October 1, 2021
Molann an tAire Gaeltachta leasuithe Shinn Féin ar an mBille Teanga – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

(English Below)

Chuir urlabhraí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta, Ealaíon agus Cultúir Shinn Féin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, fáilte mhór roimh an nuacht go bhfuil an tAire Stáit don Ghaeltacht tar éis géilleadh don bhrú agus leasuithe curtha chun cinn ag Sinn Féin a thabhairt isteach ar Bhille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla (Leasú) 2021 chun cearta teanga agus Gaeltachta a fheabhsú ar bhonn suntasach sna blianta amach romhainn.

I measc na leasuithe seo a ghlac an tAire Jack Chambers, molta ag Teachtaí Shinn Féin ag Céim an Choiste, tá forálacha a deir go mbeidh:

  • Seirbhísí stáit ar fáil i nGaeilge sa Ghaeltacht roimh dáta le socrú ag an Aire;
  • 2030 mar spriocdháta chun Gaeilge a bheith ag 20% d’earcaithe na státsheirbhíse;
  • Spriocdháta faoina dtiocfaidh an tAcht nua i ngníomh (3 bliana ó bheith achtaithe);
  • Córais faisnéise agus chumarsáide i gcomhlachtaí poiblí in ann an síneadh fáda a úsáid;
  • Dualgas ar chomhlachtaí poiblí foirmeacha ar line a sholáthar i nGaeilge, chomh maith le foirmeacha clóite;
  • Dualgas ar chomhlachtaí poiblí daoine a fhreagairt ar na meáin shóisialta sa teanga oifigiúil ina scríobhtar chucu;
  • Ainm comhlachtaí reachtúla i nGaeilge amháin as seo amach;
  • 20% d’fhógraíocht chomhlachta poiblí in aghaidh na bliana i nGaeilge, agus 5% sna meáin Gaeilge;
  • An ceart ag duine gan teideal a úsáid más mian leo ar fhoirmeacha stáit;
  • Ionadaí ag phobal labhartha na Gaeilge lasmuigh den nGaeltacht ar an gCoiste Comhairleach, ateangaireacht ar fail ann agus cead ag feidhmigh bheith mar ionadaithe ann;
  • Gaeilge ag Cathaoirleach an Choiste Comhairleach um Sheirbhísí Gaeilge;
  • Tuarascálú rialta déanta ag comhlachtaí poiblí i ndáil le comhlíonadh a ndualgais teanga;
  • Dualgais ar chomhlachtaí margaíocht a dhéanamh i nGaeilge;
  • Spriocdháta le teacht i bhfeidhm na ndualgais nua ar chomhlachtaí poiblí;
  • Dualgais teanga ar fho-chonarthóirí nó soláthraí tríú pháirtí a chuireann seirbhís ar fáil don phobal thar cheann chomhlachta poiblí;
  • Suirbhéireacht rialta gach 5 bliana ar inniúlacht Gaeilge na státsheirbhíse;
  • Aire freagrach as an Plean Náisiúnta um Sholáthar Seirbhísí Gaeilge;
  • Eagraíocht buan déanta de saineolaí le Gaeilge freagrach as comhairle faoi logainmneacha;
  • Uasdátú leanúnach ar na gcomhlachtaí poiblí faoi scóip an Acht Teanga;

Dúirt an Teachta Ó Snodaigh, atá mar Chathaoirleach ar Chomhchoiste Oireachtais na Gaeilge, na Gaeltachta agus Phobal Labhartha na Gaeilge:

“Faoi dheireadh tá an fhoclaíocht feicithe againn ar leasuithe an Aire, agus táimid buíoch go bhfuil a lán de na moltaí a chur muid chun cinn thar 25 uair a chloig de dhíospóireacht ag Céim an Choiste le feiceáil ina measc.

“Léiríonn sé seo an cumhacht a bhaineann le plé ceart i gCoiste Dála agus an tionchar a bhféadfadh an freasúra a bheith acu má thugann Aire éisteacht dó. Ní bheadh na hathruithe seo molta murach Sinn Féin á gcur chun cinn, agus murach an tacaíocht a bhfuair muid ó Theachtaí Dála i bpáirtithe eile agus neamhspleách sa Choiste, agus an brú ollmhór a tháinig ó phobal labhartha na Gaeilge, agus eagraíochtaí ar nós Conradh na Gaeilge, Oifigigh Pleanála Teanga na hÉireann agus Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta.

