Dáil Éireann - Volume 490 - 07 May, 1998

Written Answers. - Irish Language.

86. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the funds available for the promotion of the Irish language in 1998; the funds available to community groups for this promotion; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10943/98]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Éamon Ó Cuív): As this question which relates to the Irish language has been put to me in English I will answer it in English even though I would prefer to answer such questions in Irish.

My Department's Estimate for 1998 includes a total provision of £9.074 million for the promotion of the Irish language. This provision includes grants-in-aid of £385,000 for the language and cultural section of Údarás na Gaeltachta and a grant-in-aid of £2.96 million for Bord na Gaeilge. The provision also includes grants for social and cultural schemes £2.97 million and Ciste na Gaeilge, £2.759 million. A total of £2.150 million of this expenditure relates to Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge which assists people, mainly from outside the Gaeltacht, to attend recognised Irish courses there.

It is difficult to estimate the amount which will be paid in any one year to community groups in the Gaeltacht and outside the Gaeltacht but the amount of expenditure is relatively small. A sum of £2.759 million is provided in the Vote this year for Ciste na Gaeilge from which grants are paid to the voluntary Irish language organisations and in respect of miscellaneous Irish language projects which are in the main community based.

Údarás na Gaeltachta and Bord na Gaeilge, the statutory State boards with responsibilities in relation to the Irish language and the Gaeltacht, also provide assistance to community groups involved in the promotion of the Irish language.