Statement from Údarás na Gaeltachta’s board – 29 May 2020

The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta approved a number of projects today (29/5/20) which will result in 10 new full-time jobs and an investment of up to €1.4m when these projects are underway

29 May, 2020

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Pairc an Mhaimin

Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Board Meeting held online instead of at Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta in Leitir Móir

A virtual arena in cyberspace rather than the picturesque surroundings of Páirc an Mháimín in Leitir Móir, Co. Galway was the location for today’s board meeting of Údarás na Gaeltachta. Traditionally a Board Meeting is held annually at Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta and today’s meeting would have been held in Leitir Móir in Co. Galway had it not been for the COVID-19 emergency. As with a significant number of public events, this year’s Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta was postponed as a result of public health restrictions and the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta congratulated Cumann Peile Naomh Anna in their handling of the emergency as it arose.  The Board confirmed that they look forward to attending Comórtas Peile 2021 in Leitir Móir on Whit Weekend 2021.

Support for 10 new jobs approved with an investment of €737,000 in Gaeltacht companies

The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta approved a number of projects today (29/5/20) which will result in 10 new full-time jobs and an investment of up to €1.4m when these projects are underway. The proposed initiatives will support new jobs in Gaeltacht companies in Counties Galway, Donegal and Cork including investment from the companies themselves.

 

 €365,000 Administration Grant approved for Ealaín na Gaeltachta

An annual administration grant of €365,000 was approved by the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta today (29/5/20) for Ealaín na Gaeltachta to allow that organisation to continue to develop its arts programme in the Gaeltacht in partnership with the Arts Council in 2020. The Arts Council has been joint funding Ealaín na Gaeltachta annually since 1997. The Board heard about the broad range of work completed by Ealaín na Gaeltachta in 2019 and the investment made in the arts in the Gaeltacht including:

The Féilte Scheme (23 arts festivals in 2019 with a budget of €88.85k), Artist Bursary Scheme (support for 14 artists with a total budget of €50k), Arts Development Scheme (support approved for 11 strategic projects in 2019 with a total budget of €92k), Síol (Seed) Scheme (support for 66 small projects or priority projects with a budget of €34.1k), Cothú (Nurturing) Scheme 2019 (support for 7 strategic projects with a year-long calendar of events with a budget of €206k).

 

€535,000 Administration Grant approved for Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta

Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Board approved a €535,000 annual administration grant for Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta to fund the company’s 2020 work programme.

Údarás na Gaeltachta, and Gaeltarra Éireann prior to that, have been involved in early education through Irish in the Gaeltacht since the first ‘naíonra’ preschool was founded in 1979. Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta was established in 2004 and is the largest organisation in the country providing early education services, in Irish or English.  CNNG supports 115 preschool services providing early education care for more than 1,896 children in the Gaeltacht. CNNG has grown and developed their services, supports and schemes. Along with preschool services, it also provides after school services, breakfast clubs along with the 5 childcare facilities under its auspices.  The various services employ 178 people in the child care/early education services in the Gaeltacht and 11 people are employed in the company itself.

 

COVID-19 Implications

COVID-19 has had huge implications on the early education sector and following the Government’s public health guidelines, all early years services are currently closed.  The Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Welfare is supporting the sector with payments for staff and support for childcare services.

In the roadmap set out by Government, it is proposed that some childcare and early education services will reopen on a gradual basis starting June 29th for essential workers only, and only if the facilities can ensure social distancing.   It is proposed that all early education services will reopen on July 20th depending on the Government’s public health guidelines.  Restrictions in relation to social distancing will certainly have a significant impact on these services and the businesses which supply and manage these services.

 

The most northerly gteic digital hub in Ireland is to be developed in Carraig Airt in Donegal

As part of the growth of the gteic network, the Gaeltacht digital hub network, it was agreed at Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Board meeting today (29/05/20) to support Donegal County Council in the development a gteic digital hub in Carraig Airt in North Donegal. gteic@Carraig Airt will be developed jointly with the County Council, who will cofund the majority of the gteic development costs from their own funds and with the support of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

The 168 square metre hub will be developed in a building on Carraig Airt Main St and from initial research it is expected that demand for such a unit in the area will be high.  Since the start of April 2020 remote working has increased, especially in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and it is now a main stream work option for many companies.

