Thursday, April 22, 2010


The 2006 Statement on the Irish language contains three objectives related to legislation:

Objective 1: The special status given to the Irish language in the Constitution and in legislation such as the Official Languages Act 2003, the Education Act 1998, the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Broadcasting Act 2001 will be upheld.
Objective 2: The Official Languages Act will be fully implemented. The right of the public to use Irish in dealings with the State and with other bodies will be developed and the appropriate arrangements to deliver this will be put in place.
Objective 10: Every assistance and support will be given to the European Union in implementing the decision to make Irish a working and official language in the EU from 1 January 2007.

Legal Standing
The Irish language has been included in many pieces of legislation enacted by successive Governments since the foundation of the State. The status of Irish as first official and national language in the Irish Constitution has been given effect in the Official Languages Act 2003. All provisions of the Act are in effect.

EU status
Irish has the status of a EU working and official language since 1 January 2007. The agreement on the introduction of this status gives the EU institutions a derogation from the obligation to translate all EU laws and texts into Irish, subject to periodic reviews of the continuing need for this derogation. The Government will work to create the circumstances in which a sufficient number of qualified graduates to meet EU recruitment needs are in place so that this derogation can be ended during the lifetime of this Strategy.

New Legislation
As already stated, new legislation will be enacted to give effect to the actions set out in this Strategy, including measures to:
  • provide a new definition for the Gaeltacht based on linguistic criteria; and
  • repeal the Údarás na Gaeltachta legislation and establish a new Údarás na Gaeilge.
Northern Ireland
As noted earlier, the Government will continue to press for the full implementation of commitments relating to the Irish language, which fall to the British Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, including the introduction of an Irish Language Act and the enhancement protection and development of the Irish language in Northern Ireland.

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