Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader and Spokesperson on Gaeltacht Affairs Dara Calleary TD said Seachtain na Gaeilge is an opportunity to celebrate the Irish Language, rural Ireland and its cultural importance.

He commented, “As celebrations of our Irish Language begin we have to be cognisant that more support is needed for our Irish language speakers and Gaeltacht areas.

“As legislators the onus is on us to support and foster the development of Irish Language through our work in the Oireachtas and in our communities.

“Fianna Fáil have been very clear, if leading the next government we will restore direct elections to the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta. 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.

“We are also committed to fully implementing the 20-year Irish Language Strategy. With a decade left on the current strategy much more is needed by the next government and this will be a priority under Fianna Fáil.

“Fianna Fáil will strengthen the Officials Languages Act and ensure a clear deadline is set in the recruitment of Irish speakers to the public service. 

“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.

“Our native language and culture are why we have connected with hundreds of thousands around the globe and will welcome them to Ireland during Seachtain na Gaeilge,” concluded Deputy Calleary.