May 5, 2023
Dínit, Dea-Chleachtas, Daonlathas don Ghaeltacht: Seolann Sinn Féin aighneacht ar Bhille Údarás na Gaeltachta – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Teachtaí Dála Shinn Féin a fhreastalaíonn ar cheantair Gaeltachta, agus foireann an pháirtí ar Chomhchoiste an Oireachtais, ag seoladh ár n-aighneacht ar Bhille Údarás na Gaeltachta (Leasú) i dTeach Laighean

Tá aighneacht curtha isteach ag Sinn Féin chuig Comhchoiste Oireachtais na Gaeilge, na Gaeltachta agus Phobail Labhartha na Gaeilge maidir leis an ngrinnscrúdú réamhreachtaíochta ar cheannteidil Bhille Údarás na Gaeltachta (Leasú) 2022 molta ag an Rialtas.

Dúirt Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, a chur an pholasaí seo le chéile mar urlabhraí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta, Ealaíon agus Cultúir Shinn Féin, i gcomhairle le ionadaithe áitiúil an pháirtí fud fad na Gaeltachta, agus atá ina Chathaoirleach ar an gComhchoiste ábhartha:

“Fáiltíonn Sinn Féin roimh chinneadh an Rialtais géilleadh don éileamh a tháinig uainn trí Bhillí a bhrú sa Dáil agus sa tSeanad, agus ó phobail na Gaeltachta, toghcháin a thabhairt ar ais do Údarás na Gaeltachta, agus freisin roimh an deis aighneacht a chur isteacht ar an ngrinnscrúdú réamhreachtaíochta. Is trua é nár thapaigh aon pháirtí polaitiúil eile deis seasamh suas do phobal na Gaeltachta trí aighneacht a chur isteach.

“Ba mhór an náire é don daonlathas in Éirinn gur cuireadh na toghcháin ar scoir faoi rialtais Fhianna Fáil agus Fhine Gael ar an gcéad dul síos, ach ar a laghad beidh toghcháin anois againn sa Ghaeltacht an bhliain seo chugainn.

“Ba léir ón fíorbheagáin mhaoiniú tugtha don Údarás sa bhuiséad gur gá le guth láidir tofa ag an phobal, ach tá Sinn Féin buartha go bhfuil an múnla atá molta ag an Rialtas ag triáil tarraingt siar ón ionadaíocht a bhí ann sna toghcháin fadó agus níos lú suíocháin a thabhairt do cheantair Gaeltachta ar mhaitheas le níos mó ceapacháin agus cumhacht a thabhairt don Aire.

“Sa cháipéis seo, déantar plé ar na ceisteanna móra a bhaineann le struchtúrú an Bhoird, agus cuirtear múnla malartach chun cinn ar mhaitheas le hionadaíocht éifeachtach a chinntiú do mhuintir na Gaeltachta.

“Tá na moltaí istigh anseo bunaithe ar 3 mbunphrionsabail: Dínit, Dea-Chleachtas, agus Daonlathas don Ghaeltacht. Faoi na moltaí seo, bheadh tionól iomlán tofa i gceist, gan ainmniúcháin ar bith ag an Aire, agus dáileadh suíochán bunaithe ar dhaonra ach ag cinntiú ionadaí ar leith do cheantair scartha (ar nós Uíbh Ráthach i gCiarraí, Gaeltacht Acla i Maigh Eo, agus na hOileáin Gaeltachta), laghdú ar chumhacht na Cathrach i nGaillimh, agus aitheantas cuí do na contaetha go léir Gaeltachta ar an mBord.

“Chinnteodh moltaí Shinn Féin cothromaíocht ó thaobh inscne de agus in ualach oibre na gCoiste Réigiúnacha, dá rudaí atá ar lár i moltaí an Rialtais.

“Ní fiú tráithníní é áfach plé ar struchtúrú agus comhaltas an Údaráis muna bhfuil athrú ó bhun i gceist maidir le cumhachtaí agus maoiniú cuí don eagras chun dul i ngleic leis an ngéarchéim sochtheangeolaíoch sa Ghaeltacht.

