Official Report (Hansard)

Session: 2007/2008

Date: Thursday, 28 February 2008

Foras na Gaeilge

28 February 2008

Members present for all or part of the proceedings:
Mr Barry McElduff (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr Francie Brolly
Lord Browne
Mr Kieran McCarthy
Mr Nelson McCausland
Mr Pat Ramsey

Witnesses:
Mr Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh )
Mr Liam Ó Maoilmhichíl ) Foras na Gaeilge
Mr Tomás Ó Ruairc )

The Chairperson:

I welcome Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh, Liam Ó Maoilmhichíl and Tomás Ó Ruairc. Ferdie is príomhfheidhmeannach — chief executive; Liam is cathaoirleach — chairperson; and Tomás is deputy chief executive of Foras na Gaeilge. Tá fáilte romhaibh go Stormont; we are delighted to have you here. On a personal level, I wish Liam well in his new role. He spent many years as director general of the Gaelic Athletic Association and did a great job there.

Mr Liam Ó Maoilmhichíl (Foras na Gaeilge):

Go raibh míle maith agat. We are delighted to be here. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address the Committee. I apologise for being a few minutes late; that is why you had to change your schedule. I had not reckoned on the Belfast traffic being so heavy at this hour of the day; I thought that that only happened in Dublin.

The Chairperson:

It probably felt as though you were back on the M50.

Mr Ó Maoilmhichíl:

We are delighted to be here. You introduced Ferdie, who is our chief executive, and Tómas, who is the deputy chief executive and director of educational services. I have been in post only since December 2007, so I am very much a greenhorn. However, I was a member of Bord na Gaeilge, which was the forerunner to Foras na Gaeilge, so I have an idea of its work. I also know quite a few of the staff.

You have received our written submission, which Ferdie will go through, and then we will be happy to answer questions.

Mr Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh (Foras na Gaeilge):

A Chathaoirligh agus a Chomaltaí, ta an-lúcháir orainn a bheith anseo; we are quare plaised to be here today.

Foras na Gaeilge was established on 2 December 1999. It is one part of the language body; the other part is the Ulster-Scots Agency. Unfortunately, my joint chief executive George Patton cannot be here today.

The functions of Foras na Gaeilge are the promotion of the language; facilitating and encouraging the use of Irish in speech and writing in public and private life in the South and, in the context of part III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in the North where there is appropriate demand; advising administrations, public bodies and other groups in the public and private sectors; undertaking supportive projects and grant-aid bodies and groups; carrying out research and promotional campaigns on terminology and dictionaries; and supporting the Irish-medium sector and the teaching of Irish. Our mission statement is “Úsáid na Gaeilge a mhéadú sa tsaol laethúil” — to increase the use of Irish in everyday life.

In 2001, the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) approved a strategic development plan, which had approval in principle for 65 staff. It also recognised that a separate review would need to be carried out on An Gúm, which is the publishing branch for text books, on the Coiste Téarmaíochta, which is the terminology committee, and on Áis, which is the book distribution service of Foras na Gaeilge. Based on that review, a special subcommittee of the board was set up, and the board decided that 13 extra posts were required to cover that important area, including lexicography, which is the compiling of dictionaries. The results of the review and the decision in March 2006 by the two sponsoring Ministers — Éamon Ó Cuív TD and David Hanson MP — to proceed with the proposal that was made in 2003 by the then Minister of Finance in Dublin, Charlie McCreevy, resulted in the decentralisation of 30 posts to Gaoth Dobhair.

The board forwarded a proposal for a revised staffing level of 78, distributed among the three offices. At the NSMC meeting in sectoral format in October 2007, the sponsoring Ministers Éamon Ó Cuív TD and Edwin Poots MLA announced that the staff and functions of Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge based in Ráth Cairn in County Meath, which provides grant aid for Irish-language publishers, were to be transferred to Foras na Gaeilge from 1 January 2008. That transfer has taken place, with ring-fenced funding being provided solely by the Southern sponsoring Department.

Despite staff shortages, Foras na Gaeilge feels that it has functioned well since its inception, especially in helping worthwhile initiatives, North and South. We provide core funding for 19 organisations and substantial projects and local initiatives. We have introduced a new financial assistance scheme, which was ratified by the sponsoring Departments and by the NSMC. Most of our funding now goes to schemes aimed at five funding priorities: status of the language; acquisition of the language; usage of the language; building communities; and — the nirvana to anyone in language planning — inter-generational transmission.

