Financial supports will be needed to protect Ireland’s Gaeltacht colleges, mná and fir tí and communities from the impact of Covid-19 cancellations, Deputy Pearse Doherty has said.
As this year’s summer language colleges remain in doubt, the economic loss is set to have far-reaching effects on the future of Gaeltacht communities.
Donegal Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has called on Minister for State Séan Kyne to implement a scheme to support Gaeltacht families and communities from the loss of income.
Doherty said: “Everyone understands that the health and welfare of our communities is paramount; but we must ensure that in protecting this, we also provide supports to ensure the sustainability of our communities.
“I am anxious, as are many mná and fir tí who have contacted me, that the Summer Gaeltacht courses for this year are now in jeopardy. This would be a huge loss to the community and that is why I believe we need a comprehensive funding scheme in place to protect the future of our Gaeltacht communities during this time.”
Doherty said he has written to Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Seán Kyne asking him to protect the future of Gaeltacht communities who will suffer when summer language colleges are cancelled this year.
“Gaeltacht families and communities must be given financial supports for income lost due to the cancellation of the colleges,” Doherty said.
“As well as this we need to have clear and timely communication of contingency plans from the Department on this matter.”
Doherty added that the effects of cancellations have already been felt locally.
“Here in Gaoth Dobhair, as is the case elsewhere, there were Easter courses in place for our trainee-teachers and other third-level students who are learning the language. These courses have obviously not taken place and I am asking Minister Kyne to liaise with the Minister for Education and the third-level institutions to ensure that the Easter courses now take place later in the year and that the funding is in place to ensure that this can happen.”
“My colleague Mairead Farrell TD for Galway West and South Mayo and I are working together on this and we stand with our Gaeltacht communities.”