Greens welcome intent of new Irish Language Bill, say ambition lacking
Leagan Gaeilge thíos/Irish Language version below

The Green Party has today welcomed the intent behind a new bill designed to increase service provision in the Irish Language but has criticised the ‘lack of ambition’ in the draft legislation.

The Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019 was approved by Cabinet at its weekly meeting on Tuesday morning and is due to be published on Thursday.

The legislation provides for a national plan which will identify language gaps, harmonise standards between departments and agencies and require public bodies to recognise the use of the síneadh fada and addresses in Irish. It also proposes that 20% of newly recruited civil servants should have competency in the Irish Language but does not set out a timeframe for that target.

Green Party Irish Language spokesperson Cllr Peter Kavanagh said:

“This bill has been called for by Irish speakers, their representative organisations and Gaeltacht communities for many years, and much of its contents are to be warmly welcomed. Unfortunately, targets without timeframes betray a lack of ambition and commitment. Without any idea of when Government departments will be able to carry out a bare minimum of functions in the first language of the state, Irish speakers are no better off than they were last week.”

The bill, which was amended from a previous draft that Minister of State Seán Kyne criticised as “not ambitious enough”, seeks to address failings across Government departments that the Green Party have pointed out in the past.

Cllr Kavanagh said:

“The Official Languages Act (2003) sets out a broad policy platform on a whole-Government basis, but its implementation under successive Fine Gael governments has been severely lacking. Not one Government department had a full-time Irish Language Officer in 2018, and the majority had no-one designated to oversee responsibilities under the Act, even on a part-time basis. While we welcome any steps to address this, the lack of solid timeframes leads me to believe that this will be no different. Gaeltacht residents and native speakers have serious difficulties in accessing services in their first language. It costs nothing to recruit a cohort of bilingual Irish speakers, as opposed to monoglot English speakers, with no loss of service for the majority of the population. Unfortunately, as we don’t have any idea when this will happen, it looks like business as usual.”


Chuir an Comhaontas Glas fáilte roimh aidhm bhille nua atá tiomanta ar seirbhísí i nGaeilge a fheabhsú, ach cháin an páirtí “easpa uaillmhéine” sa reachtaíocht, atá ina dréacht.

Mhol an chomhaireacht Bille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla (Leasú) 2019 ar an Máirt agus foilseofar an bille ar an Déardaoin. Sa reachtaíocht leagtar amach plean náisiúnta le bearnaí teanga a aithint, moltar caighdeán comhchuí idir ranna rialtais agus cuirtear iachall ar chomhlachtaí poiblí glacadh le síntí fada agus seoltaí i nGaeilge. Mar aon leis seo, moltar go mbeadh 20% de státseirbhísigh earcaithe amach anseo ábalta feidhmiú trí mheán na Gaeilge, ach ní leagtar amach amchlár len é seo a bhaint amach.

Deir urlabhraí na Gaeilge don Chomhaontas Glas, an Comhairleoir Peter Kavanagh:

“Tá pobal na Gaeilge, pobal na Gaeltachta agus a n-eagraíochtaí ionadaíocha ag éileamh an bhille seo le fada an lá, agus tá fáilte mhór roimh an-chuid de. Faraor, níl i gceist le sprioc gan amchlár ach easpa uaillmhéine agus easpa tiomantais. Gan aon chliú cathain a beadh ranna rialtais in ann fiú an méidín is lú a dhéanamh trí mheán na Gaeilge, níl pobal na Gaeilge nó muintir na Gaeltachta níos fearr as ná mar a bhí an tseachtain seo caite.”

Is leasú é an bille seo ar dhréacht ní ba luaithe, a cháin an tAire Seán Kyne as a easpa uaillmhéine féin, atá dírithe ar dul i gceann laigeachtaí i ranna rialtais a d’aithin an Comhaontas Glas.

Deir an Comhairleoir Kavanagh:

“Leagann Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla (2003) amach ardán leathan pholasaí ar bhonn uile-rialtais, ach tar éis rialtas i ndiaidh rialtais le Fine Gael tá an chur chuige iomlán míshásúil. I 2018 tuairiscíodh nach raibh fiú Oifigeach Gaeilge lánaimseartha amháin ag feidhmiú in aon roinn rialtais, agus go raibh formhór na rann ag feidhmiú gan fiú oifigeach páirthaimseartha. Cé go bhfáiltimid roimh aon chéim chun é seo a réitiú, tugann easpa amchláir le fios gur gnó mar is gnáth atá i gceist anseo. Tá deacrachtaí ollmhóra ag cainteoirí dúchais agus muintir na Gaeltachta rochtain a fháil ar seribhísí ina dteanga féin. Ní chosnaíonn sé faic sa bhreis cainteoirí dátheangacha Gaeilge a earcú in ionad chainteoirí aonteangacha Béarla, gan aon easpa seirbhíse don Bhéarlóir. Faraor, toisc nach bhfuil a fhios againn cathain a tharlóidh seo, ní athróidh an bille seo an scéal.”

