an phribhléid dom an deis seo a bheith agam an Bille seo a chur faoi bhráid an tSeanaid. Sula luífidh mé isteach ar chuspóir an Bhille féin, ba mhaith liom cur síos gairid a tabhairt don Seanad faoi conas mar a d'éirigh le Údarás na Gaeltachta anuraidh maidir le fostaíocht a chruthú sa Ghaeltacht.

Bliain deacair a bhí ann anuraidh maidir le fostaíocht a chruthú agus a chaomhnú sa Ghaeltacht is cuma cén earnáil tionscail ina raibh gnóanna nó cén margadh lena rabhthas ag iarraidh earraí a dhíol. Cruthaíodh 975 phost nua lánaimseartha ar an bhfód i 1992 i dtionscail a fuair cúnamh ón Údarás agus, tar éis caillteanais de 920 post a chur san áireamh, bhí méadú glan de 55 phost sa bhliain sin. Ba í 1992 a t-aonú bliain déag i ndiaidh a chéile ina raibh glanmhéadú san fhostaíocht i dtionscail faoi scáth an Údaráis. Ag deireadh 1992, bhí 5,652 dhuine fostaithe go lánaimseartha i dtionscail sa Ghaeltacht faoi scáth an Údaráis i gcomparáid le 5,597 nduine ag deireadh 1991. Chomh maith leis sin, tá acmhainn de 1,440 post nua i dtograí ar cheadaigh an tÚdarás cúnamh ina leith anuraidh.

Tá fostaíocht shéasúrach an-tábhachtach don Ghaeltacht agus tháinig méadú de 320 ar líon na bpost sin sa Ghaeltacht le linn 1992 ó 2,260 duine i 1991 go dtí 2,580 duine i 1992. Luíonn na poist shéasúracha pháirtaimseartha sin le sean tráidisiún an iarthair mar tugann siad deis do na hoibrithe a bheith ag plé le farraige agus le talamh agus móin in am tráth. Chomh maith leis an bhfostaíocht shéasúrach/pháirtaimseartha sin, bhí 77 scéim fhostaíochta shóisialta a raibh luach £1.4 mhilliún ag gabháil leo agus 635 dhuine fostaithe orthu á riaradh ag an Údarás i 1992 i gcomhar le FÁS agus coistí áitiúla Ghaeltachta.

Maidir leis an 920 oibrithe ar scaoileadh leo i rith na bliana seo caite, is ábhar imní agus machnaimh dúinn uile gur cailleadh an líon mór post sin i dtionscail éagsúla sa Ghaeltacht. Is sásamh éigin é gur athchruthaíodh timpeall 300 díobh trí thograí nua a bunaíodh ar shócmhainní na gcomhlachtaí ar theip orthu. Bhain formhór na gcaillteanas eile le laghduithe ar a bhfoirne oibre a b'éigean do chomhlachtaí a chur i bhfeidhm de bharr deacrachtaí trádála i margaí éagsúla. Is fadhb mhór í líon na bpost a chailltear sa Ghaeltacht gach bliain a chealaíonn beagnach iomlán na bpost a chruthaítear go bliantúil. Tá sé ráite go soiléir sa Chlár le haghaidh Rialtais Chomhpháirtíochta go mbeidh an tÚdarás ag cur lena gcuid iarrachtaí ní amháin chun fostaíocht bhreise a chruthú ach freisin chun an fhostaíocht atá ann a chaomhnú. Is cinnte go gcaithfear scrúdú a dhéanamh ar na critéir a úsáideann an tÚdarás i dtaca le cúnamh a cheadú do thograí agus iarracht a dhéanamh chun na laigeachtaí a thagann chun cinn i gcomhlachtaí beaga maidir le bainistíocht, margaíocht agus teicneólaíocht a mhaolú oiread agus is féidir.

Tá dul chun cinn sásúil á dhéanamh ag an Údarás maidir leis an meánchostas deontais in aghaidh an phoist a laghdú. Anuraidh ba é an meánchostas ná £9,130 i gcomparáid le £9,800 i 1991 agus £11,470 i 1990. Tá an laghdú seo ag teacht le cinneadh polasaí a glacadh cúpla bliain siar maidir le meánrátaí deontais a laghdú agus scair níos airde den infheistíocht a lorg ó na hinfheisteoirí féin. Leanfaidh an tÚdarás lena chuid iarrachtaí chun an costas sin a ísliú de réir a chéile le cinntiú go bhfaighfear an sochar is fearr agus is féidir as an infheistíocht Stáit i bhforbairt tionscail sa Ghaeltacht.

Anois tiocfaidh mé chun chuspóir an Bhille féin. Tá dhá aidhm leis. Is í an chéad aidhm foráil a dhéanamh trí alt a 2 den Bhille le gur féidir caipiteal a chur ar fáil feasta d'Údarás na Gaeltachta, le haghaidh scaireanna a ghlacadh i gcuideachtaí agus le haghaidh caiteachas a thabhú ar mhonarchana nó eile, mar dheontas-i-gcabhair trí Vóta mo Roinne seachas mar airleacain ón bPríomh-Chiste. Go dtí deireadh na bliana seo caite, bhíodh caipiteal ón Stát á chur ar fáil don Údarás, agus do Ghaeltarra Éireann roimhe, ar dhá bhealach: ó Vóta na Roinne mar dheontas-i-gcabhair chun deontais a íoc; agus mar airleacain inaisíoctha ón bPríomh-Chiste chun a chumasú don Údarás scaireanna a ghlacadh i gcuideachtaí agus caiteachas a thabhú ar mhonarchana nó eile.

Is é an tÚdarás an uirlis forbartha tionscail atá ag an Rialtas don Ghaeltacht. Nuair a rithfear an Bille seo is trí Vóta mo Roinne amháin a chuirfear an soláthar caipitil in iomlán ón Stát ar fáil don Údarás agus beidh an tÚdarás ar an mbonn céanna leis an Údarás Forbartha Tionscail maidir le cúnamh Stáit d'fhorbairt tionscail.

Ó bunaíodh an tÚdarás ar 1 Eanáir 1980, tá suim £77.182 mhilliún airleachta dó ón bPríomh-Chiste suas go dtí deireadh na bliana seo caite. Chomh maith leis sin, bhí suim £41.791 mhilliún airleactha do Ghaeltarra Éireann ó 1 Aibreán 1965 go dtí 31 Nollaig 1979. Faoi alt 23 (2) (c) den Acht um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1979, níl an tsuim iomlán sin, i.e., £118.973 mhilliún, inaisíoctha ná níl ús iníoctha ar an gcéanna go dtí dáta a chinnfidh an tAire Airgeadais tar éis comhairle a ghlacadh le Aire na Gaeltachta — an tAire Ealaíon, Cultúir agus Gaeltachta anois. Tá sé soiléir le fada nach mbeadh ar chumas an Údaráis na hairleacain sin a aisíoc in iomlán riamh. Is é an dara aidhm leis an mBille seo, mar sin, foráil a dhéanamh trí alt a 3 nach mbeidh an tsuim sin inaisíochta ná nach mbeidh ús iníoctha air.

