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Ó Cuirreáin has formally stepped down as Irish Language Commissioner

RTÉ journalist Rónán Ó Domhnaill will take on the role from tomorrow.

Seán Ó Cuirreáin
Seán Ó Cuirreáin
Image: Fiontar DCU via Flickr/Creative Commmons

Updated 9.40am

THE IRISH LANGUAGE Commissioner Seán Ó Cuirreáin has today formally stepped down from the role, after announcing his intention to do so late last year.

He told the an Oireachtas committee in December that he planned to resign from his role over government failures to promote the language and implement its use by public bodies.

The role of An Coimisinéir Teanga is to monitor compliance by public bodies with the provisions of the Official Languages Act.

RTÉ journalist Rónán Ó Domhnaill has been announced as his successor.

“However, in accordance with the Official Languages Act, ‘the appointment of a person to be An Coimisinéir Teanga shall be made by the President on the advice of the Government following the passing” of such a resolution’,” a spokesperson for the Office of the Language Commissioner said.

The appointment has not yet been made by the President and no date has been announced as yet for the appointment.

Ó Domhnaill has been a political correspondent on Nuacht RTÉ and TG4 for the last seven years and has also worked on other RTÉ current affairs shows.

President of Conradh na Gaeilge Donnchadh Ó hAodha said that Ó Cuirreáin’s resignation would be a “massive loss to the country”, but that his reasons for doing so are understandable.

“This brave step taken by him should be taken in context. No other ombudsman has resigned due to a lack of action by the Government in Ireland but he felt that he had no other choice because the Government are not willing to guarantee the Gaeltacht community State service through Irish, without condition or question.

Basically, the state system is pushing the use of English on the Gaeltacht community and are adding to the decline of the Gaeltacht. Also the Government is not ensuring enough civil servants in the South that can provide services to the public in Irish and in English.

Ahead of today’s move, as many as 5,000 people took part in a protest last week outside Leinster House calling for increased government support for the Irish language.

First published 6.57pm 23/02/14

Background: Language Commissioner faces questions over ‘backwards’ year for Irish language >

Resignation: Language Commissioner quits, tells TDs Irish is being marginalised >

Successor: An RTÉ journalist has been chosen as Language Commissioner after 21 applied >

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