Government must support Gaeltacht communities as summer courses cancelled – Greens

Leagan Gaeilge thíos – Irish language version below

The Green Party has called on the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to step in and offset the losses Gaeltacht communities will face as summer courses are cancelled.

The influx of visitors to colleges in Gaeltacht regions over the summer months, as well as student teachers who also spend several weeks of the year in these communities, is worth around €50 million to the Gaeltacht economy. While no decision has been taken by Government to shut down summer courses, over 20 coláistí samhradh have already cancelled their programmes for the school holidays and reports of an imminent cancellation have circulated on broadcast media.

Cllr Peter Kavanagh, Green Party Spokesperson for the Irish Language, said:

“Gaeltacht areas are among the most deprived in the country, and many rely on the income from this annual influx of students and teachers. Many households count on this money to make ends meet, and without it these already marginalised areas run the risk of falling further behind.”

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht did not respond to queries asking whether supports will be allocated to colleges affected by the current Covid-19 public health emergency. Coláiste Lurgan last week announced that all three-week summer courses were to be cancelled, and that students could seek a refund or transfer their deposits to 2021 courses or online activities.

Cllr Kavanagh said that while the summer colleges must be supported to offer alternative arrangements for students, the communities dependent on these courses will require more direct support.

“Gaeltacht areas are underfunded compared even to the most deprived areas of rural Ireland. Without the annual income from summer colleges, the mná tí and their families, the local shops and businesses, and the wider Gaeltacht communities will suffer. It’s up to Government to step up and show that the Gaeltacht, the heart of the Irish language, will be protected.”


Picture © Copyright Oliver Dixon and licensed for reuse.

Tacaíocht ón Rialtas ag teastáil ó phobail Ghaeltachta agus cursaí samhradh ar ceal – Comhaontas Glas

Tá an Comhaontas Glas ag iarraidh ar an Roinn Cultúir Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta tacú le pobail Ghaeltachta agus cúiteamh a thabhairt nuair a laghdaíonn ioncam agus cursaí samhradh á chur ar ceal.

Is fiú thart ar €50 milliún sa bhliain do gheilleagair áitiúla nuair a thagann daltaí agus múinteoirí chun na Gaeltachta. Cé nach bhfuil sé fógartha go hoifigiúl ag an Roinn go bhfuil cursaí samhradh le cur ar ceal, tá os cionn 20 coláiste samhraidh tar éis clár an tsamhraidh a chealú cheana féin agus tá tuairiscí scaipthe sna meáin go bhfuil forógra le teacht.

Deir an Comhairleoir Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh, Urlabhraí na Gaeilge leis an gComhaontas Glas,:

“Tá na Gaeltachtaí faoi chois cheana féin, agus braitheann said go mór ar an airgead seo gach bliain. Tá an t-airgead seo ag teastáil ó theaghlaigh Gaeltachta chun cuid a chur le costas, agus gan é tá an baol ann go mbeadh an Ghaeltacht níos faide scoite amach ná riamh.”

Níor fhreagar an Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta ceisteanna an tseachtain seo caite maidir le cúiteamh do choláistí samhradh atá thíos leis an ngéarchéim COVID-19. D’fhógair Coláiste Lurgan go mbeadh cursaí 2020 curtha ar ceal agus go mbeadh daltaí i dteidil aisíoca nó an éarlais a aistriú go 2021 nó cursa ar-líne.

Dar leis an gCaomhánach, cé go bhfuil sé tábhachtach go dtacófar le coláistí samhradh athshocrú a thairscint do dhaltaí, bheadh cúiteamh díreach ag teastáil ó phobail Ghaeltachta.

“Tá níos lú maoinithe ag dul go Gaeltachtaí na tíre fiú ná na háiteanna tuaithe is imeallaithe. Gan ioncam bliantúil ó na cursaí samhradh, is na mná tí, a dteaghlaigh, na siopaí agus na gnóthaí áitiúla a bheas thíos leis. Is faoin Rialtas atá sé taispeáint go bhfuil na Gaeltachtaí, mar chroílár na Gaeilge, tábhachtach agus gur fiú iad a chosaint.”

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