Míneoidh mé anois cén fáth nach mbeidh ar chumas an Údaráis na hairleacain a tugadh dó agus do Ghaeltarra Éireann a aisíoc in iomlán. Léiríonn cuntais fhoilsithe an Údaráis don bhliain dar chríoch 31 Nollaig 1991 gurbh é glan-luach monarchana, foirgneamh agus áiseanna eile, agus sócmhainní dochta eile na heagraíochta ar 31 Nollaig 1991 ná £59.013 mhilliún. Léiríonn na cuntais chéanna gurbh é glan-luach, tar éis soláthar i gcomhair athluacháil a dhéanamh, infheistíochtaí an Údaráis i gcuideachtaí ag 31 Nollaig 1991 ná £9.047 milliún. Chomh maith leis sin, bhí féichiúnaithe iarchurtha de £1.685 mhilliún ag an Údarás. Tagann na suimeanna sin ar fad go dtí £69.745 mhilliún. Go dtí 31 Nollaig 1991, tugadh airleacain dar luach £113.473 mhilliún don Údarás. Mar sin tá easnamh de £43.728 milliún sa chuntas. Déantar suas an £43.728 milliún sin mar seo a leanas:

£m

Dímheas ar shócmhainní dochta

12.183

Infheistíochtaí díscríofa móide dochar/sochar ar shócmhainní a dhíol

24.590

Caillteanais na seanrannóga trádála a bhí ag feidhmiú faoi Ghaeltarra Éireann

7.570

Fuílleach ar chúltaca aoisliúntais ag 31 Nollaig 1979

(0.615)

43.728

Níl figiúirí iniúchtha do 31 Nollaig 1992 ar fáil go fóill ach meastar gur easnamh de £44.326 mhilliún a bheidh ann ar an dáta sin.

Ag féachaint don mhéid airgid mar airleacain a chuir an Stát ar fáil don Údarás i gcomparáid le glan-luach na maoine agus na n-infheistíochtaí anois, is léir go raibh agus go bhfuil costas ard ag baint le forbairt tionscail sa Ghaeltacht. Níor mhiste a threisiú, áfach, go bhfuil breis agus 5,600 post lánaimseartha agus beagnach 2,600 post séasúracha i dtionscail sa Ghaeltacht faoi scáth an Údaráis. Chomh maith leis sin, tá oiliúint thionsclaíoch curtha ar fáil do líon mór oibrithe agus tá eastáit tionscail agus líon maith monarchana aonracha tógtha ar fud na Gaeltachta.

Ar ndóigh bíonn deacrachtaí móra le sárú ag an Údarás d'fhonn tograí fiúntacha a mhealladh chuig ceantair Ghaeltachta atá scartha amach ó na príomhionaid thráchtála agus atá faoi mhíbhuntáiste cheana ó thaobh bunstruchtúir agus easpa saoráidí i gcoitinne i gcomparáid leis an gcuid eile den tír. Bíonn an tÚdarás ag snámh in aghaidh an tsrutha i gcónaí ag iarraidh gníomhaíochtaí oiriúnacha eacnamaíochta a spreagadh agus a fhairsingiú ionas go mbeidh deiseanna leormhaithe ag muintir na Gaeltachta chun fostaíocht shocrach a fháil ina gceantair féin agus caighdeáin réasúnta mhaireachtála a bheith acu. Tríd is tríd, táim sásta go bhfuil dea-thoradh bainte amach leis an gcaiteachas mór Stáit ar fhorbairt tionscail sa Ghaeltacht.

Maidir le cuntais an Údaráis, beidh athruithe le déanamh ar an leagan amach nuair a bheidh feidhm leis an reachtaíocht is ábhar don Bhille seo. Is ceist í sin a bheidh le socrú tar éis plé idir an Údarás, Aire na Gaeltachta, an Aire Airgeadais agus an Ard-Reachtaire Cuntas agus Ciste.

Tá súil agam go bhfuil cuspóir an Bhille seo mínithe go soiléir agam. Cé gur Bille gairid é, is Bille tábhachtach é agus molaim don Seanad glacadh leis.

Ar dtús déanaim comhghairdeas leis an Aire as an post atá faighte aige. Is fear iontach maith an tAire agus tá súil agam go n-éireoidh go geal leis.

I congratulate the Minister on being reappointed to this portfolio. I wish him well in his job which is going to be difficult this year and, I assume, for a number of years to come. Given the calibre of the Minister and his senior partner in this Department, I think we can expect some good things to happen over the next few years.

However, I am somewhat disappointed with the Minister's speech. It is historical in content and deals with the Bill before us but it does not show any sign of new thinking or any proposals for improving the situation in the Gaeltacht areas or for a root-and-branch reappraisal of An tÚdarás and the way it is spending its money. Given that the senior Minister in the Department is a man who is somewhat of a visionary and who is given to flights of fancy and poetic musing, I am surprised there are not some signs of change in his Department already. It appears we will have to wait a little longer for evidence of that.

There is a huge haemorrhage from the jugular vein of the country and this calls urgently for fresh thinking. It means the Minister and Ministers of State must use their ingenuity and whatever ingenuity they can borrow to try to find some way to improve the lot of people not just in the Gaeltacht areas but right across the country. Many of us who are not from Gaeltacht areas or from the Shannon region, are not too happy that these two areas have statutory development authorities whereas the rest of us do not have such a facility. In the case of the Gaeltacht areas, our nationalism justified why it is necessary to have Údarás na Gaeltachta in place. I accept that and I fully support the Minister, his Department and Údarás na Gaeltachta in that respect.

It is a different matter with SFADCo, I am afraid. People outside the Shannon region find it hard to accept that that region should get preferential treatment, including its own authority with a statutory base such as the IDA has. It is a source of embarrassment for many people who go abroad on delegations and find there is confusion created by the fact that both the IDA and SFADCo are vying for whatever loose investment might be available. This confuses people who are coming in contact with them and many people in tourism and other areas are unhappy that that should be the case.

I do not envy the people of Limerick and the Shannon region. They are entitled to hold what they have at this stage. Like An t-Údarás, SFADCo has done a lot of good work in that region. Why, however, do the people of the north-east, for example, not have their own statutory development authority? The north-east is a great blackspot area as far as employment is concerned. If the Shannon region is entitled to it, we should be entitled to it. Fairness should be the basis for all Government action. It is patently obvious that most people in the Republic, outside the Limerick/ Shannon region, are not all happy with that.

