The Irish Language Officers Scheme & The Scholarship Scheme 2018 approved by Foras na Gaeilge board

Foras na Gaeilge is pleased to announce that funding to the value of £179,098 has been approved for the Irish Language Officers Scheme at a Foras na Gaeilge board meeting today. Through the Irish Language Officers Scheme Foras na Gaeilge provides joint funding to local councils in the north to give them an opportunity to provide services through Irish and to support them in developing the promotion and use of Irish. Foras na Gaeilge will jointly fund Irish language officers’ posts in the following councils over the 3 year period of the scheme:

  • Derry City and Strabane District Council: £44,774.50 as joint funding for an Irish Language Officer post.
  • Belfast City Council: £44,774.50 as joint funding for an Irish Language Officer post.
  • Fermanagh and Omagh District Council: £89,549 as joint funding for two Irish Language Officer Posts.

Services provided through this scheme from 2006 include: an Irish language teaching training programme for council workers, a programme of cultural events and activities, advice and support for council workers and for the public demanding services through Irish and internal translation services.  Welcoming the board’s decision today Foras na Gaeilge CEO, Seán Ó Coinn, said, “The decision made our board follows a consultation process carried out by Foras na Gaeilge in April and May 2017 to hear views on the future of the Irish Language Officers Scheme in local government in the north. It is clear to us that an Irish language officer has a strong influence in the council area and we are delighted that Irish will have more opportunities for development in these local council areas.”

As well as the Irish Language Officers Scheme, grants to the value of €80,524 in total were approved by the Foras na Gaeilge board for the Scholarships Scheme 2018. The grants will be presented to three lead organisations: Conradh na Gaeilge (€35,100), Gael Linn (€24,864) and Cumann na bhFiann (€10,560), as well as Cumann an Phiarsaigh (€10,000) to give young people, adults and families the opportunity to attend Gaeltacht courses in 2018.

Foras na Gaeilge CEO, Seán Ó Coinn, said, “We are happy to announce the Scholarships Scheme 2018 today as this important scheme provides a valuable opportunity to young learners in the north to attend a Gaeltacht course, especially those from a disadvantaged background. The period of immersion in the Gaeltacht is a really positive experience for young pupils, an experience which lays a foundation as they continue to learn Irish as a lifelong process thereafter. We are pleased that we can facilitate this process for the learner.”


Note to the Editor

About the Irish Language Officers Scheme

In 2006 Foras na Gaeilge established the Irish Language Officers Scheme for councils in Northern Ireland, based on a similar scheme which was in place in the south under Bord na Gaeilge from the mid nineties. Under this scheme joint funding was provided for Irish language officers’ salaries for three years, in conjunction with the local councils on the condition that an action plan be prepared for the council in conjunction with Foras na Gaeilge. The following councils managed to reach an agreement under the 2007-2010 scheme:

  • Magherafelt District Council & Limavady Borough Council
  • Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council and Cookstown District Council
  • Derry City Council.

The second scheme was advertised for the 2010-2013 and after that for the 2013-2016 period. The same five councils were operating under the scheme until the boundaries of the councils were changed under the Review of Public Administration in the north. 

About the Scholarships Scheme 2018

The Scholarships Scheme is distributed under three categories:

Category Organisation
Pupils under 16: Northern Ireland only. Conradh na Gaeilge

Gael Linn

Cumann na bhFiann

Adults: Adults in the north and south  Gael Linn
Families: Families in the north and south  Cumann an Phiarsaigh

The Scholarships Scheme 2017 benefited 576 learners; 504 young people, 17 adults and 15 families. Conradh na Gaeilge, Gael Linn, Cumann na bhFiann and Cumann an Phiarsaigh can be contacted regarding the scholarships.

Further information:

Anna Davitt, Programme Manager: Communications, Marketing & Awareness, Foras na Gaeilge

Contact: 0035387 673 6175 | Email: