Press Release: More than €1.8 million of grants approved by Foras na Gaeilge board at the last meeting of the year

The last board meeting of Foras na Gaeilge of 2020 was held remotely on Friday, 11 December, which drew board business to a close in 2020. Three newly appointed members were welcomed: Waraola Majekodunmi, Neasa Ní Chiaráin and Dáithí Mac Cárthaigh, who started their four year terms on the board. The members whose terms on the board have come to an end, Foras na Gaeilge Chairperson Pól Ó Gallchóir, Máire Ní Neachtain and Sorcha Ní Chéide, were thanked and acknowledged for their contribution. A full announcement of new appointments to the board of the North/South Language Body is expected shortly.

Foras na Gaeilge is pleased to announce that spending worth €1.8 million has been approved, which will support the use and development of Irish in 2021 in the following areas:

  • More than €300,000 for the Áisaonad (Irish-medium resource centre) in St Mary’s College Belfast to provide high quality educational resources in the north.
  • €672,000 for Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich in Belfast and for Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin in Derry for the period 2021-2023 which will cover the costs of eight members of staff.
  • €120,000 for Gael Linn to run the scheme for encouraging Irish in schools, Gaelbhratach, in 2021.
  • €596,987 will be provided to support Irish language publishers under the Publishing Scheme (Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge) in 2021.
  • €97,421 has been made available through the Literary Projects Scheme (Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge) for events promoting writing and reading. Gaelchultúr, Imram and Poetry Ireland are among those who will be running these events in 2021.
  • €50,000 has been approved for arts events north and south through the Major Arts Events Scheme. Féile na Gealaí, the McCracken Summer School and the an Fhéile Náisiúnta Drámaíochta are among the major festivals which will be run in 2021.

Seán Ó Coinn, Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive, said, “Approving the large number of grants allows us to be optimistic as we look forward to 2021. The grants will place a firm foundation under the use and development of Irish at community level, especially in the northern jurisdiction, for which €1 million of the grants has been approved, particularly Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, who greatly succeeded in adapting to the pandemic restrictions during 2020, and who won the Irish language prize Coinnigh an Misneach at the Aisling Awards this year for their efforts.”

Pól Ó Gallchóir, Chairperson, said “I was both pleased and proud to have been leading the board for four years, a time in which there has been much development in the support arrangements for Irish in both jurisdictions on the island, with a 5 Year Action Plan now in place for the 20 Year Strategy For Irish, the southern government’s language planning policy in full swing and language bills coming soon north and south. I wish the Foras and the board every success in the coming years.”