When you peel off the nationalism we all have in our hearts, you might say that if the Gaeltacht has a statutory authority and the rest of us do not, then it should be abolished. But I do not hold with that, and I think most people would be of the same opinion and say that the Gaeltacht area is entitled to special treatment; it represents something unusual for us — tradition and culture, something we want to preserve. Having looked over the annual reports for the last number of years, I congratulate Údarás na Gaeltachta for doing a fine job in difficult circumstances. I know the Minister is proud to be associated with Údarás na Gaeltachta.

The events of yesterday, however, will not make it any easier for the Minister and for Údarás na Gaeltachta to fulfil their functions over the rest of this year and in the years to come. After yesterday's ill-formed, backward and hopeless budget, it is clear that the electorate, who wanted something new, got nothing but tradition. It was obvious in the November election — and there are many of us in this House as a result of it — that the electorate decided that tradition and traditional things were bad. Traditional politics in Ireland has meant a whole lot of improper things. While that may not be entirely true, the fact remains that the public perceives traditional politics as meaning many scandals in high places, not a very fair system for anybody, and laws which are applied to the ordinary people not being applied to others. They rejected that in November. Many of us suffered the consequences and we have to accept that.

I have no doubt that those people and the people of the Gaeltacht areas feel cheated and let down because what they offered yesterday was more of the same. No nuance, no inventiveness, no vision, nothing that would say to the people who are looking for work and toiling to survive on far too little, that there is hope, what we have done today will improve your lot. There was nothing like that in yesterday's budget.

People in the Gaeltacht who have jobs in factories managed and put in place by An t-Údarás are today trying to get information on social welfare payments because they have less money in their pockets as a result of the budget. Many of them would be of the opinion that they would be better off staying at home.

In the past few years it seemed to be more profitable not to work, and that situation has worsened as a result of the budget. That is very sad. When the population at large loses the desire to work because there is no profit attached to it, it is very difficult for factory managers and people who are trying to be successful in business to motivate their staff to do a good job and to supply services and goods at the best possible price. Because that attitude has been put in place and has been creating a worse situation than existed before, we can assume that, as a result of yesterday's budget, we are in for a pretty rough time.

National morale took a dive yesterday. That is clear from most people's view and that will impinge on the Department, on the activities of Údarás na Gaeltachta and on every enterprise right across the Republic. People feel they are in a hopeless situation which has been exacerbated by the budget. That is against that sad background that Údarás na Gaeltachta has to work.

In his review of the activities of An tÚdarás the Minister was proudly able to say that at the end of 1992 there were 5,652 people in full-time employment in industry supported by An tÚdarás. That was an increase, albeit a small one, on the number of people who were employed at the end of 1991. He also said that 1,440 new posts were coming onstream as a result of investments made possible by the activities of An t-Údarás. That is good. He also said there was considerable seasonable employment of approximately 2,580. That was an increase on the previous year. This shows the activities of An tÚdarás are fruitful and that grants made to them are worthwhile.

The Minister stated that a number of jobs were lost last year. However, this was expected, given the climate that existed in the country. Approximately 1,000 jobs were lost during the year and this is a cause for great concern. We all deeply regret the announcement made this morning about Digital in Galway. It has come at a bad time and has sent shock waves not only through Galway but throughout Ireland. I am sure the public are wondering if more multinational companies will follow the same course in the next few months.

The public has always been sceptical about the fact that foreigners seem to be able to come to this country with an idea and that the IDA will offer them grant aid. We who know the scene would not agree with this statement but it must be said it is a measure of how the IDA has conducted its activities over the past 25 years that foreigners found it very easy to get grants in Ireland while locals found it much more difficult. The majority of the population felt that the IDA took a more rigorous approach when proposals for new enterprises were put forward by Irish people. It was generally believed we turned our backs on native enterprise because we were able to get our hands on the occasional "plum" project from abroad, and many of them did wonderful things for the community. However, we have sad stories like Digital where, when times get tough they leave. Family concerns never do that. They put their backs to the wall, they batten down the hatches and try to survive. That is why our policies have been wrong over the last 25 years. We should have made greater efforts and invested more in small native enterprises.

Anyone who wants to see whether this would be a good national policy should visit County Monaghan where there are many examples of local enterprise which stated with some State assistance. Monaghan Mushrooms has survived the trauma of the past four or five months and many other Monaghan industries, including the furniture industry, are thriving. They employ a considerable number of people and have cost the State very little. They will not go under without a fight. This is one lesson we have learned, but it took a long time to learn it. We now have county enterprise boards and this is good because money is guaranteed for each county. It also gives the local people a chance to exploit their skills to the best advantage. It took a long time for us to learn that this was the correct way to do things.

A good mix of international and local investment is always right. In hindsight it is easy to say that those in charge should have known better. The fact is we were happy to accept the large factory in our town or region. At times we pay the price; we are changing even though it is a little late. Other things also need to be done and I hope we get opportunities in the Seanad to discuss economic and investment policies and the best way to improve our ability to create jobs and help our people.

I tabled an amendment. I confess that I did so without having a complete understanding of the Bill as I was asked to deal with it at short notice and I did not have time to discuss it. When I read section 2 of the Bill and also looked at the 1979 Act it seemed the Minister could only act in respect of Údarás na Gaeltachta under the terms of the Bill and it was not clear to me that the Minister had the power to reclaim grants paid from voted money. Therefore, I tabled an amendment and I would like to have it discussed.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I ask the Senator to stay with the general principles of the Bill, rather than with the detailed sections. We will take those on Committee Stage.

Are we taking all Stages today?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Yes.

We will discuss the details later as I need to be convinced that the Minister has the necessary powers to have full control over the money granted to Údarás na Gaeltachta.

I am happy enough with the activities of An t-Údarás. However, I am unhappy with the full content of the Minister's speech. It has analysed the past but there is no mention of the Minister carrying out a root and branch examination of the activities of Údarás na Gaeltachta, in conjunction with An t-Údarás, or that he intends to examine their activities and method of investment. I was hoping this new Government would use every opportunity to discuss this issue. Although this is one of the few opportunities we have to discuss Údarás matters, we did not make the most of it. The Minister did not talk about the future, about innovation or about how he proposes, with his senior Minister, to tackle the dreadful problems in the Gaeltacht.

We will have opportunities over the next month or so to discuss the budget and financial and investment matters. I hope to develop my comments further at a later stage.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I compliment the Senator on his maiden speech and wish him good luck. I should also have welcomed the Minister to the House.

