Irish-speaking areas in the North to receive official recognition for the first time

Five areas north and south have been chosen to receive formal status as Irish language network communities.

TWO IRISH-SPEAKING areas in Northern Ireland are set to receive official recognition for the first time.

Belfast in Co Antrim and Carntogher in Co Derry are among five areas across the island of Ireland that were chosen by a cross-border body, Foras na Gaeilge (FnaG), to apply for formal status as ‘Irish language network’ communities.

The other three areas are Loughrea in Galway, Ennis in Clare and Clondalkin in Dublin.

All five have been chosen to submit an application to the minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht who will bestow the official recognition on them.

This means an Irish language plan will be implemented over the next five to seven years. FnaG said an “imaginative public campaign” has been created to inspire and encourage communities to use more Irish every day.

“Simply what we hope to achieve is that more Irish will be heard and seen in our communities through creating and encouraging more opportunities to use Irish every day in our lives, starting with the easy step of using ‘Go raibh maith agat’ and ‘Slán’ every day, everywhere, with everyone. Our communities will benefit from this planning process and future investment as a result,” Brian Ó Gáibhín of Clondalkin Líonra said.

Irish News reports that while the government in the Republic has set aside funding in the south, no money has been agreed in Northern Ireland because of the Stormont collapse.

Community and business programme manager for FnaG Gearóid Trimble said the organisation has not been able to discuss plans with the executive north of the border. He also said that it would not be possible for FnaG to provide the funding itself because of its current budget constraints.

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