Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, announced that it is intended to prepare and implement a comprehensive language plan for Béal an Mhuirthead in County Mayo as part of the language planning process.
This announcement enables Údarás na Gaeltachta to immediately begin work to locate and appoint an appropriate organisation to prepare and implement a language plan for the town.
The Minister of State said, “in addition to providing funding to cover the costs associated with the preparation of the plan, my Department will also provide an annual allocation of €100,000 to assist with the implementation of the plan. With this funding, a Language Planning Officer will be employed locally to help implement the plan. This represents a major step forward in support of the Irish language in Béal an Mhuirthead and in the Iorras area in general.”
Údarás na Gaeltachta will select a lead organisation that will undertake the preparation of a language plan for the town. Organisations that wish to apply to Údarás na Gaeltachta to be recognised as the lead organisation in charge of preparing and implementing the plan have until the 30th June 2023.
A total fund of €6.5m is being provided to support the language planning process this year. This represents an increase of €1.4m on the fund that was available in 2021. Currently there are 25 Language Planning Officers and 4 Assistant Language Planning Officers working under the process.
When all potential plans have been approved under the language planning process, it is expected that up to 26 Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas, 16 Gaeltacht Service Towns and 3 Irish Language Networks will be implementing plans, all of which will have Language Planning Officers. All 26 Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas have already been approved under the process.