We provide core funding for Scéim Phobail Ghaeilge 2008-10 for 17 Irish-language development officers in the community; a daily Irish-language newspaper; a weekly Irish-language newspaper; and language-development officers in association with local authorities. The last-mentioned is confined strictly to the North: under the Official Languages Act 2003 in the South, 650 councils and public bodies already have a duty to provide such services. We have several Irish-language magazines; a summer-camp scheme for children aged seven to 14; and a youth scheme, because we feel that “children are our future”, as the song says, and therefore every assistance that can be given to them in using the language is important. We have a funding scheme, An Ghaeilge sa Phobal, for small grants of under £3,500. We have teaching and learning-materials schemes; a bilingual signage and marketing scheme for business; and, launched in the last academic year, a scheme geared initially towards primary schools but which is now open to both primary and post-primary schools to recognise best practice in the promotion of the spoken language in schools.

We also provided funding to develop a syllabus and examinations based on the common European framework for reference. The framework is used for major European languages to enable users to identify the level at which they use a language. It ranges from A1, which is entry-level, to level C2. Work on preparing materials for level C2 is ongoing.

We have an accreditation system for Irish-language translators; we develop the Irish-language arts; and we have a place-names project, in association with the place-names section at Queen’s University of Belfast. Last year, our publishing section, An Gúm, published more than 60 textbooks and books for young people. Last year, Áis, our book distribution agency, had a turnover of €1∙635 million: an increase of 17% on the previous year. Last year, we published several specialist dictionaries. The new English-Irish dictionary project will have 50,000 key words and 250,000 sample sentences; it will be available in electronic and hard copy. We signed a contract at the end of last year for step A2, which is the English-language framework for that project. We hope to start at the end of this year. It is not translation, because in any language there are many phrases that cannot be translated directly into another language.

A saying such as, “That put the tin hat on it”, does not mean that someone literally put a tin hat on something. You must use an idiom when translating into another language; in Irish, for example, it would be “Chuir sin an dlaoi mhullaigh air.” There is a good terminology database: www.focal.ie, which contains more than 150,000 terms.

It must be remembered that Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency are one language body, although two separate parts. We have published annual reports and accounts up to 2003, and we hope to publish the 2004 annual report and accounts within the next two months. We are awaiting the 2005 and 2006 annual report and accounts from the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Northern Ireland Audit Office so that they can be consolidated before publication.

We have a good relationship with our friends in the Ulster-Scots Agency. We have a joint risk register; we jointly fund two part-time posts with the Northern Ireland Arts Council — one for Irish and one for Ulster Scots — in developing the arts; and we have a joint lecture series called “Our Shared Heritage”. We have undertaken several projects with the agency in the past. We are co-funding a film in Irish about the Ulster-Scots language and culture, and we are developing a schools project geared to 15- and 16-year-olds. Liam mentioned the roads system earlier. However, there used to be no road system, so transport was by sea. These islands are very close to each other. The film will be based on proximity and the influences that we have had on one another over the years.

Sin cur síos gairid, a Chathaoirligh, ar obair an Fhorais, má tá aon cheist agaibh orainn.

That is a short description of what we do. We will endeavour to answer any questions that members may have.

Mr D Bradley:

Go raibh maith agat. Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Tá fáilte romhaibh go dtí an cruinniú inniu, agus tá fáilte ar leith roimh Liam agus guím gach rath air san obair atá roimhe.

I welcome the delegation, especially Liam Ó Maoilmhichíl, the new chief executive, and I wish him every success in his new post.

A Chathaoirligh, tá cuid mhór scéimeanna luaite sa doiciméad seo — tá fairisinge acu ann, dáiríre. Ba mhaith liom ceist a chur ar ionadaithe an Fhorais: an bhfuil na scéimeanna sin mar chuid de straitéis chomhaontaithe?

Your submission outlines many schemes. Are they part of Foras na Gaeilge’s unified strategy? We spoke earlier about the budget for Foras na Gaeilge. I estimate that there has been a 2% increase, which, in real terms, is a decrease when inflation is taken in account. How does the proposed budget compare with last year’s and will it affect Foras’s work?

You are involved in quite a few schemes with tha Boord o Ulster-Scotch, which I welcome. Can you elaborate on the degree of co-operation between Foras na Gaeilge and tha boord and where that will lead?

Since I speak and write in Irish, I know that the current English-Irish dictionary, De Bhaldraithe, is somewhat outdated, so I welcome the work on a new English-Irish dictionary. When can we hope to see that dictionary in bookshops?

