As I have outlined on a number of occasions in this House, I am satisfied that considerable progress has been made to date in the implementation, on a phased basis, of the provisions of the Official Languages Act 2003.
A total of 43 schemes prepared by public bodies, including that of my own Department, have now been confirmed by me and published. In addition, my Department is in discussion with in excess of 70 additional public bodies in relation to completion or commencement of the process of drafting a scheme.
Although all provisions of the Act are now in operation a number of these only came into operation on 14 July 2006.
As the Deputy will be aware on 14 December 2006 both the Dáil and the Seanad approved a draft of Regulations dealing with the use of the Irish and English languages by public bodies in pre-recorded oral announcements, on stationery and on signage. I expect to be in a position to make the Regulations shortly.
The implementation of the Act is under continuing review by my Department, but I would stress that its implementation is a long-term project. I have outlined my plans for development of a long-term strategy for Irish in replies to other Questions in the House today.