The Language Body 20 years established today  

It is twenty years today since the Language Body was established on the 2 December 1999. As well as the Language Body, which Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster Scots Agency are part of, (through the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC)), five other north / south bodies were established*, arising out of the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The implementation bodies will come together at an event organised by the NSMC in Armagh today to celebrate all that has been achieved by the north / south partnership since the Good Friday Agreement came into effect.

As part of Foras na Gaeilge’s twenty year celebration, key developments achieved in the Irish language sector in the last twenty years are being reflected upon, including the establishment of the six Irish language lead organisations which are a pillar of support for the community. In keeping with the transformation of how we communicate since Foras na Gaeilge was established in 1999, an active and lively campaign is running on contemporary and digital platforms ranging from podcasts to social media.  A practical resource providing information about the Irish language will be available through our redesigned bilingual portal site for the Irish language,

Foras na Gaeilge chief executive, Seán Ó Coinn, said, “The landscape of the language in Ireland has totally changed in the last twenty years. This change can be seen especially in the north. Foras na Gaeilge has been central to this transformation. With Foras na Gaeilge we now have a systematic way. in the north and south, through funding schemes to support communities and groups seeking to develop the Irish language.”

Foras na Gaeilge chairperson, Pól Ó Gallchóir, said, “Foras na Gaeilge has succeeded in significantly increasing the support framework north and south – such as the permanent footing of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Raidió na Life, Raidió Fáilte and the six Irish language lead organisations which are a pillar of support for the community. The online dictionary www.focló is one of the most important learning resources we have for the language, and is one of the most significant developments in the preparation of Irish for full recognition as a working language of the EU in 2022.”

“The main role of Foras na Gaeilge in the twenty years since its foundation has been to develop a support system – a system which would ensure that permanent results would come out of the community’s energy, dedication and enterprise for the Irish language. Due to the arrangements of the Belfast Agreement, we can put a sound footing under our visions for the language. We are not lacking in challenges to the development of the Irish language throughout the island, but now we have infrastructure and systems to tackle them,” said Foras na Gaeilge chief executive, Seán Ó Coinn.

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*The five other north south bodies established arising out of the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement are Waterways Ireland, Safefood: Food Safety Promotion Board, Intertrade Ireland, the EU Special Programmes Body and the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission.