Gaeltacht areas will be identified by use of Irish and not geographical location

Irish Times 4 June 2011

Dinny McGinley
Dinny McGinley
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images
A NEW BILL that will be put forward by the government will see Gaeltacht areas in Ireland identified by how much the Irish language is used instead of geographical location.
The Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs Dinny McGinley also said yesterday that Údarás na Gaeltachta is to retain its statutory functions but with more ministerial input into its functions.
He was outlining the government’s plans to implement the 20-year strategy for the Irish language in a new bill to be prepared later this year.
The Irish Examiner reports that the new plans to change the identification of Gaeltacht areas will be determined by the use of the language.
At least two-thirds of the district’s population must now be shown by census data to be daily speakers of Irish.
Other determining factors will include the use of the language in the area’s social and institutional domains such as sports clubs and schools.
McGinley said the future of Údarás is secure but that the board will be reconstituted and reduced with elected members replaced by State and local authority appointees to save an estimated half-a-million euro, according to the Irish Times.
Details of how a mechanism to facilitate the co-operation between Údarás and non-Gaeltacht enterprise agencies with regard to “significant projects with high potential” will also be revealed when the legislation is introduced later this year.
The Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht will retain primary responsibility for the Irish language in and outside Gaeltacht areas. Meanwhile Foras na Gaeilge will contune its role as the agency of the North South Language Implementation Body, the Irish Times adds.