The resilience of Gaeltacht businesses and communities has been praised following the most challenging year in recent history.
Údarás na Gaeltachta’s End of Year Review, published today, shows that Donegal suffered an employment decrease of 6.8% during 2020.
114 new jobs were created in the Donegal Gaeltacht during 2020, while 272 were lost. Employment declines during 2020 were mainly in the Tourism and Food and Drink sectors.
There were 2,168 jobs in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s client companies in the county at the end of 2020.
Companies across the Donegal Gaeltacht where jobs were created in 2020 included Earagail Éisc, Randox, Tionscail GPE Teo, Bá Dhún na nGall and Beachóga Dhún na nGall Teoranta.
The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta approved a number of new projects for the Donegal Gaeltacht during 2020 which will create 38 new jobs and an estimated total investment of over €1.63 million when these projects are underway.
Údarás na Gaeltachta in Donegal approved €271,163 in support for 112 businesses through the COVID-19 support schemes, mostly for the tourism, food and drink and manufacturing sectors.
A total of €735,900 in administrative funding was provided to 11 organisations under the Community Development Programme in 2020 which delivered on agreed community development programmes. A new community based company has been established in the Fánaid area – Comhar Fhánada and Gleann Bhairr CTR which will go live in 2021.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions gteic@GaothDobhair grew and developed during the year due to the completion and availability of the newly-developed second floor. Up to 300 workspaces will be available in gteic@Gaoth Dobhair when lockdown restrictions are eased. Furthermore, gteic@An Tearmann, gteic@Na Dúnaibh, gteic@Cill Charthaigh and gteic@Árainn Mhór are being developed. A further four gteic hubs are expected to open in Donegal in 2021 in Carraig Airt, Baile na Finne, An Clochán Liath and Toraigh.
Commenting on the End of Year Review, Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief Executive, Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh said: “It has been a very difficult year in many ways, but we are very pleased with the level of activity and support that Údarás na Gaeltachta has been able to provide in unprecedented circumstances. Significant investment has been made in the Gaeltacht business infrastructure and the investment being made in the language in communities is at an unprecedented level.
“We are extremely grateful to our partner client companies, to the community development organisations, to the Gaeltacht communities and to our State colleagues who work in partnership with us. As Chief Executive, I am extremely grateful to the staff and Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta for their dedication and support in achieving the organisation’s objectives.”
Údarás na Gaeltachta Chairperson, Anna Ní Ghallachair also added: “2020 has been the most challenging year in recent history for communities throughout Ireland. The Gaeltacht’s response to this emergency is a source of hope and the Board is encouraged by the resilience shown to date by Gaeltacht businesses and communities. There is no doubt that additional resources will be required to achieve a sustainable recovery and subsequent development in the Gaeltacht in the coming years and an encouraging start has been made in this regard with increased and additional budgets available to Údarás na Gaeltachta for 2021.
“The years ahead will be crucial for the Gaeltacht but the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta is committed to supporting the Gaeltacht communities in linguistic, cultural, social and economic matters in every way possible and, to that end, to make the case for appropriate actions and resources.”
You can download the 2020 End of Year Statement here