A list of priorities recommended by the Department of the Gaeltacht to the Minister and the newly appointed Minister of State for the Gaeltacht in information notes
A total of 123 people were employed in Irish language services in the institutions of the European Union at the end of last year, according to a newly published information memorandum to the Minister and the new Minister of State appointed in the Department of the Gaeltacht six weeks ago.
There are 34 Irish language staff working in the European Commission, 29 in the General Secretariat, 23 in the European Parliament and 10 in the Court of Justice.
The rest work as lone workers or in small groups among other Union institutions.
Many of these jobs were created as a result of the decision to give Irish status as an official and working language of the European Union in 2007.
As a result of this status, all legislation adopted by both the European Parliament and the Council must be translated into Irish and interpretation from Irish must be available at any plenary session of the European Parliament and at several meetings of the Council. .
Some of these language duties were allowed to be relaxed until a full team of Irish language translators and interpreters were trained to take up work.
The information memorandum to the newly appointed ministers states that “continuing to work closely with the EU institutions, the Irish education system and other stakeholders” is a recognized “priority” to ensure that people with sufficient Irish language ability available so that the derogation can be ended by 2022.
Other priorities identified by Roinn na Gaeltachta for the period ahead include:
- Initiate a review of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s governance structure in line with the Program for Government commitment (3 months)
- Enact the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019 and lay the related Regulations before the Houses of the Oireachtas. (6 months)
- Publish new draft standards for the type of service through Irish provided by public bodies to replace existing language schemes (3 months)
- Appointment of new chairperson and board members to the board of Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Board (6 months)
- Foras na Gaeilge and An Bord Ultaise business plans to be approved by the North-South Ministerial Council (3 months)
- Publish Reviews of the Language Assistants Scheme and the Wellbeing Scheme (3 months)
- Obtain Government approval for the first annual report on the implementation of the 5 year Action Plan for the Irish Language, 2018 to 2022, and publish it (3 months)
- Approve and implement language plans in each of the 26 Language Planning Areas as well as the first 3 Irish Language Networks (6 months)
- Obtain Government approval for and publish Digital Plan for Irish (6 months)
- Contribute to the Irish language commitments set out in the agreement New Era, New Approach deliver the re-establishment of the northern Executive (6 months)