As 2022 draws to a close, Foras na Gaeilge reflects on a year of growth through major language awareness campaigns, partnerships with other organisations and the area of language planning.
On the 16 December, the Foras na Gaeilge Board welcomed the Director of Irish at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Dr Aodhán Mac Cormaic, who discussed the challenges and opportunities the government expects in 2023 – including the implementation of the Digital Strategy for Irish, and the work of the Irish Language Services Advisory Council.
Funding of more than €70,000 was approved for major arts events which be held in 2023, including the International Pan Celtic Festival 2023 (Carlow), Féile an Phobail in August 2023 (Belfast), the McCracken Summer School (Antrim) and the National Drama Festival (Galway). Significant investment will be made in Féile na Gealaí (Meath) during 2023 when €23,000 will be provided through both the Colmcille Scheme and the Major Arts Events Scheme.
Highlights of 2022 include the following:
- Creidim Ionat was run with support from RTÉ, a campaign which reached 4.3 million people and eighty-three countries. People in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Canada, Australia and France for the most part took part in the major language campaign.
- Foras na Gaeilge partnered in major projects with RTÉ, Children’s Books Ireland, World Book Day, University of Galway, Ulster GAA and Munster GAA.
- In the area of community, €4.1 million was provided to eight language planning areas, €720,000 was awarded to sixteen Irish language centres and 2,400 new followers followed the new major Gaelphobal campaign on social media. Funding was provided for Irish language officers in the community in thirty-six areas throughout the island.
- In the area of the arts, support was provided to sixty-five festivals, eighteen drama companies and seven major arts events.
- In the area of lexicography and terminology, four editors and a project administrator were appointed on five-year contracts. There were 1.8 million users on foclóir.ie and 2.4 million users on teanglann.ie.
- In the area of publishing, through support from the Publishing Scheme sixty-eight books were published. Library boxes with Irish language books were presented to 1,125 schools and sixteen Irish language books appeared on the Irish language Book of the Year 2022 shortlist. Thirty four writers were supported through Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge under the Mentorship Scheme.
- A new online grants application system was introduced and Foras na Gaeilge will accept online applications for funding schemes going forward. All information on Foras na Gaeilge funding schemes is available at forasnagaeilge.ie.
Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive, Seán Ó Coinn, said, “As 2022 draws to a close, we would like to express our thanks to all our partners and grantees in communities throughout the island who have done so much to promote the Irish language during 2022. Significant changes are being implemented in respect of the roles of the two governments in the development of Irish north and south, with legislation to support Irish now enacted in both jurisdictions. Important policies and strategies are in place or planned in 2023 which will greatly increase the status of Irish throughout the island. The role of Foras na Gaeilge as a state organisation for Irish in both jurisdictions, and the work of our partners, will be vital in the year ahead, to ensure we succeed.”
Anna Davitt, Programme Manager: Communications, Marketing & Awareness, Foras na Gaeilge
Tel: 0035387 673 6175