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A Ghaeltacht sign in Co Galway. Flickr/kirinqueen

Dublin could be getting a 'flagship' Irish language hub for speakers to meet and speak

It’s part of an investment plan for the language.

NEW PLANS TO invest €178 million in the Irish language over the next decade include a plan for an Irish language and cultural hub in Dublin.

Irish language groups have said that such a hub could include a café or theatre and would be a space for those who speak the language and those learning it.

The government’s proposals for investment in culture, language and heritage were revealed yesterday with significant pledges for Gaeltacht areas and language supports.

A total of €105 million is being earmarked for Gaeltacht areas through Údarás na Gaeltachta but there are also ambitious plans to develop “language and culture hubs” across the country.

The plan sets aside €13 million to develop this aspect of the plan.

“In the region of €4 million will also be earmarked for the development of a landmark flagship Irish Language and Cultural Hub serving the growing community of Irish speakers in Dublin City and its environs,” the government’s plan states.

Conradh na Gaeilge has welcomed this and the other aspects of the government’s plans and noted that it made similar suggestions its own language plans that were produced along with 88 other groups.

On the proposal for a language hub in the capital,  Conradh na Gaeilge’s Julian de Spáinn says that their own base on Dublin’s Harcourt Street is in great demand and a larger centre like those in Derry and Belfast would be of great benefit.

These are centres where members of the public can drop in and know that there’ll be a café there that they can use their cúpla focal in. Or that there’ll be classes on, providing services for parents who are bringing up their children through Irish, or a theatre, all those things in one centre.

There is as yet no location for the proposed “flagship” Irish language hub but de Spáinn says they have already begun a feasibility study into expanding their own centre.

Already we’re oversubscribed on what we do here, the buildings and rooms are used on constant basis. But there’s no, for example, in this building a café, where you can sit down and have a cup of coffee and have a chat. There’s no theatre here either at the moment. So if you were to bring them in.

“You want to have a centre where it’s not just about Irish language classes, be it that you provide a cookery class, or you do yoga or do whatever it is through Irish. So you have everyone from those learning the language to,” he added.

Language centre   

As well as the plans for the new hub, there’s also proposals for a wider rollout of the Irish language centres that are already in place in places like Carlow and Ennis.

In these areas, Irish language groups are brought together and a plan is put in place as to how they can best work together to develop and promote the language more.

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