Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 13:06 UK

Foras na Gaeilge proposed funding model

A proposed new funding model for promoting the Irish language throughout Ireland has been opposed in an SDLP motion, on 22 May 2012.

The motion challenged the effects that the model proposed by Foras na Gaeilge would have on Irish language organisations.

The SDLP's Dominic Bradley said the new model, which he claimed was a result of funding being "severely cut", could be detrimental to the Irish language sector.

"Under Foras na Gaeilge's current proposals, the new funding model will mean most of these organisations will cease to exist as they will be disqualified from applying for core funding," he said.

"The new funding model is opposed by not only the Irish language voluntary sector, but also by eminent linguistic scholars, the Dail committees and by the Irish language media."

The DUP's Gregory Campbell challenged Mr Bradley on whether he believed he was advancing his cause by speaking in Irish when many in the house could not understand what he was saying.

Mr Bradley said he had translated everything in accordance with the standing orders of the house.

Culture committee chair Michelle McIlveen of the DUP said, "the committee continues to take an interest in this area".

Trevor Lunn of Alliance said, as an outsider who did not speak Irish, he welcomed a review of funding model.

"My impression is that the organisation has been allowed to do its own thing with funding coming from both governments with perhaps precious little supervision or accountability," he said.

"As an outsider, I like the look of the new structure proposed by Foras na Gaeilge.

"It seems to me to be more modern, more active and reactive and the organisation will hopefully be more accountable to its funders and taxpayers north and south."

Ulster Unionist Michael McGimpsey said there was a need to approach the subject carefully.

"We have to tread with caution if we are going to change this," he said.

Sinn Fein's Cathal O hOisin said he had some concerns over the motion as be believed it to be "pre-emptive" and "slightly premature"

"We are discussing this much too early," he said.

In response, Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said she welcomed the debate although she too felt it was premature.

She said it was a "very important subject" which would be brought forward at the next North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) meeting.

The motion was passed on an oral vote.


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