Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has called on Government to ensure Irish colleges and the services that support them are properly consulted and supported this summer.
The Government announced yesterday it will pay Gaeltacht host families a support of €5 per day for every student they would have hosted this year. This is 50% of the €10 daily payment normally paid by the Department under the Irish Language Learners Scheme (ILLS). The scheme runs alongside payments received by summer colleges, which average at €14 per child.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle called for a review of the support package and said: “On page 89 of the programme for government, Our Shared Future, the government acknowledges the ‘importance of the Irish language as the first language of the State’.
“The mná tí have been given a paltry €1 per student increase on last year’s compensation for losing students and keeping their accommodation ready for their return.”
The deputy asked: “Why are they being treated so disrespectfully, if you acknowledge the importance of the Irish language?
“As well as that, Irish colleges such as Coláiste Bhun an Inbhir in Donegal were not consulted as to changes this year, despite your minister saying that everyone was consulted,” he said.
Deputy Pringle asked the minister “to commit to reviewing the compensation and ensuring that these providers are supported properly in this difficult time”.