Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Dáil has voted to accept a bill which requires all future presidents of NUI Galway to be fluent in Irish.
The bill was introduced by Galway West Deputy Eamon O’ Cuiv to guarantee all future presidents are capable of doing business in both Irish and English.
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.
The bill has now carried in the Dáil by 61 votes to 51, with 5 abstentions – and will now be referred to the Select Committee on Education and Skills.
Deputy O’ Cuiv recently clashed with Education Minister Richard Bruton in the Dáil over the importance of fluency in leadership positions.
Minister Bruton was shot down by the Fianna Fail Deputy over his suggestion that fluency has no bearing on promoting the best interests of the language.
Deputy O’ Cuiv says there’s considerable work ahead – but acceptance by the Dáil is an important step forward.