19 August 2023

~2 minutes read

New Gaeltacht grants scheme being considered to boost Irish language use

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New Gaeltacht grants scheme being considered to boost Irish language use

Galway Bay fm newsroom – A new grant scheme to encourage the use of the Irish language in Gaeltacht-based families is being considered by the Department of the Gaeltacht.

A long-standing scheme was discontinued 12 years ago as a cost-cutting measure at a time of financial stringencies in the State coffers.

The Irish language grant for Irish-speaking school children in the Gaeltacht was known as the Deontas over the decades.

It amounted to £2 per child in the age group of 6 to 14 in National Schools when it was introduced in 1933.

By the time it was ended in 2011 the Deontas stood at €260 per household per year with the proviso that children spoke Irish in the home.

Since last February a think tank has been looking at ways of further boosting the Irish language and a re-introduction of the Deontas – Irish language grant – into households is now on the cards.

Census figures show that 22% of children in the age group 3 to 4 years speak Irish at home, on a daily basis, in the Gaeltacht areas of Co Galway outside of the city and that is a 5% decrease on previous Census figures. The figure in the City Gaeltacht is 3%.

The shape that a new scheme may take is yet to be decided.

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