CRÍOCH

Tá an Comhaontas Glas tar éis fáilte a chur roimh chúig Ghaelscoil nua i mBaile Átha Cliath atá fógartha ag an Aire Oideachais Joe McHugh inniu.

Dúirt urlabhraí Ghaeilge an Chomhaontais Ghlais, an Comhairleoir Peter Kavanagh, atá mar chomhairleoir i Ráth Cúil, Teach Sagart agus an Caisleán Nua, a bheadh mar shuíomh Ghaelscoil nua, “Is aitheantas é seo ar fheachtasaíocht an phobail áitiúil, le tacaíocht ó pháirtithe polaitiúla, eagraíochtaí agus fiú an Comisinéir Teanga. Fáiltím go mór roimh na Gaelscoile nua i mo cheantar, a chomhlíonfaidh éileamh mór sna dúiche seo.”

Dár leis an ESRI, tá suas go 23% de thuimitheoirí ag iarraidh a gcuid páistí a sheoladh ar Ghaelscoil, ach níl ach 8% de bhunscoileanna na tíre ina mbunscoileanna.

“Tá a fhios go maith againn,” arsa an Caomhánach, “na buntáistí a bhaineann leis an dátheangachas agus an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge mar acmhainn náisúnta don phobal ar fad.”

The Green party has welcomed the announcement of 5 new Gaelscoileanna in Dublin, made by Education Minister Joe McHugh today.

Irish Language spokesperson Cllr. Peter Kavanagh, a county councillor for Rathcoole, Newcastle and Saggart, the area one of the new schools will serve, said, “This is an acknowledgement of the campaigning by local parents with support from political parties, organisations and even An Coimisinéir Teanga. This new Gaelscoil will satisfy massive demand and is most welcome.”

According to the ESRI, up to 23% of parents would choose a Gaelscoil education for their children, but only 8% of primary schools are Gaelscoileanna.

“We know well,” said Cllr. Kavanagh, “the benefits of bilingualism and the importance of Irish as a national resource for the entire community.”

To facilitate the 10k Road Race, South Dublin County Council has made an order to temporarily close roads in the Grange Castle/Clondalkin Area on Sunday 21st July 2019 from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm.

In order to facilitate the 10k Road Race, it is proposed to close the following roads from 10.30 am to 12.30pm.

  • St. John’s Grove Clondalkin.
  • The access from St. John’s Road West onto Fonthill Road South.
  • Tower Road Clondalkin.
  • Old Nangor Road from its junction with the Tower Road to the Community Centre access.
  • New Nangor Road from its junction with the Ninth Lock Road to its junction with Fonthill Road.

In addition the southbound carriageway of the Grange Castle Road (R136) will be closed from the Lynch’s Lane Roundabout to the Corkagh Park Roundabout between 10.00am and 11.15am.

The Fonthill Road South will be closed to traffic from the Cherrywood Roundabout to the Boot Rd/ Convent Road between 10.15am and 12.00 noon.

The Ninth Lock Road will be closed to northbound traffic (i.e. towards Ronanstown) from the Grand Canal to Orchard Lane between 10.30am and 12.30pm. During these times there will be no access to/from Michael Collins Park, St. Patrick’s Road/ Park.

 

Convent Road Clondalkin will be open to south bound traffic (i.e. away from Clondalkin Village) only from its junction with St. Bridget’s Road to Clondalkin Main Street between 10.30am and 12.30pm. There will be restricted access to/from St. Anthony’s Avenue, St. John’s Road and Moyle Crescent during these times.

In addition to the above closures traffic on the route may experience delays at any time between 10.00am and 12.30pm.

Emergency Access will be maintained at all times.

We must protect, restore, and build for the future in every part of Ireland – that is the message at the Green Party local election launch.

Green Party candidates are setting out a vision for better connected, cleaner communities and thriving nature.

At the launch of the Green Party’s local election manifesto candidates called for local authorities to:

  1. Plant 1 million native trees

This comes as part of the Green Party pledge to protect nature, restore habitats, and give people the right to green space locally. We want local councils to empower communities to plant 1 million native trees across the county during the lifetime of the local government.

