Dáil Éireann - Volume 673 - 29 January, 2009

Written Answers. - Consultancy Contracts.

Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the expected cost of consultancy services in respect of the development of a 20 year strategy for the Irish language and the linguistic study of usage of Irish in the Gaeltacht; when he expects to publish recommendations or strategies in relation to the Irish language; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2751/09]

Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs when the 20 year Irish language strategy will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2709/09]

  Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 21 together.

As the Deputies will be aware, the Government’s Statement on the Irish Language includes a commitment to develop a 20-year Strategy for the Irish language, which is intended to be the foundation for practical action for supporting and promoting the language, based on a modern, integrated approach. During the last year, my Department, in conjunction with Fiontar DCU, the independent consultants that are assisting in the formulation of the Strategy, have undertaken a wide-scale public consultation process in relation to the various elements that will be in the Strategy. In addition to the public consultation, Fiontar DCU consulted with key stake[103] holders in both the public and voluntary sectors as to their recommendations for inclusion in the Strategy. Fiontar were also assisted by a number of international experts in language policy issues.

A draft Strategy has now been submitted for my consideration. I anticipate that my proposals in relation to the 20-year Strategy will be submitted to Government in the near future. With regard to the consultancy service for the 20 year Strategy, Fiontar DCU were appointed through a public procurement process to advise in relation to the Strategy and the cost of their service is €299,281. With regard to the Linguistic Study of the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, National University of Ireland, Galway, were engaged through a public procurement process to carry out this research at a cost of €525,039.