18 shared spaces will be provided for local companies, entrepreneurs and remote workers.  The hub will also boast a meeting room, canteen, shower room and toilets and disability access through the main door.

 gteic Gréasán Digiteach na Gaeltachta is a network of 31 innovation & digital hubs to be developed by Údarás na Gaeltachta in locations throughout Ireland’s Gaeltacht area. The gteic digital hubs will provide a vibrant network of high speed broadband facilities in rural Gaeltacht areas to stimulate job creation, to assist remote working, to encourage and enable the return of Diaspóra na Gaeltachta, to facilitate concept development and new business and to develop a community of hubs where the unique Gaeltacht culture drives creativity and innovation.

 

€4.7m Stability Fund for the Summer Colleges Industry Welcomed

The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta warmly welcomed the €4.7m stability fund for the summer colleges industry announced yesterday (28/05/20) by Seán Kyne, Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.  The once-off emergency measure worth €4.7m was approved to support the stabilisation of the Gaeltacht Irish summer colleges sector. The fund will be of great assistance to colleges and families throughout the Gaeltacht who are facing difficulties following the announcement that no Irish language course would be held in the Gaeltacht this summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to protect public health.

 

Development of an Education and Youth Centre at An Cnoc, Indreabhán

At today’s (29/05/20) meeting of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta it was outlined that the organisation is working with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Coláiste Lurgan and the Cois Fharraige community to develop an Education and Youth Centre at an Údarás site in An Cnoc in Indreabhán. This is the site where Coláiste Lurgan is held successfully every summer.

Over the past few months, an ambitious plan has been drawn up with Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Property Department and with the input of Coláiste Lurgan, DCHG and local stakeholders.  Údarás na Gaeltachta feels this project will be very worthwhile, not only to Coláiste Lurgan but also to surrounding area. All the preparatory work has been done, taking into account as far as was possible, the wishes of the interested parties, and as with every State funding capital project, the requirements of the Public Expenditure Code from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Údarás na Gaeltachta is committed to continuing this work in conjunction with the DCHG, Coláiste Lurgan and the local community.  The preparatory work has shown the importance of adopting an approach that will lessen as much as possible any short term effects the construction work will have on Coláiste Lurgan.

The once-off emergency measure worth €4.7m was approved to support the stabilisation of the Gaeltacht Irish summer colleges sector

Seán Kyne, Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands

€4.7m Stability Fund for the Summer Colleges Industry Welcomed

The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta warmly welcomed the €4.7m stability fund for the summer colleges industry announced yesterday (28/05/20) by Seán Kyne, Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.  The once-off emergency measure worth €4.7m was approved to support the stabilisation of the Gaeltacht Irish summer colleges sector. The fund will be of great assistance to colleges and families throughout the Gaeltacht who are facing difficulties following the announcement that no Irish language course would be held in the Gaeltacht this summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to protect public health.

 

Development of an Education and Youth Centre at An Cnoc, Indreabhán

At today’s (29/05/20) meeting of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta it was outlined that the organisation is working with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Coláiste Lurgan and the Cois Fharraige community to develop an Education and Youth Centre at an Údarás site in An Cnoc in Indreabhán. This is the site where Coláiste Lurgan is held successfully every summer.

Over the past few months, an ambitious plan has been drawn up with Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Property Department and with the input of Coláiste Lurgan, DCHG and local stakeholders.  Údarás na Gaeltachta feels this project will be very worthwhile, not only to Coláiste Lurgan but also to surrounding area. All the preparatory work has been done, taking into account as far as was possible, the wishes of the interested parties, and as with every State funding capital project, the requirements of the Public Expenditure Code from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Údarás na Gaeltachta is committed to continuing this work in conjunction with the DCHG, Coláiste Lurgan and the local community.  The preparatory work has shown the importance of adopting an approach that will lessen as much as possible any short term effects the construction work will have on Coláiste Lurgan.