Bradley questions Foras na Gaeilge funding model

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Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley has questioned officials from Foras na Gaeilge on its new funding model for the Irish language during a meeting of the Assembly’s Cultural, Arts and Leisure Committee. Commenting after the meeting Bradley said he was concerned that the new funding model for core Irish language organisations may lead to a weakening of the Irish language community infrastructure in the North. “My concerns,” Bradley explained, “centre around the possible loss of service across a range of sectors for the Irish language community – lack of continuity and consistency in development and delivery of services; loss to the language sector in this jurisdiction of experience and expertise. “A loss of established networks, relationships and knowledge; loss of flexibility which will hamper creativity and the ability to grasp and respond to new, innovative opportunities which do not fit neatly into the prescribed framework; and loss of the independent voice of the Irish language voluntary sector, a requisite for any democratic society and an issue of particular concern in the north given the continuing volatility of attitudes towards Irish in society here. He added, “Foras na Gaeilge and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure need to take on board the concerns expressed by me and by other members at the committee here today and ensure that the North has proper representation on the All-Ireland Co-Partnership Forum and on the Language Advisory Forum.”
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