Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on the Gaeltacht, Aindrias Moynihan has said that the aging age profile of the State’s seven Gaeltacht areas must be addressed if they are to retain their vibrancy and sustainability.

Deputy Moynihan was commenting as a new report, Socio-Economic Profile of the Seven Gaeltacht Areas in Ireland, developed by Senator Pádraig Ó Ceidigh and using information from the All Ireland Research Observatory (AIRO) and recent Censuses, shows that the seven Gaeltacht areas have a higher proportion of people aged 65 or more than the national average.

“16.6% of all Gaeltacht residents are over 65 years of age, compared to a national average of 13.4%. Worryingly, in the Mayo, Donegal and Kerry Gaeltachts, the proportions over 65 are 22.8%, 21.7% and 18.6% respectively.

“This trend needs to be dealt with. The Gaeltacht communities are crying out for young people and young families. Without them, their futures are less than secure.

“Until there are well paying jobs, and the ability to build or buy houses close to their families, many young people, born and bred in the Gaeltacht, will not return home after college.

“Equally, there are many Irish speakers, not from the Gaeltacht, who would like to move to one of Ireland’s Gaeltachts. However, the same challenges arise – jobs and housing. Until these issues are addressed, the sustainability of our beautiful and culturally important Gaeltachts will be in doubt,” concluded Moynihan.