Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Galway TD has challenged the Education Minister in the Dáil over legislation to ensure all future presidents of NUI Galway are fluent in Irish.
It’s after management at the university recently decided to change recruitment criteria amid concerns the Irish language requirement was restricting potential candidates.
However, despite the changes, incoming president Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh is fluent in the Irish language.
Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv is now seeking to introduce a bill which would guarantee all future presidents are capable of doing business in both Irish and English.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy O’ Cuiv pointed out that NUI Galway has three Gaeltacht centres, Galway City is officially a bilingual city and the Irish language is currently experiencing urban growth.
Speaking in response, Minister Richard Bruton said the matter was for the governing body of NUI Galway to decide.
He also expressed a belief that leaders, whether in Government or Education fields, do not need to be fluent in order to best promote the interests of the language itself.
However, Deputy Eamon O’ Cuiv argued there is no valid reason for any future president of NUI Galway not to speak fluent Irish.