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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 25 March, 2019
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Moscow native appointed to promote Irish language in south Kerry Gaeltacht

Dr Victor Bayda said that being appointed to the role was “a privilege and an honour”.

Russian Irish Officer6 Dr Victor Bayda is one of ten Language Planning Officers that have been appointed countrywide in recent months.

DR VICTOR BAYDA, a native of Moscow, Russia, has been appointed as the Irish Language Planning Officer for the south Kerry Gaeltacht.

His role would be to promote and cultivate the use of Irish from day-to-day. 

Comhchoiste Gaeltachta Uíbh Ráthach announced the appointment of Bayda, who was a lecturer of Irish in the Lomonosov State University in Moscow for 15 years.

Speaking to RTÉ, Bayda says he tries to visit Ireland every year to improve his Irish, and said that he’s aware of the challenges of his new role.

He is the tenth Irish language planning officer that has been appointed under the language planning process in the Gaeltacht in recent months.

Bayda’s experience

Bayda expressed a huge interest in languages since he was 13 years old, with a particular interest in Celtic languages, according to a statement from Údarás na Gaeltachta; although Welsh and Scots Gaelic first piqued his interest, it was the Irish language that he focused on.

While studying Dutch in Moscow Lomonosov State University, his interest in the Irish language grew and he subsequently undertook a doctorate in Irish.

Victor spent periods in Ireland, in Trinity College and in the Conamara Gaeltacht, learning the language and he achieved fluency with the support of the community in An Spidéal and in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in An Cheathrú Rua in Co Galway.

Bayda will be responsible, in collaboration with the community and organisations in the area, for the implementation of an Irish Language Action Plan that has been prepared for the South Kerry Language Planning Area. 

The language plan was prepared with the support of the community, and approved in early 2018 for funding of €100,000 to support the implementation of the plan.

Reaction

Bayda said that his appointment was “a privilege and an honour” for the “picturesque” area of south Kerry.

“I am extremely grateful for the warm welcome I have received over the past few days and I am looking forward to starting to work with the community to promote not only the Irish Language but the area itself also.

We have significant challenges ahead certainly but it is very important to keep a positive focus on the Uíbh Ráthach area and to grasp all opportunities presented to the area has with both hands in the years ahead.

Áine Ní Bheoláin, Manager of Comhchoiste Gaeltachta Uíbh Ráthach said that they were “delighted” that Bayda “showed an interest in undertaking the challenge of Irish language planning here in Uíbh Ráthach”.

There are some very interesting years ahead of us here in south Kerry… The challenges must be faced in different innovative ways and that is what we undertake for the years ahead.

Separately, today is International Mother Language Day, which is used to increase awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism.

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