A Leas-Chathaoirligh, déanaim comhghairdeas leat agus tá súil agam go dtabharfaidh tú cothrom na Féinne do gach Seanadóir. Ba mhaith liom fáiltiú roimh an Aire Stáit, an Teachta Gallagher agus tréaslú leis ina athcheapadh mar Aire Stáit ar Roinn na Gaeltachta.

Molaim agus aontaím le haidhmeanna an Bhille seo mar go dtugann sé an taitheantas airgeadais céanna d'Údarás na Gaeltachta agus atá ag eagrais Stáit eile. Go dtí seo, bhí ar an Údarás airgead a iarraidh gach cúpla bliain. Leis an mBille seo, beidh siad i dteideal airgead d'fháil dála na heagrais fhorbartha Stáit eile.

Bunaíodh an t-Údarás i 1980 chun forbairt eacnamaíoch agus chultúrtha na nGaeltachtaí. Faoi láthair, tá beagnach, 1,000 comhlacht ag fáil cabhrach ón Údarás; tá beagnach 6,000 post lánaimseartha agus 2,000 post páirtaimseartha i gceist. Fuair 4,053 post cabhair airgid ó Ghaeltarra Éireann roimh 1980.

Is job fiór-dheacair atá idir lámha ag an Údarás ó bunaíodh é i 1980 agus a bhí ag Gaeltarra a bunaíodh i 1958 i ngeall ar iargúltacht na nGaeltachtaí. Gan dabht, is fearr le Comhlachtaí lonnú áit a bhfuil infrastructúr sásúil agus dá bhrí sin faigheann an IDA an chéad seans i gcoimhlint leis an Údarás. Ba cheart comhoibriú níos fearr a bheith eatarthu. Táimid go léir ag troid ar son postanna don tír agus ba chóir téip dhearg agus coimhlint idir eagrais a ghearradh.

Gníomhaíonn téip dhearg na n-eagras Stáit eagsúla i gcoinne forbartha. Má theastáionn ó chomhlacht dul i mbun phróiseáil éisc bíonn air dul trí seacht eagrais dhifriúla idir cheadúnais, shláintíocht, chomhshaoil, shláinte, phleanáil, chomhairle contae agus eile. Ba chóir an téip dhearg seo a ghearradh agus go mbeadh an tÚdarás in a chomhordnóir iomlán chun cabhrú le comhlachtaí. Tuigim go bhfuil "Statutes" áirithe le comhlíonadh ach tá sé seafóideach claíanna a chur sa bhealach ar phostanna.

Údarás na Gaeltachta does not have an easy job promoting industry and creating jobs in the parts of Ireland for which they have responsibility — the hills of Donegal, the mountains of Kerry and the rough terrain of Mayo, Galway and west Cork — and undoubtedly have the worst roads and infrastructure. I agree things are changing fast and on my trip to Donegal recently I noticed they have good roads, particularly in the Gaeltacht area. I hope the Minister will give money to the Dingle Penninsula, west Cork and similar places. An onerous task has been given to An tÚdarás to attract industries and create jobs in places like this. I would hate to say they are poor but they are severely disadvantaged.

The three main industries keeping our Gaeltacht communities alive are fishing, agriculture and tourism. The fishing industry has been built up over the last number of years. I would like to see An tÚdarás more deeply involved in the provision of moneys for new piers and harbours in Gaeltacht areas and to increase, if possible the number of processing plants, because this is where jobs can be provided and the added value is. Far too often fish are caught, loaded on to lorries and shipped direct to the market in Spain. If the fish were processed and added value, that would create more jobs.

Not too many people are engaged in agriculture in the mountains of Kerry and the hills of Donegal, but there is a huge sheep population there.

About three months ago, I urged Údarás na Gaeltachta to carry out a study on creating extra jobs by processing or added value on the wool. I checked how much wool was being exported in the raw state and was amazed to find it was worth £12 million. I disagreed with the letter I received from An tÚdarás, stating that according to their study my suggestion was not viable. I ask the Minister to take this case up again with An tÚdarás or his Department to see if a small wool processing factory, involved in cleaning or adding value to wool, could be established in one of our Gaeltachtaí.

At the moment the price of wool is rock bottom. Sheep farmers in my community are paying 15p to shear their sheep and the shearer can keep the wool. It costs about 15p per pound at the moment. It leaves the country and comes back processed. I cannot understand how it leaves at 20p per pound, returns and is advertised as pure guaranteed Irish wool at between £6 and £7 a pound. Let no State organisation tell me there are no jobs to be created between when we get 20p per pound for the raw material but we import the finished product at £6 and £7 per pound. Somebody is making big money and it is not being made in Ireland. I ask the Minister to have another look at this, even if it only provided, five, ten or 20 jobs.

In my parish there was some wool processing, called combing the wool. I often went with my grandmother, who brought her little bag of wool. She had it combed and cleaned, then came home and started spinning. There was socks, gansies, etc., knitted from that wool. We produced good wool when I was growing up and no one could find fault with the wool we are producing now. I would like to see An tÚdarás involved in tourism. Ba cheart go mbeadh Údarás na Gaeltachta freagrach as cúrsaí turasóireachta sa Ghaeltacht. Is rud ar leith é "cultural tourism" agus ní thuigeann éinne cultúr na Gaeltachta níos fearr ná muintir na Gaeltachta féin. Tá muintir Gaeltachta fostaithe san Údarás agus is acusan amháin atá an tuiscint agus an oiliúint chun turasóireacht a chur chun cinn sa Ghaeltacht.

Cad atá déanta ag Bord Fáilte don Ghaeltacht? Cén tuiscint atá acu ar chúrsaí Ghaeltachta? Cad atá déanta acu don Daingean, mo bhaile féin? Tuigim an gá le caighdeán a choinneáil ach bíonn na daoine a thugann cuairt ar na Gaeltachtaí ag lorg teagmháil le muintir na háite, an cultúr a bhlas agus an ceol agus an teanga a chlos. Níl siad ag lorg ostán mór.

Cad atá déanta ag Bord Fáilte ar son na coláistí samhraidh? Ní leanaí amháin atá i gceist anseo ach a dtuismitheoirí freisin. Tá méadú ag teacht ar líon na gcúrsaí do dhaoine fásta ann. Baineann an ghné seo le job an Údaráis forbairt chultúrtha agus eacnamaíoch a chothú sa Ghaeltacht. Ba cheart go mbeadh an tÚdarás i dteideal deontais fostaíochta a chuar ar fáil do lucht na n-ostán agus na dtithe lóistín.

