Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Rural, Community, and Gaeltacht Affairs, Dara Calleary, said if in Government after the next general election, his party will restore direct elections to the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta.

“In 2012, the Fine Gael led government abolished the requirement for direct elections to Údarás via their Gaeltacht Bill. Fine Gael guillotined the Bill in both the Seanad and Dáil in order to shut down the debate on it.  Fianna Fáil deputies walked out of the Dáil chamber in protest. 

“Removing direct elections was an attack on democracy, which took power from the people in Gaeltacht areas and provided too much control to the Minister.

Údarás is a vital employment enabler with around 400 client companies which employ over 7,000 people throughout the Gaeltacht and include multinational and domestic companies operating across a variety of sectors.

“Since Fianna Fáil was founded in 1926, promoting the Irish language as a living language of the people, while ensuring the rights of speakers are protected have been key policy objectives. Our national language is an immeasurable cultural treasure.

“If in Government after the next general election, Fianna Fail will continue to work diligently to support our native language and the Gaeltacht areas and we will restore direct elections to the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta,” concluded Deputy Calleary.