  1. Make the social housing stock A-rated 

We are calling on local authorities to commit to retrofitting Ireland’s social housing stock to A-rating. Everyone deserves it live in a home that is safe, warm, and energy efficient. This is an important step in preparing our communities for a post-Carbon future.

  1. Invest ten-fold more in cycling locally

The Green Party want the provision of cycling infrastructure to expand massively from 1% of the transport budget to 10%. This will free up funds for well-connected, segregated cycle lanes and cycle parks near public transport hubs around the country. This is part of the Green Party’s broader commitment to move the transport budget away from roads and two to one in favour of public transport, walking and cycling

Green Party Director of Election Roderic O’Gorman said:

 

“The Green Party has seen a surge in membership and candidates since our last local election. We are running double the number of candidates we ran in 2014 and this gives a lot more people the opportunity to vote Green in 2019.

 

“North and south we are running 108 candidates in the upcoming local elections.

 

“Speaking to people on the doors there is a real appetite for the vision we are offering locally and that is about protecting and restoring nature, providing great public services, and building our communities and economy for the years to come.

 

Speaking following the launch, Green Party Spokesperson for Local Government Cllr Malcolm Noonan said that Local Government had a pivotal role to play in leading, enabling and inspiring action on climate change but was constantly being undermined by the two big parties in Ireland who have an inherent distrust of local autonomy.

 

“Since the foundation of the State, big government has never trusted little government; evidenced by recent ‘reforms’ of local government and local community participation. Phil Hogan ripped local government to shreds in 2014 by abolishing an important tier of town and borough councils. Furthermore, he shopped out community development as a service to be tendered for. Well the Greens believe in local government even if Fine Gael don’t,” said Cllr Noonan.

 

“We want to put participative democracy back into the heart of local governance to lead the transformative changes required to our energy systems, transportation and the delivery of sustainable, affordable and ecological homes in connected communities. We think that the role of Local Government should be widened, not narrowed.”

Leagan Béarla thíos/English version below

Tá an Comhaontas Glas tar éis tacú le ráiteas an Choimisinéara Teanga go bhfuil aschur Gaeilge RTÉ easnamhach. Deir urlabhraí Gaeilge an Chomhaontais Ghlais, Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh, atá ina iarrthóir toghchána i gCluain Dolcáin, “Cuirimid fáilte roimh an iniúchadh seo faoi Acht na Craoltóireachta a nochtann an fhírinne a bhí ar eolas ag Gaeil na tíre roimhe seo, nach bhfuil ach fíorbheagán d’aschur RTÉ sa Teanga Náisiúnta. Níl an béalghrá don teanga seo maith a dhóthain in aon chor, go háirithe agus TG4 á cháineadh faoi láthair as cláracha Gaeilge gan ach céatadán beag den dialóg i nGaeilge.”

Deir tuairisc bhliaintiúil an Choimisinéara go bhfuil roinnt mhaith de na seánraí atá dualgas ar RTÉ cláracha Gaeilge a dhéanamh iontu gan clár ar bith i nGaeilge nó gan ach fíorbheagán cláracha i nGaeilge.

Arsa an Caomhánach, “Tá an domhan craoltóireachta ag éirí casta, le seirbhísí sruthaithe teilifíse ar-líne le fail go forleathan. Sa domhan seo, caithfidh RTÉ cuimhneamh ar a ndualgais i leith chur chun cinn na teanga. Is air sin, agus ar chraoltóireacht ar mhaithe le leas an phobail, a ndíolaimid costas an cheadúnais.”

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RTÉ must end “Lip Service” to Irish Language – Greens

The Green Party has today supported a statement by the Language Commissioner that RTÉ’s Irish language output is “seriously deficient”. The Green Party’s Irish Language Spokesperson, Peter Kavanagh, who is running for a council seat in Clondalkin, said, “We welcome the findings of the investigation carried out under the Broadcasting Act that reveal a stark truth well-known beforehand to Irish speakers, that RTÉ’s Irish language content is seriously deficient. This lip service to the language is not good enough, especially with TG4 currently under fire for producing some Irish language content with only a small percentage of Irish language dialogue.”

The annual report of the language commissioner for 2018 also said that some of the genres RTÉ is obliged to cover in Irish by the Broadcasting Act, were either “not catered for at all by RTÉ” or “only catered for in a very limited fashion”.

Kavanagh said, “The broadcasting world is becoming more complex, with ready access to online streaming services. In this changing world, RTÉ must be cogniscent of its role in promoting the Irish language. It is for this reason, as well as for public service broadcasting, that we pay the license fee.”

