Written Answers - Garda Training.

Thursday, 8 June 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 621 No. 9

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  11.  Mr. O’Shea  Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell   the number of meetings that have taken place of the inter-Departmental working group to recommend an appropriate approach to Irish language training for recruits to An Garda Síochána; if this group has concluded its work; the recommendations it has made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18138/06]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  The inter-departmental group which is examining Irish language training for Garda recruits has met formally on two occasions. However, its members have also been in continuing informal contact on the issues under discussion. The Garda Commissioner had also established a working group to examine the teaching of Irish in the Garda College. I am advised that the two groups have liaised closely and understand that the main issues have been addressed by the Commissioner’s working group, including [527]the teaching of Irish to recruits who have no knowledge of the language, and more generally the promotion of excellence in Irish in the Force, particularly taking into account the needs of Gaeltacht areas and the requirements of the Official Languages Act 2003.

I expect to receive the report of the inter-departmental group before the end of this month, and the aim is to put in place the new programme in time for the intake of recruits in August.


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