Tá an-obair déanta ag an Údarás i dtaobh próiseáil agus feirmeoireacht éisc i dteannta le BIM ach ba cheart go mbeadh an tÚdarás ábalta tuilleadh cabhrach infrastructúrtha a shólathar ar mhaithe le forbairt an tionscail seo. Tá níos mó cabhrach de dhíth freisin ar choistí agus ar chomharchumainn aitiúla, leis, atá ag gabháil do chúrsaí cé agus bóthar.

Fáiltím roimh an ráiteas sa cháinaisnéis inné go mbeidh an t-airgead riachtanach ar fáil chun céanna Inis Oírr agus Inis Meáin a thosnú. Fáiltím freisin roimh an chinneadh chun airgead a chur ar fáil do theilifís Ghaeltachta. Má bhíonn meán oiriúnach ar nós na teilifíse ag tabhairt tosaíochta do chultúr agus do shaol na Gaeltachta b'fhéidir go meallfar tuilleadh infheistíochta isteach sa cheantar. Beidh scileanna breise agus jobanna le fáil tríd na forbairtí seo freisin.

Anois go bhfuil deacrachtaí móra eacnamaíochta le sárú ag Éire bheadh sé furasta dearmad a dhéanamh ar Údarás na Gaeltachta agus ar na cúraimí tábhachtacha atá leagtha air. Tá gach tacaíocht ar féidir a thabhairt ag teastáil uaidh agus ag dul dó.

Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis an Aire Stáit agus an Leas-Chathaoirleach as ucht a bpostanna nua.

D'éist mé leis an Seanadóir Cotter ar ball arbh as Contae Mhuineacháin dó, cosúil liom féin, agus tá eolas agam ar fhadhbanna tionsclaíocha an chontae sin. Cé nach bhfuil cónaí orm i nGaeltacht tuigim an gá atá le forbairt thionsclaíoch sa Ghaeltacht trí mheán an Údaráis. Aontaím lena dúirt an Seanadóir Cotter faoi fhadbanna tionsclaíocha i gcoitinne. Is dóigh liom gurb é an tÚdarás an meán is fearr chun forbairt a dhéanamh ar na limistéir Ghaeltachta atá ar na háiteanna is iargultaí sa tír iomlán agus, ar an ábhar sin, i dteideal cabhair ar leith. Ní mór "potholes" bhóthar Mhuineacháin agus an Chabháin a dheisiú. Ba mhaith liom ceist infheistíochta na mbóthar a phlé chomh luath agus is féidir.

Tá áthas orm go bhfuil an Bille ag leasú an Achta um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1979, faoi bhráid an tSeanaid inniu. Níl deacracht agam leis an mBille; feictear dom gur Bille gairid é. Ainneoin é sin, is ábhar tábhachtach atá faoi chaibidil againn anseo.

Tá dhá aidhm leis an mBille seo. Is é an chéad aidhm ná caipiteal a chur ar fáil d'Údarás na Gaeltachta as seo amach mar dheontas-i-gcabhair le haghaidh caiteachais ar mhonarchana nó eile agus chun scaireanna a ghlacadh i gcuideachtaí. Beidh an t-airgead seo ag teacht díreach ón Roinn Ealaíon Cultúir agus Gaeltachta. Roimhe seo bhíodh caipiteal ón Stát á chur ar fáil don Údarás agus roimhe sin do Ghaeltarra Éireann ar dhá bhealach — mar dheontas-i-gcabhair ó Roinn na Gaeltachta chun deontais a íoc agus mar airleacan ón Statchiste chun go nglacfadh an tÚdarás scaireanna i gcuideachtaí agus ar son caiteachas ar mhonarchana agus mar sin. Bhí na hairleacain sin inaisíochta.

Is fiú tagairt anois don IDA a bhfuil an obair chéanna ar siúl acu lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht agus a bhfuil ag Údarás na Gaeltachta laistigh. Go dtí seo bhí an IDA i dteideal deontais-i-gcabhair nach raibh inaisíoctha i gcomparáid leis an Údarás arbh éigean dó airgead agus ús a aisíoc. Aimhrialtacht sa reachtú ab ea an coinníol sin. Tá an deis againn anois an aimhrialtacht sin a cheartú. Mar sin is í chéad aidhm an Bhille seo ná foráil a dhéanamh le gur féidir caipiteal a chur ar fáil d'Údarás na Gaeltachta ón Roinn Ealaíonn, Cultúir agus Gaeltachta go dtí go mbeidh an tÚdarás ar an mbonn céanna leis an IDA agus eagrais eile maidir le cúnamh Stáit d'fhorbairt thionsclaíochta.

Thrácht an Seanadóir Fitzgerald ar stair an Údaráis. Ó bunaíodh an tÚdarás i 1980, tá iarracht mhór déanta aige chun tionscail a bhunú sa Ghaeltacht. Tá míbhuntáistí géografaíochta, bunstructúir agus fostaíochta ar leith le sárú ag na limistéir Ghaeltachta. Ní mór dúinn a mheabhrú dúinn féin go bhfuil breis agus 5,600 post lánaimseartha agus 2,600 post seasúrtha, beagnach, i dtionscail sa Ghaeltacht faoi scáth an Udaráis. Chomh maith leis sin, tá oiliúint thionsclaíoch i gcomhar le FÁS ar siúl ag Údarás na Gaeltachta. Ag deireadh 1992 bhí 5,652 dhuine fostaithe sa Ghaeltacht i dtionscail a fuair cúnamh ón Údarás.

Cailleadh 920 post sa Ghaeltacht anuraidh agus cruthaíodh 975 phost nua. D'éirigh leis an Údarás an uimhir sin post a chruthú d'ainneoin deacrachtaí ginearálta eacnamaíochta na tíre. Ní cóir locht a fháil ar an Údarás as ucht na bpost a cailleadh de thoradh deacrachtaí tradála i margaí éagsúla. Ó tharla go bhfuil an tÚdarás ag obair go crua chun bua a fháil ar na fadhbanna a bhaineann le limistéir Ghaeltachta ní mór dúinn gach cabhair a thabhairt dó.

Is é an tarna aidhm atá ag an mBille seo na foráil a dhéanamh mar atá scríofa in alt a 3 anseo ionas nach mbeidh na hairleacain a tugadh dó ón státchiste inaisíoctha agus nach mbeidh ús iníoctha orthu.

Tá sé soiléir anois nach mbeidh ar chumas an Údaráis na hairleacain a fuarthas chun scaireanna a ghlacadh i gcuideachtaí agus eile, a aisíoc in iomlán nó i bpáirt, fiú. Léiríonn Cuntais Fhoilsithe an Údaráis don bhliain dar chríoch 31 Nollaig 1991 gurb é glanluach monarchana, foirgneamh agus áiseanna eile chomh maith le socmhainní dochta na heagraíochta ná thar £59 milliún. Feictear freisin gurb é glanluach, tar éis soláthar i gcomhair athluacháil a dhéanamh infheistíochtaí an Údaráis i gcuideachtaí ná thar £9 milliún. Tá féichiúnaithe iarchurtha de £1.685 mhilliún ag an Údarás. San iomlán, tá easnamh de £43.728 milliún sa chuntas.

