Martin voices strong opposition to attack on Údarás na Gaeltachta

Representatives of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta have met the Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin and Fianna Fáil TDs Éamon Ó Cuív and Micheál Kitt at Leinster House today to discuss the Government’s decision to remove the democratic elections to the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta.
 
The meeting was attended by Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill, Councillor Seán Ó Tuirisc and Val Hanley, who represented the other Fianna Fáil board members of Údarás na Gaeltachta.  They voiced their serious concerns about the future of Údarás following the Government’s decision last week to remove the power from the people to elect those who run the agency.
 
Speaking afterwards, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin said, “Fianna Fáil strongly believes that those living in the Gaeltacht must retain the democratic right to elect the to the Board of an tÚdarás.  These are the people whose lives are directly affected in so many ways by the decisions made at Údarás Board meetings. They deserve to know that these decisions are not motivated by politics, but are instead taken in the best interests of the Gaeltacht.
 
“The Government is putting a price on democracy by claiming that the country can’t afford to allow the public an input into who is appointed to Údarás. But these are relatively small elections that only take place every five years. They can hardly be considered a drain on the public finances.
 
“The Fine Gael/Labour Government have essentially decided to hand over full control of Board appointments at Údarás to the Minister and to Councillors, rather than allowing the people have a say. This is coming from the parties who were extremely vocal in the need for a more transparent and democratic approach to Board appointments. Unfortunately it’s just more evidence that Fine Gael and Labour are only too willing to abandon the promises they made to win votes.
 
“I wish to thank the Board members of Údarás for travelling to Dublin today to discuss this important issue. The Fine Gael/Labour Government are removing a democratic right from the people of the Gaeltacht. But Fianna Fáil strongly opposes any attack on our hard earned democracy, and I want to assure them that we will fight this move”.