At an event in the Old Market House Art Centre in Dungarvan on Thursday 14 July, Jack Chambers TD, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State with responsibility for the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht, announced that the Irish Language Plan for Dungarvan has been approved.
The announcement means that Dungarvan is now officially recognised as a Gaeltacht Service Town. The Minister of State also announced that €80,000 will be provided each year to support the implementation of the Plan over a seven year period.
At the event, the Mayor for Waterford City & County Council John O’Leary welcomed the Irish Language Plan saying that it will support the development of the Irish language in Dungarvan for the benefit of the communities of Dungarvan and the Waterford Gaeltacht.
Dónal Ó Conghaile, the Chairperson for Dún Garbhán le Gaeilge, the local committee that is officially recognised to develop the Irish Language Plan, said that it has been clearly demonstrated that Dungarvan has specific importance as a Gaeltacht Service Town and that there is a long and strong relationship between the people of Dungarvan and Gaeltacht na nDéise.
He indicated that there will now be an opportunity to employ an Irish Language Planning Officer for the town to support the development of the Irish language in the area, with an emphasis on support for families and young people, for businesses and in education, and for the public in general.
He stated that Dungarvan’s Irish Language plan is a road map that is based on extensive consultation and provides a demonstration of the aspirations of the people of Dungarvan and its environs in regard to the Irish language, including those of the Waterford Gaeltacht community.
‘’I am really hoping that more people from the community will be interested in being members of Dún Garbhán le Gaeilge so as to support the implementation of the plan. At the moment we are working towards Dún Garbhán le Gaeilge acquiring status as a Cooperative Society and anybody who would be interested in the development of the Irish language in the area would be most welcome to join,’’ he said.
Also present as the event with the Minister of State Jack Chambers was Mary Butler TD, Minister for Mental Health and Older People and TD in County Waterford, TD’s and Councillors from the county, Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford City & County Council, representatives from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, Foras na Gaeilge, Dún Garbhán le Gaeilge committee, Waterford City and County Council, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Glór na nGael, Dungarvan and West Waterford Chamber of Commerce, town businesses and the Irish language community from Dungarvan and its environs, including the Waterford Gaeltacht.