Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 06 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Draft Regulations.

Mr. Lowry asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he is considering amendments to the draft regulations recently published by his Department (details supplied); when he will sign the regulations into law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3474/07]

  Éamon Ó Cuív: As I have previously indicated to this House, these regulations have been published and laid before each House of the Oireachtas in draft form. This was in order to give Deputies and Senators the opportunity to debate the draft regulations and to make suggestions for amendments, if they so wish, before I sign them. I indicated at the time of their publication that I would also welcome input from Irish language organisations and the wider public.

I had the opportunity to debate the draft regulations with the Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs on 29 November 2006 and again on 13 December 2006. Both Houses of the Oireachtas approved the draft regulations on the 14 December 2006. Members of the Joint Committee made a number of suggestions for amendment to the Regulations and I am currently considering these and other suggestions for amendment that have been made to my Department.

In addition my Department has recently written to each of the 660 public bodies that come within the scope of the Official Languages Act giving them the opportunity to make any comments or suggestions on the draft regulations they might wish to offer. I intend to make a further announcement in relation to these draft regulations shortly.