Alt ón Donegal News - Derry People Monday Edition
Survey will help form a plan for future of language in Gaoth Dobhair, Anagaire, Rann na Feirste and Loch an Iúir
By Louise Doyle
The first of the results from questionnaires gauging the public’s views on the importance of the Irish language are expected to be published later this week.
Over the past few months Meitheal Pleanála Teanga an Iarthuaiscirt have been undertaking language planning work in the Language Planning Area of Gaoth Dobhair, Anagaire, Rann na Feirste and Loch an Iúir.
Under the Gaeltacht Act 2012, every Gaeltacht area has to prepare a language plan, the aim of which is to preserve and strengthen Irish.
There are eight language planning areas in Donegal and 26 in Ireland.
In September 2014, Comharchumann Forbartha Ghaoth Dobhair was appointed the Ceanneagraíocht, or ‘Lead Organisation’, with the responsibility for directing the language planning process in this area. Meitheal Pleanála Teanga an Iarthuaiscirt (MPTIT), a voluntary committee with representatives from the various areas and communities within this area, was then founded to work on the language plan.
OVERALL PLAN AT END OF YEAR
It’s expected the overall plan will be ready at the end of this year with the action points identified to be effected within seven years.
Various organisations and businesses were contacted to gauge their opinion on language issues in the Language Planning Area (LPT). And, as well as that, a short, general questionnaire was sent out to 500 individuals in the LPT.
Speaking to Donegal News, Hannah Ní Dhoimhín, from MPTIT, said responses to the questionnaires were “very positive”, with seven of the nine already analysed.
“We sent out nine questionnaires and of those seven are finished and closed, while analysis on two is ongoing. The Committee is now going over the analysis and results will be published on the first week of October, which is next week. In terms of the other two remaining questionnaires, analysis will start on those next week.”
Ms. Ní Dhoimhin said each questionnaire generated a high percentage response rate, adding how she was pleased that some of those who responded to the questionnaires were not from an Irish language background.
“Response rates per questionnaire were between 60 and 80 percent, which was really pleasing. I think the lowest rate was around 42 percent.
“We’re really happy with the responses we have received back. I had imagined that a lot of people who filled out the questionnaires would be those with a vested interest in the Irish language, but it was great to see some of those with no involvement in the language also get involved too.
“At this stage we are writing up a number of chapters looking at the responses, the creative ways to deal with them and an action plan.
“It’s hoped the plan, once approved, will be ready by the end of this year with the action points identified to be effected within seven years.”