Donegal is to get nine new Irish language support teachers bringing to 43 the number of such posts across the county.
It follows an allocation of €1.02m under the Irish Language Assistants Scheme for the 2018/2019 school year.
The news has been welcomed by Minister of State Joe McHugh and Pat the Cope Gallagher.
The figure represents an increase of €230,000 on the amount sanctioned for the current school year2017/2018.
The announcement was made by the Minister of State McHugh in the context of a specific measure set out in the Action Plan for the Irish Language – recently launched by Minister of State McHugh, which committed to providing increased investment in support of the Scheme.
This means that an additional 32 schools can be considered for inclusion for the coming school year in addition to the 104 schools currently participating in the 2017/2018 school year.
This ultimately means that a total of 136 schools can be considered for recognition in the coming school year.
The Minister of State said: “This significant additional funding being provided by my Department represents the outworking of the commitment contained in the Action Plan 2018-2022 for the Irish language in support of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education. Not only will this increased allocation support the implementation of the Policy but it will also be of practical assistance in further support of the language planning process.”
The Minister of State said that valuable work is being undertaken under the Language Assistants Scheme to provide young people in Gaeltacht regions with additional language acquisition and enrichment opportunities.
“The work being undertaken by the language assistants provides valuable support to participating Gaeltacht schools in order to ensure that the Irish language continues to thrive and be passed on to coming generations in Gaeltacht areas.”
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher said he has been exerting massive pressure on the Government to approve these additional posts over the past year.
He said “Shock was expressed last year when some of the schools were omitted from a previous announcement made by the former Minister in the Department, meantime over the past year I have raised the matter in the Dáil as part of debate on the issue and I also questioned the Minister directly, whilst continually lobbying the Department on the matter.
“I wish to congratulate the successful schools which have been approved the Cuntoirí teanga in todays announcement. The additional resource will be of immense benefit to your school and the pupils, the Cuntoirí teanga scheme which was brought in by a previous Fianna Fáil Government has made a massive impact on the revival of the spoken language in our schools throughout the Gaeltacht areas.
“Our language will continue to require additional supports as we plan for the revival of Irish as a more spoken and used language in our schools and communities, this is an important first step but more will be required to be done over the years ahead.”
The grant is structured as follows:
• €230k sanctioned for an additional 32 qualifying schools. Each of the additional schools has registered as a participant in the Department of Education and Skills Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme.
• The additional schools consist of 16 primary schools and 16 post primary schools – details of the additional schools that will be deemed eligible are highlighted in yellow in the table below.
• This allocation is in addition to the €790,000 sanctioned for 104 schools for the 2017/2018 school year.
• In the 2017/2018 school year, 94 language assistants were employed as part of the scheme, 28 of whom were employed through Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne and 66 through Muintearas Teo.
The following table sets out the schools eligible for inclusion in 2018-19.
S N Cholmcille, An Tearmann
S N Mhuire, Caiseal Ceann Droma
S N Naomh Bríd, Na Dúnaibh
S N Cholmcille, Dhuibhlinn Riabhach
S N na Sráithe Móire, Leitir Ceannain
S N Ghlasáin, an Craoslach
Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Na Doirí Bheaga
S N Loch an Iubhair, Anagaire
S N Dhubhtach, Anagaire
S N Phádraig, Dobhar
S N Mhuire B&C, Na Doirí Beaga
S N Adhamhnáin, Luinnigh
S N Chonaill, An Bun Beag
S N Oilibhear Pluinceid
S N Bhríghde, Min’a Cladaigh
S N Caiseal na gCorr, Gort an Choirce
S N Cnoc na Naomh, Doire Chonaire
Pobalscoil Chloich Cheann Fhaola
S N Naomh Dubhthach, Machaire Rabhartaigh
S N Fhionnáin, An Falcharrach
S N Gort an Choirce
S N Leitir Mhic na Bhaird
S N Árainn Mhór II
S N Árainn Mhór I
S N Taodhbhóg, An Chlocháin
S N An Choimín, An Chlocháin
S N Duchoraidh, An Duchoraidh
S N Min an Aoire, An Charraig
S N Chartha, Chill Chartha
S N Na Carraige, An Charraig
S N A Chaiseal, Gleann Cholm Cille
S N Éadan Fhionnfhraoich, Na Gleannta
S N Cholmcille, Baile na Finne
S N Mhin Teineadh De, Ard a’Rátha
Scoil an Aingil Choimheadaí, An Chéididh
Scoil Chróine, An Clochán Liath
S N an Bhreacaigh, Ard an Ratha
Scoil Naomh Colmcille, Toraigh
Pobalscoil na Rosann, An Clochán Liath
Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, Béal an Átha Mór
Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, An Leadhb Gharbh
Coláiste na Carraige, An Carraig
Coláiste Phobail Cholmcille, Baile Úr