20-year Irish Language Strategy
The Irish Government decided in The Programme for Government 2007-2012, to continue to develop a 20 Year Strategic Plan for the growth in the use of Irish and in bilingualism by the year 2008. Building on the 13 points in ‘Statement on the Irish Language’ which was published in December 2006, it was agreed that the 20 year strategic plan would be a blueprint for the expansion of the use of Irish in every urban and rural area in Ireland.
The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., has laid down that the target for the strategy should be to have 250,000 habitual Irish speakers in the country by the year 2028 and that there should be a proportionate increase in the number of persons with an understanding of the language and an ability to use services provided through Irish. On 8 February 2008, the Department for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs appointed Fiontar, Dublin City University, to advise the Department on the formulation of a 20 year strategic plan for the Irish Language. It was decided to consult with the public in relation to the preparation of the strategy because public support for the statement and the strategy is vital. To that end, a consultative process has been set up, involving public meetings, questionnaires and requests for written recommendations. A letter was sent to the professional stakeholders, both in the public sector and in the voluntary sector, seeking recommendations.
By the end of 2008 a draft strategy was compiled in co-partnership with the international advisory group. This has been received by Minister Éamon Ó Cuív, The Minister for Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and he is currently discussing the recommendations with advisors in the Department and in other State Departments. It is not known when the plan will be published publicly but as soon as any progress happens, it will be reported on Gaelport.com and in the newsletter of An Chomhdháil- EOLAS!