Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Foras na Gaeilge currently provides core funding to 19 Irish language organisations, including the organisation referred to by the Deputy. By way of background, I should explain that Foras na Gaeilge is an agency of the North South Language Body, An Foras Teanga, which is jointly funded by my Department and by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland. Decisions regarding An Foras Teanga are made by both Sponsor Departments under the auspices of the North South Ministerial Council.
Following an external review completed on behalf of Foras na Gaeilge, the North South Ministerial Council agreed that the core funding arrangements be reconfigured to ensure a more streamlined and cost effective approach. The reconfiguration consists of moving from core funding for 19 organisations to a competitive funding model based on a portfolio of schemes requiring the delivery of various strategic priorities.
The present position is that the board of Foras na Gaeilge approved eight draft schemes at its meeting on 23 September 2011. These draft schemes are currently under consideration by the Sponsor Departments in preparation for the next meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in language sectoral format on 12 October 2011. It will, of course, be open to the organisation referred to by the Deputy to seek funding under the proposed suite of schemes to continue its work. It is important to note that, pending the introduction of the schemes, it has been agreed by the North South Ministerial Council that interim core funding will continue to be provided to the 19 Irish language organisations to 30 June 2012.
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