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Guth na Gaeltachta le cluinstin go láidir

06/11/09

(English version follows.)

An Crann ÓgChonaic Oireachtas na Samhna i mbliana seoladh náisiúnta an fheachtais Guth na Gaeltachta in éadan mholtaí an Bhoird Snip Nua i dtaca leis an Ghaeilge agus agus ceantair Ghaeltachta na tíre.

Is é an tOireachtas an t-imeacht Gaeilge is mó sa bhliain agus, gach bliain, cruinníonn na deiche mílte daoine leis an teanga agus chultúr náisiúnta a cheiliúradh. D’ainneon an iliomad imeachtaí agus comórtas eile ag tarlú tráthnóna Dé Sathairn [31ú Deireadh Fómhair], líon cúpla céad daoine isteach i halla comhdhála san Óstán Mount Errigal ar son sheoladh an fheachtais.

Fuair an lucht féachana siamsaíocht ag an tús ón Chrann Óg, grúpa de cheoltóirí óga ó Ghaeltacht Ghaoth Dobhair, ansin labhair urlabhraí Ghuth na Gaeltachta, Éamonn Mac Niallais, labhair sé leis an lucht féachana.

Labhair Mac Niallais faoi thús an fheachtais nuair a bhí cúpla duine ag léamh tríd Thuarascáil an Ghrúpa Speisialta ar Uimhreacha na Seirbhíse Poiblí agus Cláir Chaiteachais sna Sé Chondae Fichead [tuairisc an Bhoird Snip Nua] agus ag feiceáil cé chomh holc agus a bhí na giorruithe molta.

Molann an tuairisc gearradh 9.4 faoin chéad, ar an mheán, i gcaiteachas i ngach rannóg rialtais sna Sé Chondae Fichead ach, nuair a bhí caiteachas ar an Ghaeilge, ar an Ghaeltacht agus ar na hoileáin i gceist, is é 58 faoin chéad an tsuim dhochreidte. Cuir seo i gcomparáid leis an gearradh 5.7 faoin chéad a moladh do Roinn Airgeadais na Sé Chondae Fichead, ar eisigh a haire féin an tuairisc i mí Iúil.

Le grúpaí ag teacht le chéile le cur in éadan na moltaí agus cruinnithe á n-eagrú ag mná tí i gceantair Ghaeltachta, rinneadh cinneadh grúpa a sheoladh a dhíreodh ar an teangar agus ar an Ghaeltacht.

Tháinig an grúpa aníos le cúig bhunphrionsabal a dtiocfadh le pobail Ghaeltachta troid air. Bad hiad seo:

  • Roinn na Gaeltachta sna Sé Chondae Fichead a choinneáil faoi cheannas aire shinsirigh
  • Cúrsaí fiontraíochta a bheith faoi chúram Údarás na Gaeltachta
  • Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaícohta a chosaint
  • Na scéimeanna forbartha teanga, cultúir agus ealaíona a choinneáil (agus a leasú más gá)
  • Iontaobhas a sholáthar d’oibrithe caipitil, pobail agus infrastruchtúir i gceantair iargúlta ar nós na Gaeltachta

Tá dearcadh an Bhoird Snip Nua ar an Ghaeltacht le feiceáil go soiléir ina dtuairisc féin, a deir: “the Group notes that substantial resources have been invested in various incentive schemes to develop Gaeltacht areas. The Group is of the view that resources should be targeted at those most in need and that differential schemes aimed at Gaeltacht areas are not justifiable.”

Éamonn Mac NiallaisIs é an scéal áfach go raibh ‘scéimeanna difreálacha’ de dhíth ar cheantair Ghaeltachta cionn is gur iad pobail Ghaeltachta a bhí, agus atá, is mó gátair. Bhí gá le bunú Údarás na Gaeltachta mar rinneadh neamart ar cheantair Ghaeltachta, mar na ceantair is iargúlta sa tír, nuair a bhí fostaíocht agus forbairt eacnamaíocht i gceist.

Go cosúil, bhí gá le bunú na Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta [COGG] de bhrí nach raibh Roinn Oideachais na Sé Chondae Fichead ag freastal ar riachtanais na bpáistí ag na scoileanna seo. Anois, molann an tuairisc COGG a dhíothú agus scoileanna le níos lú ná 100 dalta a chónascadh, rud a mbeidh éifeacht mhillteach aige i gceantair Ghaeltachta, inar scoileanna beaga iad formhór na scoileanna.

Tá borradh ag teacht faoi Guth na Gaeltachta ónar bunaíodh é i nGaoth Dobhair i mí Lúnasa. Ar 29ú Meán Fómhair, ghlac Comhairle Chondae Dhún na nGall d’aon ghuth le rún ag tacú le Guth na Gaeltachta agus a n-aidhmeanna, agus cuirfear an rún seo anois chuig achan chomhairle i stat na Sé Chondae Fichead.