As 40,000 nurses and midwives take the picket line today the Green Party says that supporting our nurses is crucial to developing a decent public healthcare system.

Peter Kavanagh with striking nurses and midwives
Peter Kavanagh with striking nurses and midwives

Eamon Ryan Green Party leader said:

“We stand with the nurses in their claims. The conditions that many nurses face on a daily basis are totally unacceptable. Understaffed wards are putting patients at risk. We will not have a decent healthcare system without valuing our nurses and this means dealing with pay, conditions and staffing levels.

“The Green Party is hopeful this will be resolved through the Labour Court. The nursing profession has developed over the last few decades and we believe this needs to be recognised through pay and that this can be done in a way that is consistent with the existing agreement. There is also scope for improvements in pay and conditions through the implementation of Sláintecare and the new National Maternity Plan.

“We believe that without radical structural reform of the Health Service we will continue to see large numbers of patients on waiting lists and on trolleys. Such structural reform has the potential to improve working conditions for nurses and other allied health professionals and is a more sustainable way to improve conditions for patients. We believe the long term solution to the recruitment and retention crisis will be improved by increasing capacity in the system, removing obstacles to good practice and making the health system functional.”

In the face of the increasing climate crisis, the Government today has killed the Climate Emergency Measures Bill by putting it into committee limbo.

The bill, which would have helped Ireland meet its climate change responsibilities by keeping oil and gas in the ground, is now stalled with no clear way forward.

The Leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan, said:

“Despite dire warning from climate scientists and reports showing we are the worst in the EU, we still see this Fine Gael government brazenly stop clear measures that would help us meet our climate change responsibilities.

“By stopping this bill moving forward they are holding future generations, who will have to deal with this growing crisis, in contempt.

“It is utterly irresponsible not to react to this growing crisis. Climate experts say we have just 12 years to tackle climate change yet Fine Gael are again sitting on their hands. 

“This action is clearly morally bankrupt but it is also economically damaging as it keeps investment in fossil fuels when it should be moving to renewable energy. We need to signal to investors that the way forward is in renewable energy. Our communities and businesses need to be supported to make that change.

“We are not going to accept this decision to stall the Bill and we will continue to fight this through the Committee on Procedure.”

The Green Party are introducing a motion today calling for the government to take decisive action on the problem of plastic waste. They are asking the new Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and the Environment to fully support the Green Party’s Waste Reduction Bill, which has received broad cross-party support but is currently being held up by Government at committee stage.

Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste in Europe, producing the equivalent of nearly 2,000
water bottles or 5,550 disposable coffee cups per person per annum. The Waste Reduction Bill seeks to combat this by introducing a deposit  and refund scheme for drinks containers and imposing a ban on single-use plastics such as plastic coffee cups. Similar schemes have been introduced successfully in countries such as the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden, resulting in recycling rates of over 90%.

 

 

 

Green Party representative for Dublin Mid West, Peter Kavanagh said, “Plastic waste spoils the natural beauty of our countryside and is a plague on our towns and villages. It’s terrible for tourism. Clondalkin has seen an increase in tourists staying locally recently, and a lot of the feedback I’m hearing is how much litter can be seen despite the best efforts of Clondalkin Tidy Towns. A deposit refund scheme would create an incentive for people to dispose of drinks containers properly. I’ve seen it firsthand when I lived and worked in Austria. It’s about time the government got behind our efforts to tackle this problem.”

Leagan Béarla thíos/English version below

Leagan Gaeilge thíos/Irish version below

The Green Party has called for an additional €12m to be invested in the Irish language to stimulate employment in Gaeltacht areas and encourage language use in non-Gaeltacht areas through a new Irish language childcare scheme, as part of the party’s Budget 2019 Submission. The Party believes this investment would see the creation of 1,000 new jobs, leading to an economic impact of €42m in the most marginalised parts of the country.

Irish Language Spokesperson Peter Kavanagh, the party’s General Election candidate in Dublin Mid West, welcomed the call for investment. “The protection of Irish is in keeping with the founding principles of the Green Party. We believe that the conservation of resources is vital for a sustainable society and the Irish language is our most important cultural resource,” he said, “Údarás na Gaeltachta saw its capital budget reduced by 70% during the recession. In the same period the IDA budget was increased 24% and Enterprise Ireland’s budget was increased 19%.  Despite this, Údarás na Gaeltachta creates approximately 500 jobs per year in Gaeltacht areas – those areas most affected by recession and austerity and those areas yet to feel the effects of Ireland’s economic recovery. We need to invest in these areas and preserve our cultural heritage.”