Is léir go bhfuil forbairt thionsclaíoch a Ghaeltacht costasach. Ach mar sin éin, tá gnó riachtanach ar siúl ag an Údarás sna limistéir Ghaeltachta agus aontaím leis an Aire Stáit nuair a deir sé nach cóir é sin a ligean i ndearmad.

Is í an dara aidhm atá leis an mBille seo ná foráil a dhéanamh le nach mbeadh airleacain an Údaráis inaisíoctha. Aontaím leis an gcuspóir seo agus measaim nuair nach mbeidh a chuid fiacha ag ualú air, go mbeidh ar chumas an Údaráis breis obair riachtanach agus iontach a dhéanamh. In éagmais na forála seo, beidh an tÚdarás i mbaol a scoir. Bheadh díomá orm an tÚdarás a fheiceáil i mbaol agus má táimid dáiríre faoi thábhacht na nGaeltachtaí agus an chultúir ba cheart dúinn gníomhú chun an tÚdarás a chosaint.

Tá súil agam go nglacfar go fonnmhar leis an deis seo agus molaim don Seanad glacadh leis an mBille.

I join with other Members in welcoming the Minister and I congratulate him on his reappointment.

We regard the Gaeltacht as important because it forms a large part of the west of Ireland, which is the disadvantaged part of the country. Therefore, it is important to have somebody in charge of Gaeltacht affairs who is aware of the difficulties. I would like to pay tribute to Údarás na Gaeltachta, to the present Minister, Deputy Pat "Cope" Gallagher, and to the people in the Department who have administered funding in the Gaeltacht area. One can be critical and point out where they have had their share of losses but that is the type of business it is: you win some and you lose some.

It was difficult when we lost some great industries; one in Killybegs, the Donegal carpet industry and another was the crolly doll factory, and both had important international business. It is important to have a number of different industries. The biggest single contribution from Údarás na Gaeltachta, in my assessment, is the fact that they support native industries using Irish raw materials. They support craft industries. Support is difficult in the terrain they have to cover; for example they have to look after the isles. Some years ago when somebody criticised the amount of money being spent in the Gaeltacht, the late Cormac Breslin responded by saying: "That is the price you pay for driving us to the rocks". This is the disadvantaged area that is being looked after by the Department of the Gaeltacht.

The performance of industries, large and small, has been tremendous and they have provided jobs where we would have had to pay out dole, supplementary welfare benefit, supplementary rent allowances and many other subsidies. The money spent by the Minister through Údarás na Gaeltachta has been well spent and I would encourge more input to those areas to help sustain people living on their own holdings. Somebody recently remarked on the nice houses in the Gaeltacht of west Donegal and wondered where the money came from to pay for it. I responded by saying that the people were thrifty and looked after themselves.

To my knowledge, 90 per cent of the houses in the Gaeltacht area are built without loans, grants or other financial support. These people have a work ethic in their handcrafts, fishing or other activities; they have a thrifty attitude; they are not sitting back waiting for the gravy train. I enthusiastically support funding for the Gaeltacht.

Occasionally businesses have not been successful. In Fintown there is a timber industry which was started by people from outside the Gaeltacht who were enthusiastic about developing the timber industry. It was wise and proper to support that development and I hope that a rescue package can be arranged for that industry at Fintown. I strongly urge the Minister to be supportive because this is a native industry and is not dependent on imports.

Some people try to take advantage of the Gaeltacht. I will not go into details or identify them. An industry set up in the Gaeltacht received substantial funding but the raw material came from Japan and the finished product was exported to Germany. Such an industry is risky in my opinion. Nevertheless, if one is promoting industry and providing jobs one cannot be selective, one has to take what one gets. The development plan and the programme to assist projects by Údarás and the Department of the Gaeltacht are great although they have been modest enough about their achievements.

My colleague, Senator Fitzgerald, mentioned the wool industry. It is sad to see the number of woollen mills like Blarney and Convoy that have closed down; eight woollen mills have closed down and we do not process an important and expensive product that is used throughout the world in garments and carpets. We have a sheep population of about five million and many of them are in the Gaeltacht area. I urge the Minister to suport and look for people to set up a wool processing industry. That is only one area of activity. We must establish native industries in areas where we get our raw materials. This can best be done in the Gaeltacht area. Given the problems experienced by people living on an island off the west coast, they have to be supported.

We have not been successful in fully developing our important fishing industry. In Ireland there are one and a half on shore jobs for every fisherman at sea whereas in Europe there are six jobs onshore for every fisherman at sea. We have not succeeded in increasing the number of onshore jobs.

I encourage the Minister and his Department to recognise the potential for jobs in areas such as fishing industry and the craft industry. The possibility of such industries surviving in the long term is greater than for, say, multinational concerns who set up here in a flurry of publicity. I welcome the additional provision which the Bill seeks and I urge the Members to support the amendment.

A Leas-Chathaoirligh, I congratulate you on your appointment. It was obviously a popular appointment among the Members present. We took a different line; we abstained which is a sign of consent. I welcome the Minister, a fellow county man and congratulate him on his appointment. He is a very eloquent person to have as a representative of the Gaeltacht. He is a Donegal man and Donegal has a strong tradition in relation to the Gaeltacht.

What this Bill bears out is the importance of providing jobs in an area such as the Gaeltacht. It is something which is most important it should be supported. The people of the Gaeltacht have a tradition and culture of their own. It is an area which has been plagued by emigration down through the years. This Bill and the development of Údarás na Gaeltacht has helped to stem the tide of emigration in areas such as Donegal, Connemara, Meath and Kerry. There are all strong Gaeltacht areas. Keeping people in the Gaeltacht is important and by providing jobs something is being done to retain the culture and warmth which exist in those areas.

People are at the heart of the Gaeltacht. One can see this every summer when many people come to the Gaeltacht to learn Irish and support the Irish colleges. There is an exodus of people from Northern Ireland who come to learn Irish. It is an opportunity for young people from Northern Ireland to try to understand our culture and for us to learn from them. This is something which benefits both communities.

This year we celebrate the centenary of a well-known Irishman, Peader O'Donnell. He came from the Rosses, the same area as our Minister and wrote numerous books. He also talked about the problems of emigration from the Gaeltacht. This Bill is extremely important in that it will help keep people in the Gaeltacht.

