Press Releases

Údarás na Gaeltachta activities during the COVID-19 Crisis – Updated 30-3-20

Údarás na Gaeltachta Public Offices closed to the public 30/3/20

In line with the direction issued by the Government and the Public Health Authorities, the public offices of Údarás na Gaeltachta will be closed to the public from Monday, 30/03/20 until further notice. The services Údarás na Gaeltachta provides are identified as essential services in the Government guidance and all of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s services will continue to be available by phone, by email and online as they have been in recent weeks.

 

gteic digital hubs closed to visitors and the public 30/3/20

gteic digital hubs throughout the Gaeltacht will be closed to visitors and to the public from Monday 30/03/20 until further notice.

In the instance of companies or remote workers operating in a gteic hub, whose work is identified as essential work in the Government guidance, special individual arrangements will be made for the use of the facility with that organisation/company/user. It is necessary to contact Údarás na Gaeltachta or the management of the local gteic beforehand to make such an arrangement. The use of gteic facilities is subject to social distancing policies which must be strictly implemented by all users.

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Údarás na Gaeltachta understands that client companies, subsidiaries, community development organisations, social employment schemes and of course Gaeltacht communities are experiencing significant pressures as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Údarás na Gaeltachta has worked to recognise the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses and communities in the Gaeltacht in recent weeks and has also worked to address them in so far as possible.

 

Advisory & Supports Plan

Údarás na Gaeltachta issued an Advisory & Supports Plan on March 16th 2020 which describes the financial and consultancy supports available to clients.  The plan also describes the guidance provided to community development groups and all persons are advised to always follow the guidance of Public Health Authorities. The plan will be updated regularly to include the latest advice and information and is available to download here.

 

Businesses in the Gaeltacht face challenges

This is an extremely challenging time for businesses as a result of the Coronavirus.  Trade is facing a huge amount of uncertainty at present and the impact of that resonates with many business sectors as the country sees the number of people being laid off increase daily.  Gaeltacht areas are no exception and this economic downturn will also affect Gaeltacht companies.

Several businesses throughout the Gaeltacht have announced that they had no other option but to lay people off temporarily and in some cases stop trading in order to comply with health and safety and to keep their businesses secure until the worst of this crisis is over.  It is widely believed that the situation will deteriorate further in the coming weeks as global markets contract daily.  This crisis will have a major impact on businesses linked to tourism, retail and restaurant suppliers although those involved in manufacturing, technology, pharma and companies supplying to supermarkets are showing some stability at present.

Companies throughout the Gaeltacht have faced obstacles and difficulties created by COVID-19 in a short period of time.  Some are doing their best to assist the community and the health service by repurposing some of their products to make disinfectant, hand sanitizer and face masks and they deserve to be praised for their wonderful community spirit and innovative ideas.

 

State organisations, Government Departments and the Government announced a range of supports to help people whose income has been reduced or who have lost their jobs as a result of the crisis.

 

Support for Gaeltacht Companies

Údarás na Gaeltachta is working tirelessly to provide our clients with all the advice and support we can at this time.

  • The organisation’s executives are in constant contact with client companies;
  • Clients have been informed of the emergency supports available to their business and their employees –
    Temporary Wage Subsidy; COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment; Supports for the Self-Employed, COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment,
  • There is a range of supports available to companies to improve their businesses – Be Ready Grant, Act on Initiative Scheme, Mentoring Scheme, Finance in Focus Scheme and many others.
  • Individual contact has been made with client companies most affected to assist them in compiling Contingency Plans and accessing the appropriate supports,
  • Clients are completing a comprehensive survey to highlight priority areas during this crisis.

 

 

Cohesive Government Response

Údarás na Gaeltachta is working alongside Government Departments and other State Agencies and colleagues on a cohesive approach to COVID-19.  We are working closely with other Government Departments and State Agencies to recognise priorities from the COVID-19 crisis and develop further practical emergency supports for businesses based on these beneficial consultations.

 

gteic, Gaeltacht Digital Network

The gteic, Gaeltacht Digital Network of innovation and digital hubs located throughout the Gaeltacht, is still closed to visitors and the public at present. 

In the instance of companies or remote workers operating in a gteic hub, whose work is identified as essential work in the Government guidance, special individual arrangements will be made for the use of the facility with that organisation/company/user. It is necessary to contact Údarás na Gaeltachta or the management of the local gteic beforehand to make such an arrangement. The use of gteic facilities is subject to social distancing policies which must be strictly implemented by all users.

The popularity of the gteic digital hub network and the broad experience companies, organisations and remote employees have gained from this period indicate that the gteic network will be a viable option in the future for those who wish to return to their native Gaeltacht areas to work remotely when this crisis is over.

 

 

Community Development Organisations

Advice was issued to community development organisation several weeks ago to enable them to operate in a safe prudent manner, for staff and the communities they serve.

Údarás na Gaeltachta has held discussions with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to ensure funding mechanisms are in place to provide operational grants to community development organisations in the usual manner in the coming weeks.

Community Development Organisations and Gaeltacht local committees are also providing vital community services in the Gaeltacht at present.  The majority of these organisations are assisting those in the public who are isolated or who cannot avail of basic services as a result of the crisis.

 

Language Planning Lead Organisations

Arrangements have been made with Language Planning Lead Organisations which are in operation, in conjunction with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to ensure funding mechanisms are in place to fund the language planning system in the usual manner in the coming weeks.

 

Údarás na Gaeltachta organisational operations

Following the advice of the Public Health Authorities arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the majority of the organisation’s staff are working from home.

Technology is being used to hold meetings online.

The Bord of Údarás na Gaeltachta is functioning as normal in approving projects, investments, support schemes and grants, through technological arrangements for their meetings.

Arrangements have been made with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to ensure that the usual payments, claims and organisational grants can be processed in an appropriate time frame during this period.

 

Our contact information:

 

Email us:

eolas@udaras.ie

 

 

Call us:

Headquarters, Galway:                                  091-503100

Donegal Regional Office:                               074-9560100

Mayo Regional Office:                                    097-81418

Kerry Regional Office:                                     066-9150100

Cork Regional Office:                                      026-45366

 

 

Visit our website:

www.udaras.ie

 

 

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