“Níl gach rud a lorg muid glactha ag an Aire go fóill áfach. Níl na dréacht-chaighdeáin a bheidh mar bhunús do chur chuige an Stáit i leith na Gaeilge ar feadh na blianta tar éis don Acht seo foilsithe ag an Aire go fóill, agus tá foclaíocht amscaí fós le treisiú i dtaobh dualgas a chur ar chomhlachtaí poiblí seirbhísí a chur ar fáil as Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht agus an córas earcaíochta 20%. Tá tagairtí do chearta fós ar láir sa reachtaíocht teanga.

“Mar gheall ar sin, impím ar an Aire gan dícheannú (guillotine) a dhéanamh ar an bplé sa Dáil an tseachtain seo chugainn agus seans a thabhairt do leasuithe an fhreasúra. Má tá ceacht amháin foghlamtha ó Chéim an Choiste, sé go bhfuil fiúntas ag baint le plé ceart parlaiminte agus nach leor 3 uair go leith chun os cionn 360 leasuithe a phlé.

“Ní bheadh ann ach 39 soicind an leasú.”

 

Gaeltacht Minister proposes Sinn Féin amendments to the Languages Bill – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for the Irish language, Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has warmly welcomed the news that the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht has given in to pressure and agreed to introduce amendments proposed by Sinn Féin on the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2021 to improve language rights and Gaeltacht rights significantly over the years to come.

Among the amendments accepted by Minister Jack Chambers, as proposed by Sinn Féin at the Committee State, are provisions outlining:

  • State services will be available in the Gaeltacht in Irish by a date selected by the Minister;
  • 2030 as a deadline for 20% of recruits to the public service being Irish speakers;
  • A deadline by which the Act will come into force (3 years after enactment);
  • That the IT systems of public bodies should be able to use the Síneadh Fada;
  • A duty on public bodies to provide online forms, as well as hard copies, in Irish;
  • A duty for public bodies to respond to people on social media in the official language in which they were contacted;
  • That new statutory bodies will have Irish names only;
  • That 20% of annual advertising by a public body must be in Irish, and 5% in Irish-language media;
  • The right for a person not to use a title on state forms if they so choose.
  • Representatives for the Irish-speaking Community outside the Gaeltacht on the Advisory Council, interpreting available for the Council, and bankrupt people permitted to be representatives;
  • The Chair of the Advisory Council on Irish Language Services must speak Irish;
  • Regular reporting by public bodies on their fulfilment of language obligations;
  • A duty for bodies to issue marketing material in Irish;
  • A deadline for the coming into effect of new obligations on public bodies;
  • Language obligations on sub-contractors or third-parties who provide services to the public on behalf of public bodies;
  • Regular 5-year surveys on the Irish speaking capacity of the public service;
  • A Minister will be responsible for the National Plan on the Provision of Services in Irish;
  • The establishment of a permanent body of experts with Irish responsible for advice on placenames;
  • Regular updating of the public bodies coming under the scope of the Languages Act.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh, who chairs the Oireachtas Irish language, Gaeltacht and Irish-speaking Community Committee, said:

“We have finally seen the wording of the Minister’s amendments, and we are delighted to see that many of the proposals we made over 25 hours of debate at Committee Stage have made the cut.

“This demonstrates the power of proper debate in Dáil Committees, and the influence opposition can have if the Minister is willing to listen. These changes would not be proposed now if Sinn Féin had not put them forward, and were it not for the support we received from TDs in other parties and none on the Committee, not to mention the pressure that came from the Irish-speaking community, and organisations such as the Gaelic League, Language Planning Officers of Ireland, and Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta.

“Not everything we wanted has been accepted by the Minister yet however. The draft-standards that will define how the State approaches the Irish language for years to come have still not been published by the Minister, and vague wording remains to be strengthened in relation to placing responsibilities on public bodies to provide services in Irish in the Gaeltacht, and the 20% recruitment system. References to rights remain absent in the language legislation.

“As a result, I call on the Minister not to go ahead with his proposed guilloting of Dáil debate next week, and give the opposition amendments a chance. If we have learned anything from Committee Stage, it’s that there is merit to proper parliamentary debate, and that 3 and a half hours is not enough time to debate over 360 amendments.

“There would only be 39 seconds per amendment.”

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