April 21, 2020
Soiléiriú ag teastáil láithreach ar phacáiste tacaíochta do mhná tí agus do choláistí samhraidh na Gaeltachta – Mairéad Farrell TD

Tá sé ráite ag an Teachta Dála Shinn Féin do Ghaillimh Thiar/Maigh Eo Theas, Mairéad Farrell, go bhfuil soiléiriú ag teastáil láithreach maidir le pacáiste tacaíochta do mhná tí agus do choláistí samhraidh na Gaeltachta a bhéas ag cailleadh amach mar gheall go bhfuil cúrsaí Gaeltachta ar ceal do shamhradh 2020.

Dúirt an Teachta Farrell:

“Bhí muid ag fanacht le ráiteas ón Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta faoi chinniúint na gcoláistí samhraidh Gaeltachta do 2020 ach bhí barúil mhaith againn nach mbeidís ag dul ar aghaidh mar gheall ar phandéim Covid-19.

“Ba ar an mbonn sin a chuir mé ceist pharlaiminteach ar an Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta coícís ó shin faoin gciste a chuirfí ar fáil do mhná tí agus do na coláistí féin dhá mba rud é gurbh éigean na cúrsaí a stopadh. Níl freagra na ceiste sin faighte agam fós agus tá scéala aisteach anois againn ón Roinn nach mbeidh aon chúrsa ag dul ar aghaidh sa nGaeltacht ach nach bhfuiltear in ann a rá cén pacáiste tacaíochta a bhéas ar fáil.

“Luíonn sé le réasún go gcuirfí na cúrsaí ar ceal, ach ní dóigh liom gur dearnadh aon fhógra eile le linn na pandéime seo a chuirfeadh isteach go mór ar theacht isteach grúpa eicínt agus nach raibh gealltanas ann go gcuirfí maoiniú ar fáil don dream a buaileadh.

“D’fhógair an tAire Gaeltachta Seán Kyne ar Raidió na Gaeltachta ar maidin go bhfuiltear ag breathnú ar phacáiste cúiteamh ach go bhfuil an cheist le plé ag an Roinn Caiteachas Poiblí agus nach bhfuil siad in ann aon rud cinnte a ghealladh go fóill.

“Ní thuigim a bheag ná a mhór tuige nach raibh plean cinnte aontaithe ag an dá Roinn roimh go ndearna siad fógra oifigiúil na cúrsaí a chur ar ceal.

“Deir an Roinn go ndéanfaidh siad teagmháil leis na mná tí. Ní ghlacaim leis an gcur chuige sin. Caithfear maoiniú a cheadú láithreach le pacáiste tacaíochta a chur ar fáil do mhná tí agus do na coláistí iad féin sa gcaoi is nach mbeidh tuilleadh éiginnteachta in am seo an ghátair don phobal uilig.”

CRÍOCH//

Note to editors: English copy below

Clarification required immediately on a support package for mná tí and Gaeltacht summer colleges – Mairéad Farrell TD

Sinn Féin TD for Galway West/South Mayo has said that clarification is needed immediately regarding a support package for mná tí and Gaeltacht summer colleges who will suffer financially due to the cancelling of such courses for 2020.

Deputy Farrell said:

“We were waiting for a statement from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht about the fate of Gaeltacht summer colleges for 2020 but we had a good idea that they would not be going ahead due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

“It was on that basis I submitted a PQ to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht 2 weeks ago regarding a fund to support mná tí and the colleges themselves should the courses need to be cancelled. I have yet to receive an answer and we are now in the unusual position where the Department have said that no Gaeltacht summer courses will go ahead but that they cannot guarantee what support package will be available to those affected.

“I can’t think of any other announcement made during this pandemic made that would significantly affect a particular group’s income that there was not a corresponding guarantee that funding would be put in place to assist those impacted financially.

“Gaeltacht Minister Seán Kyne announced this morning that they are looking at a help package but that it has to be discussed with the Department of Public Expenditure and that they can’t guarantee anything yet.

“For the life of me I can’t understand why a plan wasn’t agreed between the two Departments for a fund to be put in place before an official announcement was made on cancelling the courses.

“The Department say that they will contact the mná tí directly. I don’t accept that approach. Funding needs to be signed off on immediately for a support package in respect of mná tí and the colleges themselves so that there will be no more uncertainty for people at this difficult time for us all.”

ENDS//

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