Irish Times 12/01/2014

An Foras Pátrúnachta / Press / Irish Times 12/01/2014

Anger over State’s treatment of Irish language

Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times.

Public meeting hears of crisis in State provision of services for Irish speakers.

A nationwide campaign to address the Government’s failure to provide ongoing support for the Irish language is due to be launched in the coming weeks.

Over 200 people attended a public meeting in Dublin on Saturday organised by Conradh na Gaeilge in response to the resignation last month of an Commisineir Teanga Seán Ó Cuirreáin.

The meeting heard that Mr Ó Cuirreáin resigned his position in protest at the failure by Government to implement legislation designed to improve services to the public through Irish.

The Liberty Hall meeting saw speakers debate and suggest different forms of protest that might feature in the forthcoming campaign. The campaign will seek the implementation by Government of measures to ensure language rights and equality for Irish speakers..

The Government’s refusal to implement recommendations made by an Commisineir Teanga was roundly criticised at the meeting.

Several speakers also said they were disappointed at the level of media coverage of Mr Ó Cuirreáin’s resignation from his ombudsman’s role. In contrast to the airtime allocated to the recent controversy surrounding the Limerick City of Culture project, the meeting heard that Mr Ó Cuirreáin’s resignation barely made the mainstream headlines.

“Sean Ó Cuirreáin’s resignation has really galvanised people – there is a real sense of crisis that needs to be addressed,” said Conradh na Gaeilge general secretary Julian de Spáinn.