‘Sustainable strategy needed for Foras na Gaeilge’ – Bradley
SDLP Newry and Armagh MLA Dominic Bradley has said that current plans for future funding by Irish Language body Foras na Gaeilge could prove seriously detrimental to the future of much of the Irish language promotion sector in the North. Bradley also called for the development and implementation of an Executive strategy on the Irish Language promised in the Programme for Government, when he proposed an Assembly motion on Foras’s future funding of organisations.
Speaking after the motion passed, he said: “Current plans for funding, which will axe the core funding facility, will remove the ability for the small voluntary groups who make up most of the promoters of the Irish language to compete with private providers in a tendering system. Introducing competition to the sector will stifle innovation, commercialize a cultural entity and narrow the activities available. In addition to this, doing so in a complete policy vacuum on the part of the NI Executive makes no sense.”
“An all-island approach to the promotion of our island’s native language is admirable, but it must include both North and South and Foras’s current plans, based purely on a strategy from the government in the south without reference to any strategy from the Northern Executive is not wise and not sustainable.”
He added, We have a very loyal and very able voluntary sector which works very hard to enhance the Irish Language’s standing in our society – freezing it out and squeezing the provision available cannot do anything but harm to the Irish Language and we call for all parties involved to engage with public representatives and the Executive in addition to relevant agencies in the South to reflect and develop a sustainable, viable strategy to give the community the strongest possible Irish Language sector.”
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