Press Releases

Innovation, Enterprise and Irish at the heart of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Strategic Plan 2018-2020

Innovation & Enterprise and the Irish Language are the two over-arching themes that underpin and guide the new Údarás na Gaeltachta 2018-2020 Strategic Plan. The plan outlines the organisations’ approach to the development of a vibrant, successful, sustainable Gaeltacht community and economy, thereby ensuring the position of the Irish language as the primary community language of the Gaeltacht.

Among the main objectives outlined by the organisation for the next three years ahead are:

  • Approval of 1,500 new jobs over the lifetime of this strategy;
  • Support 8,000 full-time jobs created and retained in client companies;
  • To preserve and develop the enterprise base, by supporting new and established companies so that they may grow and strengthen their business
    o Increase the number of client companies engaged in exports by 10%;
    o 20% increase in client company exports and sales;
    o 15% increase in client company Research and Development expenditure;

  • Support the preparation of and commence implementation of 29 Language Plans (26 LPT & 3 BSG)
  • Support 31 Gaeltacht community organisations through a continuous objective led funding programme;
  • To develop skills and employability in the Gaeltacht by supporting training, education and modern apprenticeship programmes as well as fostering links with third level institutions;
  • Develop and implement a Gaeltacht Action Plan for Natural Resources;
  • Research the Gaeltacht seaweed sector to identify value-added products and prepare a report;
  • In addition to the main objectives the plan is also based on a series of Strategic Projects.

    gteic – Gréasán Digiteach na Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Digital Network)
    30 innovation & digital hubs with highspeed broadband connectivity will be developed throughout the Gaeltacht as well as on 6 Gaeltacht Islands and 7 other off-shore Islands.
    These developments will give the Gaeltacht community an opportunity to return to or live in their home area by providing remote working opportunities at hot desks, co-working spaces or private offices at these hubs.
    This growing digital ecosystem will be an excellent opportunity for new technology companies an opportunity to establish or locate themselves in the rural areas which encompass the Gaeltacht.

    Páirc na Mara
    Páirc na Mara will be developed as a state of the art, low carbon marine innovation park, located on a greenfield site approximately 45 miles west of Galway City. In consultation with key strategic partners plans will be formulated on a collaborative basis that will enable Údarás na Gaeltachta to develop a modern marine innovation park to drive the growth of the sector and enable economic and employment growth in the area. It is envisaged that the development of Páirc na Mara will be an important enabler for the development of the marine industry as a whole, not only in the Conamara Láir area but on a regional and national level also.

    Branda na Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Brand)
    Branda na Gaeltachta will act as a stamp of approval for everything that originates in the Gaeltacht and will be a visual representation of the vibrancy, enterprise, cultural richness and unique language and heritage of the Gaeltacht regions. Ireland’s Gaeltacht is a unique product, a first class product of a global standard which is based on the Gaeltacht’s language, culture, people and resources. The brand will be established to gain the best possible advantage from this Gaeltacht ‘product’ and to achieve the best possible potential for the region in terms of the development of resources and employment, and to attract mobile investment.

    Diaspóra na Gaeltachta
    This strategy will endeavor to encourage the emigrant Gaeltacht community abroad or in Ireland to return home to the Gaeltacht, their families and communities and, thereby, bolster the Irish language as a community language in those areas. It is hoped that a continual connection can be established with this national and international community in order to make them aware of the employment, living, social, language and cultural opportunities available in the Gaeltacht areas. The connection that is established and maintained with the Gaeltacht diaspora is important to promote the Gaeltacht as a region which is inspiring and innovative to live and work in.

    Tourism Management Development Scheme
    This initiative will support a range of strategic tourism projects in the Gaeltacht to assist those projects to add to their management, marketing, development and administrative capabilities. It is important for the tourism industry in the Gaeltacht that language, culture and the landscape including the rich Gaeltacht heritage is displayed as a central aspect of the development of products, services and the resources that are required to maximise the economic and employment benefit to the local communities.

    Referring to the organisation’s new strategy, Údarás na Gaeltachta Chairperson, Anna Ní Ghallachair, stated, “The newly appointed Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta is satisfied that we have a challenging and comprehensive strategic plan for implementation in the three years ahead. A core objective of Údarás is to support the linguistic, community, natural and cultural resources of the Gaeltacht and to develop these in line with the funding available to the organisation. This strategy must promote and strengthen the Irish language and the Gaeltacht community in order to foster stronger Irish-speaking communities. Significant challenges lie ahead of the organisation, which we will meet with enthusiasm and determination in order to ensure a Gaeltacht that is stronger both linguistically and as a community.”

    Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief Executive, Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, stated “Údarás na Gaeltachta will have a specific focus on promoting innovation and enterprise in order to nourish the vibrant language communities throughout the Gaeltacht. We are targeting the approval of 1500 jobs during the plan period and the consolidation and development of the enterprise base. Particular attention will be placed on the development of human, natural, cultural and linguistic resources of the Gaeltacht and it is hope to encourage the Gaeltacht Diaspora and the skill they have to return to support and enhance Gaeltacht Communities.”