Ag labhairt ag an seoladh Dé Sathairn, ghlaoigh Mac Niallais ar Ghaeilgeoirí ar fud na tire páirt a ghlacadh trí bhrú a chur ar a n-ionadaithe áitiúla tacaíocht a thabhairt don fheachtas agus stop a chur le cur i bhfeidhm na moltaí millteacha seo.

Nuair a chríochnaigh sé, labhair daoine ó gach Gaeltacht sa tír amach ag tacú leis an fheachtas agus ag éileamh aontachta in éadan an Bhoird Snip Nua. Ag an deireadh, labhair déagóir ó Dhún na nGall faoin dóigh ar throid muintir na hÉireann le 800 bliain lena dteanga agus cultúr a chaomhnú ó na Gaill, agus cé chomh náireach a bhí sé go bhfuil orainn anois troid ar a son in éadan daoine ónar dtír féin.

Is sampla é an Bord Snip Nua den chineál talamh gan rath cultúrtha a bheas fágtha má éiríonn le heacnamóirí BÁC 4.

 

Guth na Gaeltachta le cluinstin go láidir

This year’s Oireachtas na Samhna saw the national launch of the Guth na Gaeltachta campaign against the recommendations of the Bord Snip Nua report relating to the Irish language and to the Gaeltacht regions of the country.

The Oireachtas is the largest Irish language event of the year and, each year, tens of thousands of people congregate to celebrate the national language and culture. Despite numerous other events and competitions taking place on Saturday afternoon [October 31], several hundred people crammed into a conference hall in the Mount Errigal Hotel for the launch of the campaign.

The crowd was entertained at the beginning by An Crann Óg, a group of young musicians from the Donegal Gaeltacht, then, the spokesperson of Guth na Gaeltachta, Éamonn Mac Niallais, addressed the audience.

Mac Niallais spoke of how the campaign had started with a number of people reading through the Twenty-Six County Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes [the Bord Snip report] and realising how bad the proposed cuts were.

The report recommends, on average, a 9.4 per cent cut in spending in each governmental department in the Twenty-Six Counties but, when it came to spending on the Irish language, on the Gaeltacht areas and the islands, the proposed cuts amounted to an astounding 58 per cent. Compare this to the 5.7 per cent cut proposed for the Twenty-Six County Department of Finance, whose own minister released the report in July.

Cuid den slua / Part of the audienceWith groups coming together to oppose the recommendations and meetings being held by mná tí [housewives] in Gaeltacht areas, a decision was made to launch a group that would focus on the language and on the Gaeltacht.

The group came up with five fundamental principles that Gaeltacht communities could fight on. These were:

  • To keep the Gaeltacht Department in the Twenty-Six Counties with a senior minister at its head
  • For Údarás na Gaeltachta to take care of enterprise matters
  • To protect Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education
  • To keep the language, culture and art development schemes (and reform them if necessary)
  • For a trust to be made available for capital, community and infrastructure works in remote areas like the Gaeltacht

An Bord Snip Nua’s perspective on the Gaeltacht can be seen clearly in its own report, which reads: “the Group notes that substantial resources have been invested in various incentive schemes to develop Gaeltacht areas. The Group is of the view that resources should be targeted at those most in need and that differential schemes aimed at Gaeltacht areas are not justifiable.”

The issue, though, is that Gaeltacht areas required “differential schemes” because Gaeltacht communities were, and are, most in need. Údarás na Gaeltachta had to be established because Gaeltacht areas, as the most remote areas in the country, were being ignored when it came to employment and economic development.

Similarly, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta [the Council for Gaeltacht and Irish-medium Education, COGG] had to be set up because the Twenty-Six County Department of Education was not attending to the needs of the children at these schools. Now, the report recommends abolishing the COGG and amalgamating schools of less than 100 pupils, which will have a devastating impact in Gaeltacht areas, where most schools are small schools.

Guth na Gaeltachta has been growing in support since it was first established in Gaoth Dobhair in August. On September 29, Donegal County Council unanimously accepted a motion in support of Guth na Gaeltachta and its objectives, and this motion will now be sent to every council in the Twenty-Six County state.

Speaking at the launch on Saturday, Mac Niallais called on Irish speakers all around the country to get involved by putting pressure on their local representatives to support the campaign and to stop these devastating proposals from being enacted.

When he finished, people from every Gaeltacht in the country spoke up in support of the campaign and called for unity against An Bord Snip Nua. At the end, a teenager from Donegal spoke of how the people of Ireland had fought for 800 hundred years to preserve their culture from foreign invaders, and of the shame that now we have to fight for it against those within our own country.

An Bord Snip Nua is an example of the kind of cultural wasteland that will be left behind if the Dublin 4 economists get their way.

 

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