Donegal News Derry People 28 Deireadh Fómhair
The inaugural meeting was held in Letterkenny on Monday night to determine to town’s strategy in how to become a Gaeltacht Service Town.
Around 30 interested parties were invited by Donegal County Council’s Irish Language Co-ordinator Caitlín Uí Chochláin, who chaired the meeting, to put forward their ideas on how the town’s people and visitors might increase the use of the Irish language in their daily lives, outside of education.
Up to €20,000 in funding is available for the initial plan.
The Facilitator on the night was Bairbre Cahill, with input from Seán Ó Daimhín, Oifigeach Forbartha na Gaeilge Co Co DnG – Simultaneous Translator, Seán Ó Murchadha, Conradh na Gaeilge, who provided details on Foras na Gaeilge lead organisations’ role and support, and Colm Ó Baoill, Foras na Gaeilge and Séamus Ó Gallachóir, Údarás na Gaeltachta.
The committee elected to drive the initiative are: Cathal Mac Grianna, CLG Leitir Ceanainn (Iar PO Coláiste na Maolruaidhe), Bairbre Ní Chathail – Éascaitheoir, Scríbhneoir agus Cath Bord Bainistíochta Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin, Ann Quinn – Teach Chara (Cara House) Ionad Pobail, Úna Ní Bhriain – Coláiste Ailigh agus Scoil Shamhraidh Ceoil Leitir Ceanainn – Ceol na Coille, Mairtín Mac Giolla Bhríde – PPN Cuideachta Forbartha Áitiúil Dhún na nGall, Úna Ní Chéille (Agnes Wisemen) Cumann, Proinsias Ó Raghallaigh – An Pobal, Máire Ní Dhaibhéid – Coláiste Ailigh agus Coiste Áitiúil an Oireachtais/Phan Cheilteach, DLDC Seán Ó Cuireáin, Ionad Deonach Dhún nan Gall, Margaret Ní Dhochartaigh DLDC, Cróna Ní Ghallachóir – Bord Oideachais agus Oiliúna and Caitlín Mhig Fhloinn – LYIT.
Speaking to the Donegal News Ms Cahill said Monday night was about getting people to look at what strengths were already in place in Letterkenny with regard to the Irish language and how to build on them.
“The meeting talked about making the use of the language more visible where people already have Irish. In banks, shops and services where people would be more inclined to go and speak to someone they see wearing a fáinne (a circular pin badge worn to show the fluency in, or a willingness to speak, the Irish language).
She added that research done in Galway showed the use of the Irish language brought tens of thousands of euro to the local economy.
An Clochán Liath and Donegal Town have also been designated as ‘Gaeltacht service town’.