Party leader Eamon Ryan said, “The Irish language is an important cultural resource for the people of Ireland, but it is a vulnerable and damaged resource which needs to be protected. As the caretakers of the Earth, we have the responsibility to pass on its resources, including its cultural and linguistic resources, in a fit and healthy state to future generations. We want to see real investment in the language and the communities that use it, through language planning, Irish language centres and through restoring the Gaeltacht Placement Grant for trainee teachers.”

The party also called for a €2m investment in Irish language childcare in urban areas. Peter Kavanagh said, “We want to invest a million euro into early-years Irish language childcare in Dublin, and a million in total into Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Cork, for a pilot scheme for children who are being raised through Irish. The reality is that appropriate childcare options are not available for parents raising their children through Irish. People are leaving the physical Gaeltacht because of a lack of investment and lack of opportunities. We need to copper-fasten the future of the language within traditional Gaeltachtaí and among the whole language community outside the Gaeltacht.”

 


 

Tá an Comhaontas Glas ag éileamh infheistíocht breise de €12m sa Ghaeilge chun fostaíocht Gaeltachta a spreagadh agus chun cur le húsáid na Gaeilge sa Ghalltacht trí scéim nua cúram leanaí trí mheán na Gaeilge, mar chuid d’aighneas Cáinaisnéise an pháirtí. Creideann an Comhaontas Glas go gcruthóidh an maoiniú breise seo os cionn 1000 post, le tionchar eacnamaíoch de €42m sna háiteanna is imeallaithe sa tír.

Deir Urlabhraí Gaeilge an Chomhaontais Ghlais, agus iarrthóir toghchána i mBaile Átha Cliath Thiar Meán, Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh go mbeidh fáilte roimh an infheistíocht. “Tá cosaint agus caomhnú na Gaeilge ag teacht lenár n-aidhmeanna mar pháirtí. Creidimis gur cóir achmhainní nádúrtha na tíre riachtanach chun sochaí inbhuanaithe a thógáil, agus is í an Ghaeilge an achmhainn cultúrtha is tábhachtaí atá againn,” ar sé, “Le linn an chúlú eacnamaíochta gearradh buiséad caipitil Údarás na Gaeltachta 70%, cé gur tháinig borradh 24% ar bhuiséad an IDA agus méadú 19% ar bhuiséad an IDA. In ainneoin seo, cruthaíonn Údarás na Gaeltachta 500 post nua sa bhliain i gceantair Ghaeltachta – na háiteanna is mó scoite amach agus imeallaithe sa tír agus nach bhfuil téarnamh ar bith le braith. Caithfimid infheistíocht a dhéanamh sna ceantair seo chun ár n-oidhreacht chultúrtha a chaomhnú.”

Arsa ceannaire an pháirtí Eamon Ryan, “Is achmhainn chultúrtha tabhachtach í an Ghaeilge do mhuintir na hÉireann, ach tá sí leochaileach agus i mbaol agus caithfear í a chosaint. Mar fheighlithe an domhain, tá sé de dhualgas orainn achmhainní an phlainéid a chuir ar aghaidh slán agus iomlán don chéad ghlúin eile, ina measc siúd na hachmhainní cultúrtha agus teanga. Tá fíorinfheistíocht ag teastáil uainn sa teanga agus sa phobal teanga trí phleanáil teanga, trí lárionaid Ghaeilge agus trí maoiniú a thabhairt ar ais do shochrúcháin Ghaeltachta do na múinteoirí faoi oiliúint.”

Tá an páirtí ag lorg €2m d’infheistíocht i scéim chúraim leanaí trí mheán na Gaeilge lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht. A deir an Caomhánach, “Táimid ag iarraidh milliúin Euro a chur isteach i gcúram leanaí luathbhlianta trí Ghaeilge i mBaile Átha Cliath, agus milliúin eile idir Luimneach, Gaillimh, Corcaigh agus Port Láirge, le haghaidh scéim phíolótach do pháistí atá á tógáil trí mheán na Gaeilge. Is é fírinne an scéil ná nach bhfuil achmhainní cuí do na teaghlaigh seo. Tá pobal na Gaeltachta ag bogadh amach as an nGaeltacht fhisiciúil toisc easpa infheistíochta, easpa áiseanna agus easpa deiseanna. Caithfear todhchaí na Gaeilge a chaomhnú trí infheistíocht ní amháin sna Gaeltachtaí, ach sa phobal teanga iomlán sa Ghalltacht chomh maith.”