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20% Increase Approved for Language Plan Budgets Announced

The Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Patrick O’Donovan TD, announced additional supports for the language plan budgets, which will enhance the ability of each language planning committee to implement its plan more effectively.

This represents an additional investment worth almost €900,000 in the planning system in 2024.

An increase of 20% has been approved on the annual budget provided for each language plan. That equates to €20,000 or more for each LPA and €16,000 or more for each approved Irish Language Network and Gaeltacht Service Town.

Additional support has also been approved for the 4 LPAs for whom an Assistant Language Planning Officer had been approved. It has now been agreed that those areas will be allowed to employ a Language Planning Officer rather than an Assistant Language Planning Officer, as appropriate. There are 4 LPAs that met certain criteria laid down in 2017 – Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire & Loch an Iúir; Cois Fharraige; Conamara Láir & Ciarraí Thiar. As a result of this decision, they will be able to employ two Language Planning Officers in their language planning areas instead of one Language Planning Officer and one Assistant Language Planning Officer.

Specific additional support has been approved for Maigh Eo Thuaidh after the LPA’s case was brought before the Department in March 2023. That LPA has now been given permission to hire a second LPO in the area. To facilitate this, an increased budget will be made available for Maigh Eo Thuaidh which will be on a par with Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire & Loch an Iúir; Cois Fharraige; Conamara Láir & Ciarraí Thiar.

Announcing the decision, Minister of State O’Donovan said, “the 20% increase I have approved for language planning budgets is recognition of the important work that is underway under the language planning process and will increase the ability of the committees to cope with the increase in the cost of living in the last few years. This means that my Department will be investing an annual increase of over €1m in the language planning process when all the plans are implemented.”

So far 26 Language Planning Areas, 8 Gaeltacht Service Towns and 3 Irish Language Networks have been approved under the language planning process. Since the first language plan was approved in 2017, the budget for the implementation of plans has not changed significantly despite rises in the cost of living since then.

The 20% increase will also apply to any other language plan approved under the language planning process in the future.

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