Senator Cotter went off on a tangent. He was not talking about Údarás na Gaeltachta but about the budget and Digital, which matters, bear no relation to this Bill. It is typical of Fine Gael at the moment — no content and a lot of whinging. Senator Cotter also mentioned the multinationals. It is easy to criticise the multinationals but there are good and bad firms. I invite him to Letterkenny where many jobs are provided by the multinationals in firms such as UNIFI which employs 500 people and possibly another 500 coming onstream.

I think the Senator missed the point.

The American company Imed in Letterkenny employs 300 people and Fruit of the Loom employ a considerable number. These are multinationals with a proven track record. I might not always have been the greatest champion of multinationals but they have been of enormous benefit to the community.

I return to the area of tourism in the Gaeltacht. By providing employment in the Gaeltacht, Údarás na Gaeltacht is keeping people in the area. Wherever there is a strong vibrant community people will come and visit. Tourism will bring money to the Gaeltacht. Senator Fitzgerald mentioned the roads. As a member of Donegal County Council I am not happy with the condition of the roads althought they are probably better than those in other counties. Money earned from tourism goes a long way to help maintain the roads. I commend and support this Bill.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I would like to congratulate you on your maiden speech.

A Leas-Chathaoirligh, I offer you my congratulations on your appointment. I welcome the Minister to the House. I do not claim to be an expert on matters relating to the Gaeltacht. I am a Dubliner but improvements in Gaeltacht areas are of benefit to those living in Dublin also. The current thinking is that we should support indigenous industries and I have often wondered exactly what that means. This Bill clearly supports indigenous industries and I am in agreement with that.

I do not know what remarks were made about Digital but there has been a lot of criticism of multinationals. One of the positive effects of this Bill is that people can live, work and enjoy a decent standard of living in their own area. I represent a Dublin area and constituents have come to me asking if they could be re-located in the country because of the quality of life enjoyed in these areas. Hand-in-hand with an improvement in the quality of life must be an improvement in job creation.

It would be better if we had a more even dispersal of the population in this country. Approximately one-third of the population is concentrated in the east and in Dublin. This is not good because there are areas within that region with 60 to 70 per cent unemployment. These are areas with serious social problems and deprivation, some of which we have seen in the satellite towns in County Dublin.

I support the Bill and commend it to the House.

Donegal South-West): Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a chur in iúl do na Seanadóirí go léir a ghlac páirt sa díospóireacht thábhachtach seo; na Seanadóirí Cotter, Fitzgerald, Gallagher, McGowan, Maloney, agus McGennis.

Tá an Ghaeltacht tábhachtach mar is í tobar na Gaeilge í. Má tá suim againn i dtodhchaí na Gaeilge, caithfear jobanna a chur ar fáil sa Ghaeltacht. Ní bhaineann an Ghaeilge le muintir na Gaeltachta amháin. Tá pobal mór Gaeilge sa tír iomlán agus maireann muintearas agus caidreamh idir na pobail Ghaeltachta agus Ghalltachta. Tá na mílte daoine sa chathair seo a bhfuil suim acu sa Ghaeilge agus a bhfuil baint acu le cúrsaí Gaeilge. Is cairde móra don Ghaeltacht iad. Is í an Ghaeltacht tobar na Gaeilge agus gan an Ghaeltacht agus gan na jobanna sin ní dóigh liom go mbeidh todhchaí ar bith ag an Ghaeilge. Tá mise réasúnta sásta go bhfuil todhchaí ag an Ghaeilge agus go bhfuil i bhfad níos mó suime ag muintir na tíre seo sa Ghaeilge sa lá atá inniu ann ná mar a bhí.

Cruthaíonn ár dteanga rud amháin dúinn, go bhfuil flaitheas againn. Is deas an rud é dul amach go dtí an Comhphobal nó go dtí cruinnithe den Chomhphobal agus ár dteanga féin againn faoi mar atá ag na Francaigh, na Gearmánaigh, na hIodáiligh nó muintir ar bith eile. Ba cheart dúinn úsáid a bhaint as an Ghaeilge gach deis a fhaighimid.

Labhair an Seanadóir Cotter go ginearálta fá dtaobh den Údarás, fá dtaobh den Údarás Fhorbairt Tionscail agus faoi go leor nithe eile. Dúirt sé gur thug mise ráiteas ar stair Údarás na Gaeltachta agus an méid atá déanta acu gan trácht ar bith ar na polasaithe atá againn ó thaobh na Gaeltachta de. Ceapaim go raibh sé tábhachtach an méid sin a rá maidir leis an nGaeltacht agus maidir leis na jobanna atá cruthaithe sa Ghaeltacht le blianta beaga anuas, go háirithe ó 1980 tar éis Údarás na Gaeltachta a bhunú. Deineadh tagairt chomh maith do cé chomh deacair is atá sé do dhaoine agus do chomhlachtaí ón dtír seo agus ó thíortha eile teacht go dtí an Ghaeltacht agus airgead a infheistiú inti. Táimid ar imeall na hEorpa, nó b'fhéidir gur féidir a rá, ar imeall an domhain, agus caithfear an cúram speisialta sin a thabhairt do Údarás na Gaeltachta chun freastal ar an nGaeltacht agus chun an cuidiú atá riachtanach chun comhlachtaí a mhealladh trí dheontais a chur ar fáil do na daoine sin.

Níl an oiread sin difríochta idir na deontaisí atá le fáil ó Údarás na Gaeltachta agus ón Údarás Fhorbairt Tionscail. Má fhéachann tú ar na meán-chostais ar jobanna cífear gur £9,130 an meánchostas anuraidh i gcomparáid le £9,800 i 1991 agus £11,470 i 1990. Má chuireann tú na figiúirí sin i gcomparáid leis na jobanna atá á gcruthú ag an Údarás Fhorbairt Tionscail níl an oiread sin difríochta. Ar ndóigh, tá fadhbanna maidir le infrastructúr agus bóithre sa Ghaeltacht. Is fada an tuaras é ó fhágann tú an teora ag Doire Cholmchille nó Strabane ag dul isteach trí Lifford go dtí Litir Cheanainn agus as sin go dtí an Ghaeltacht, go dtí Ros Ghoill nó na Dúnaibh nó go dtí iarthar an chontae. Agus tá sé ag éirí níos deacra mar tá orainn bunábhair a cheannach taobh amuigh den tír agus iad a thabhairt isteach, a phróiseáil agus a allmhairiú arís. Dá bhrí sin, tá an ceart ag na Seanadóirí a dúirt gur chóir béim a chur ar na hachmhainní nádúrtha atá againn deis ar bith a fhaighimid. Sin an polasaí atá againn. Luaim an tionscal turasóireachta, iascaireacht, talmhaíocht agus na tionscail sin go léir ach go háirithe tionscal na hiascaireachta agus na turasóireachta. Ar ndóigh, níl na cúraimí sin ag Údarás na Gaeltachta go fóill, ach faoi mar adúirt mé cheana, tá mé báúil cúraimí breise a thabhairt do Údarás na Gaeltachta. Tá sé sin á phlé idir an Roinn Ealaíon, Cultúir agus Gaeltachta anois agus an Roinn Turasóireachta agus beidh sé á phlé againn arís amach anseo.

Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil go leor jobanna cruthaithe ansin toisc go bhfuil siad bunaithe ar na hacmhainní nádúrtha atá againn agus caithfear forbairt a dhéanamh air sin. Dúirt an Seanadóir Cotter go gcaithfimid súil ghéar a choinneáil ar an Údarás. Is ceantar mór fairsing í an Ghaeltacht ach níl an oiread sin daoine ina gcónaí ann. Bím féin agus m'Aire an Teachta Higgins agus bhí Airí roimhe sin i dteangbháil go rialta, beagnach gach uile lá, leis an Údarás, le feidhmeannaigh an Údaráis agus le comhaltaí Bhord an Údaráis, agus beimid ag leanúint ar aghaidh leis sin. Labhair an Seanadóir Fitzgerald faoi na deacrachtaí infrastructure atá againn. Ar ndóigh, tagann sé sin faoi chúram an Roinn Comhshaoil ach tá suim againn ann agus déanfar gach iarracht chun an infrastructure a chur in ord ionas go mbeidh daoine sásta teacht isteach agus infheistiú a dhéanamh. Luadh tionscal an olainn. B'fhéidir nach bhfuil an oiread sin taithí agam ar an dtionscal sin ach tá an oiread seo taithí agam: go bhfuil sé deacair an tionscal olainn a fhorbairt os rud é go bhfuil coimhlint ghéar ann i láthair na huaire mar gheall ar na synthetics. Tá an choimhlint ghéar sin ag éirí níos measa. Beidh deis agam castáil le feidhmeannaigh an Údaráis agus is cinnte go bpléifear an cheist sin.

Thug an Seanadóir Gallagher léiriú ghinearálta dúinn maidir leis an mBille seo agus ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a chur in iúl di as ucht an méid a bhí le rá aici, maidir leis an Ghaeltacht agus cé chomh tábhachtach is atá an Bille seo don Ghaeltacht agus do Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Luaigh an Seanadóir McGowan an pointe céanna arís maidir le acmhainní nádúrtha. Luaigh sé an Ghaeltacht Lár agus Baile na Finne agus tionscal na foraoiseachta. Táimid ag déanamh ár ndícheall chun forbairt a dhéanamh ar na hacmhainní sin. Ní jobanna sealadacha amháin atá uainn. Cé go bhfuil jobanna sealadacha agus jobanna pháirtaimseartha — ar ndóigh tá difríocht idir jobanna shealadacha agus jobanna pháirtaimseartha — táimid ag déanamh ár ndícheall jobanna bhuana a chruthú don Ghaeltacht. Ag deireadh na bliana seo caite bhí suas le 5,652 dhuine fostaithe go lánaimseartha i dtionscail sa Ghaeltacht a fuair cuidiú ó Údarás na Gaeltachta thar na blianta i gcomparáid le 5,597 sa bhliain roimhe sin. Chomh maith leis sin táimíd ag fanacht anois ar na jobanna agus na tograí atá ceadaithe againn. Deirtear nuair a bheidh na tograí sin faoi lán seol go mbeidh 1,440 jobanna cruthaithe. Táimid ag súil leis na jobanna sin os rud é gurb iad an dífhostaíocht agus an imirce na fadhbanna is mó atá againn sa Ghaeltacht. Glacaimidne sa Roinn agus in Údarás na Gaeltachta go bhfuil an fhadhb níos measa, b'fhéidir, sa Ghaeltacht ná mar atá sí in áit ar bith eile sa tír, agus caithfear, mar sin, gach uile chuidiú a thabhairt don Údarás.

Dobfhéidir a fhiafraí an bhfuil an Rialtas seo dáiríre faoin nGaeilge, agus faoi jobanna a chruthú sa Ghaeltacht. Tá léiriú ar dháiríreacht an Rialtais sna Meastacháin a foilsíodh an tseachtain seo caite. Sa bhliain 1992, cuireadh £15.694 mhilliún ar fáil do chaiteachas reatha agus i bhfoirm deontas agus airleacan don Údarás. I mbliana, ainneoin fadhbanna airgeadais na tíre, tá méadú tagtha ar airgead na Gaeltachta. Cuirfear £19.293 mhilliún ar fáil, breis is £3.5 mhilliún d'árdú ar suim na bliana seo caite.

Tá 1,400 jobanna nua, beagnach, sa "pipeline" mar a dúirt an Seanadóir Cotter agus tá súil agam go mbeidh siad ar fáil idir 1993 agus 1994.

Fear as Contae Dhún na nGall is ea an Seanadóir Maloney agus tá a fhois aige mar atá ag na Seanadóirí eile, cé chomh tábhachtach is atá an Ghaeltacht. Tá áthas orm go bhfuil gach duine anseo chomh báúil sin leis an nGaeltacht, cé gur dóigh liom nach bhfuil ach duine amháin eile, seachas mé féin, ina chónaí sa Ghaeltacht.

Tá Sam Maguire ina chónaí sa Ghaeltacht anois.

(Donegal South-West): Bhíomar ag fanacht tamall fada leis. Chífimid ar an Domhnach i gcoinne Corcaigh an bhfuilimid maith go leor leis an corn sin a ghlacadh ar ais i mbliana.

Tá cuntas ginearálta tugtha agam ar na pointí a chuala mé anseo inniu. Bille teicniúil é seo agus pléadh ceisteanna éagsúla Gaeltachta thairis sin. Tá súil agam nach fada go dtí go mbeidh deis agam Údarás na Gaeltachta agus an Ghaeltacht a phlé arís anseo.

Níl baint díreach ag an ngné seo le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta ach mar chruthú ar dháiríreacht an Rialtais i leith na Gaeltachta meabhraím díobh gur ardaíodh an deontas le haghaidh teach nua ó £2,000 go £3,000 sa cháinaisnéis inné. Bhí deontas £3,000 ar fáil do theach nua sa Ghaeltacht go dtí seo; beidh deontas £4,000 ar fáil as seo amach agus deontas £6,000 ar son teach nua a thógáil ar oileán Gaeltachta. Cuideoidh sé sin go mór le muintir na n-oileán.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Aontaíodh na Céimeanna eile a thógáil inniú.