Fine Gael TD for Galway West & Mayo South

Additional funding secured to support the Irish Language and Gaeltacht and Island communities

Gaeltacht communities and the Irish language will benefit from the additional funding secured in Budget 2020. The funding for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands section of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in 2020 stands at almost €58 million, a €2.5 million increase.

The allocation includes an additional €1 million in capital funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta bringing to €10 million the core capital allocation for the Gaeltacht agency, its highest funding in a decade.

There is an additional €500,000 for the Language Planning Process to support language plans, such as those recently launched in An Cheathru Rua and Rosmuc. Additional funding of €275,000 has also been secured for transport services to the islands.

My department provides funding and support for Gaeltacht communities, island communities and for the Irish language. From education and learning, to business and enterprise, to transport and infrastructure, the supports from Government are essential and will, through Budget 2020, be secured and enhanced for next year.

The additional funding secured will fund numerous organisations and programmes in Galway and beyond through the Gaeltacht Support Scheme, the Irish Language Support Scheme and the Islands programme.

With the threat of Brexit, the funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta, which will be augmented with additional funding in the event of a No Deal Brexit, will help the organisation continue to support its client companies which range from multinationals to start-ups. Údarás supports over 7,600 jobs in our Gaeltacht communities, including almost 3,000 in Galway alone. Its work is essential to the sustainability and prosperity of communities across every Gaeltacht.

The additional funding for the Language Planning Process will help strengthen the language plans and fund the measures under these community-driven initiatives to safeguard the future of Irish as the community language in many parts of country and on our islands.

Budget 2020 has been prepared in the context of the serious threat posed by Brexit, in particularly a No Deal Brexit which could severely impact rural Ireland, including the Gaeltacht and the Islands. We have to ensure we have the resources to mitigate its worst effects.