“Mar sin, táimid ag lorg cumhacht breise don Údarás bunaithe ar Pharlaimint Sámi na Fionlainne: stádas mar eagras comhairleach reachtúil, sa chaoi is go mbeadh dualgas ar eagrais stáit eile atá ag ullmhú beartas tábhachtach a d’fhéadfadh tionchar a bheith aige ar inmharthanacht phobal na Gaeltachta an beartas sin a phlé leis an mBord agus deis a thabhairt dóibh moltaí a thabhairt nó leasuithe a mholadh thar cheann an phobail Gaeltachta.

“Sin a theastaíonn chun dínit na Gaeltachta a threisiú: príomhchuspóir na Gluaiseachta Chearta Sibhialta sa Ghaeltacht a chur i bhfeidhm le tionól iomlán tofa atá fiacail aige chun cur isteach ar bheartais an Stáit, de réir dea-chleachtais idirnáisiúnta, agus tríd an daonlathas a bhuanú.

“Níl anseo ach moltaí áfach, agus fáiltíonn Sinn Féin roimh tuairimí an phobail agus an plé a bheidh againn sa Chomhchoiste Oireachtais.”

Dignity, Best-Practice, Democracy for the Gaeltacht: Sinn Féin launches submission on Údarás na Gaeltachta Bill – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin has made a submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Irish-speaking Community in relation to the prelegislative scrutiny on the heads of bill of the Government’s proposed Údarás na Gaeltachta (Amendment) Bill 2022.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, who compiled this policy as Sinn Féin spokesperson on Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the party’s local representatives right across the Gaeltacht, and who chairs the relevant Committee, said:

“Sinn Féin welcomes the decision by Government to give in to the demand we made by tabling Bille in the Dáil and Seanad, and the demand from Gaeltacht communities, to restore elections to Údarás na Gaeltachta, and also welcomes the opportunity to make a submission on the prelegislative scrutiny. It’s a pity no other political party took the chance to stand up for Gaeltacht communities by making a submission.

“It was a great shame for democracy in Ireland when the elections were cancelled by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to begin with, but at least now we will have elections once again in the Gaeltacht next year.

“It was evident from the pitiful funding given to Údarás in the budget that there is need for a strong voice elected by the community, and Sinn Féin is concerned that the model proposed by the Government is attempting to take a step back from the representation that existed under elections previously and give fewer seats to Gaeltacht areas in order to give more appointees and power to the Minister.

“In this document, we discuss the major questions relating to the structuring of the Board, and propose an alternative model with a view to guaranteeing effective representation for Gaeltacht communities.

“The recommendations contained within are based on 3 basic principles: Dignity, Best Practice, and Democracy for the Gaeltacht. Under these proposals, it would entail a fully elected assembly, with no Ministerial nominations, and seat distribution based on population but also ensuring a specific representative for separated areas (like Uíbh Ráthach in Kerry, the Achill Gaeltacht in Mayo, and the Gaeltacht Islands), a reduction of the power of the City in Galway, and appropriate recognition for all the Gaeltacht Counties on the Board.

“Sinn Féin’s proposals would guarantee equality in terms of both gender and of the workload for Regional Committees, two areas that have been neglected in the Government proposals.

“It’s pointless discussing restructuring and membership of Údarás however without more fundamental change in terms of the powers and appropriate funding for the body to tackle the sociolinguistic crisis in the Gaeltacht.

“As such, we are calling for additional powers for Údarás based on the Sámi Parliament in Finland: status as a statutory advisory body, so that there will be a duty on other state agencies when preparing important policies that could have an impact on the viability of Gaeltacht communities to discuss those policies with the Board and give them a chance to provide recommendations or propose amendment on behalf of the people of the Gaeltacht.

“That is what is required to strengthen the dignity of the Gaeltacht: implement a basic aim of the Gaeltacht Civil Rights Movement with a fully elected assembly which has the teeth to intervene in State policies, based on international best practice, and by consolidating democracy.

“These are only recommendations, however, and Sinn Féin welcomes opinions from the public and looks forward to the debate at the Joint Oireachtas Committee.”

Is féidir an aighneacht a léamh ag ag an nach seo / The submission can be read at this link (only Introduction & Key Recommendations are available in English).

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