At a Foras na Gaeilge board meeting on the 14 June 2019, in the Foras na Gaeilge offices in Ráth Chairn, Co. Meath, grants to the value of €427,805 were approved in the areas of youth, writing and publishing.
Grants worth €247,825 were approved for the Youth Activities Scheme 2019/20, which gives opportunities for use to young people, which encourages them to use the Irish language in an enjoyable way. The grants will enable the grantees to organise at least 12 sessions during the school year focusing on young people between 3 years and 18 years old outside of school. It is estimated that more than 4,000 children will take part in the activities.
In the area of publishing €140,480 worth of commissions were approved for the 2019 Commissions Scheme to support those involved in Irish language literature in catering for the demand in the various areas of reading. As well as the grants in the area of publishing, €39,500 worth of grants will be awarded to potential new writers and mentors under the Mentoring Scheme 2019. This scheme gives a valuable opportunity to writers at the start of their writing career to get advice about their writing and the craft of writing in general from recognised writers.
Foras na Gaeilge chief executive, Seán Ó Coinn, said, “The big demand for the Youth Activities Scheme from year to year and the dedication of applicants in terms of providing opportunities to young people to use Irish socially outside of school is a source of optimism for me. We are concerned, however, that the fund for this scheme has been reduced by 26% and that we will not be able to support the same number of grantees. Foras na Gaeilge funding has been greatly reduced since the time of the economic crisis and the funding has not increased since then.
As for the Mentoring Scheme, it is also a source of optimism for us that there are new writers coming forward wishing to improve their craft through the Mentoring Scheme. There has been a growth in recent years in Irish language publishing, especially in the genre of children’s books, and we hope that the writers who are benefiting from this scheme will be stepping forward as Irish language writers in the years ahead.”
Anna Davitt, Programme Manager: Communications, Marketing & Awareness, Foras na Gaeilge
Tel: 0035387 673 6175