Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Rural, Community, and Gaeltacht Affairs and Party Deputy Leader Dara Calleary TD has said Coláistí Samhraidh Ghaeltachta must be financially supported if they are postponed later this summer.

He explained, “CONCOS (Comhchoiste na gColáistí Samhraidh) the representative body for Irish summer colleges both inside and outside the main Gaeltachtaí is awaiting official HSE guidance on whether to proceed with this year’s courses due to the COVID-19 emergency pandemic.

“The Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht must immediately engage with stakeholders with regard to the future of these Coláistí Samhraidh.

“Summer colleges provide a very important economic benefit to Gaeltacht areas, and if they do not go ahead, there will be a large financial loss to these communities.

“If the colleges are postponed, the Department must examine all financial avenues to support the mná tí, na coistí and coláistí themselves to cater for losses that will be sustained.

“In summary, I would echo the calls of Conradh na Gaeilge and CONCOS for direct support to be given to Coláistí Samhraidh Ghaeltachta and ensure they do not go out of business,” concluded Deputy Calleary.