The Chairperson:

Dominic, you asked several questions; I may let you back in towards the end of the session.

Mr D Bradley:

If I behave myself. [Laughter.]

The Chairperson:

Má tá múineadh ort.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

The schemes are tied into our strategic aims, which follow on from one another and which include the status of the language; the acquisition of the language; the use of the language; building language communities; and the nirvana for language planners — inter-generational transmission.

The Chairperson:

What do you mean by the “nirvana” for language planners?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

Nirvana is what everyone who works with minority languages wants to achieve. It involves the language being handed down to the next generation, which enables the language community to grow continuously.

We are trying to build on the schemes using our budget. Our indicative budget for this year is €20·7 million. However, that has not been finally agreed by the Ministers because they have yet to meet in sectoral format to sign off on it. The income generated from our book distribution service will be added to that.

We hope — budget constraints allowing — that the dictionary will be ready in electronic format in 2011. As I said, this year we hope to begin what we are euphemistically calling the translation sector. Level A2 of the common European framework for language assessment has started. Letters will be sent to us as they are finished, and we hope to start on translation this year, but that depends a great deal on the budget.

We will have joint projects with the Ulster-Scots Agency because we are in the same position of trying to promote our languages and culture. You can ask the Departments what they think about the working relationship; we think that it is wonderful.

I hope that that answers Dominic’s questions.

Mr D Bradley:

I had one or two others, but I will the let Chairperson move on.

The Chairperson:

Go raibh maith agat.

Mr McCausland:

I am interested in the funding priorities because the Ulster-Scots Agency could learn from Foras. We can always learn from each other.

I spoke to Joe McDonagh at a conference and he explained to me that staff are not kept in-house; rather development officers work for organisations in the community. How many members of staff work for the 19 organisations that were mentioned? Do you have a ballpark figure?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

Can you give me a minute to do a rough calculation?

Mr McCausland:

I do not need the answer now; you can get back to me on it.

Who do the 17 development officers work for in the community?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

The 17 officers work with community groups that applied for funding through the scheme. They work in areas from Maghera to Limerick.

Mr McCausland:

Could a group such as a community association in Maghera apply for a worker under the scheme?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

Yes. However, it would have to meet specific criteria, including a work plan for the promotion of the language in the community. The plan would also have to involve key groups such as the youth sector, which we have recognised as an important area.

Mr McCausland:

I ask because the Ulster-Scots sector can learn lessons on how to develop a strategy.

How many young people attend the summer camps?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

The summer-camp scheme that the Ulster-Scots Agency runs is based on our schemes, which were in place first. The mistakes that were made —

Mr McCausland:

The mistakes that were made were recognised by the Ulster-Scots Agency.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

The summer camps catered for about 1,600 to 1,700 children.

Mr McCausland:

I attended some of the Shared Heritage events. The Linen Hall Library hosted an event about place-names one evening, and it was very informative. I welcome such events.

The last annual report and accounts that I received was for 2001. Does the Department send the Committee a copy of the annual report and accounts? If not, it should.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

They are available on the website.

Mr McCausland:

I am old fashioned; I like to have a hard copy.

The Chairperson:

There might be an issue there — I agree with Nelson. Members would like more information from Foras na Gaeilge; for example, newsletters or the monthly magazine. The Committee that scrutinises culture should be included on the distribution list for such publications.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

I can talk to George Patton to have ‘The Ulster-Scot’ sent to the Committee; I can also arrange for the Dublin office to send a copy of ‘Saol’. We part-fund the other magazines that are published so, as such, they are not our publications. I can also arrange to send the Committee a CD-ROM of the last annual report and accounts for 2002-03.

The Chairperson:

That is welcome.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

Where should I send them?

The Chairperson:

You can liaise with the Committee Clerk on that matter.

Mr Brolly:

Go raibh maith agat, a Chathaoirligh. Tá fáilte romhaibh. Gabhaim comhghairdeas libh, go háirithe le Liam as a phost nua.

Mr Ó Maoilmhichíl:

Tá fáilte romhat.

Mr Brolly:

Tá súil agam go dtig leat oibriú leis an tíoránach seo as Tír Eoghain: tá sé deacair againn, mar mhuintir Dhoire, a bheith ag obair leis. [Laughter.]

Mr Brolly:

Sorry, I should translate that.

The Chairperson:

You should also speak through the Chair.

Mr Brolly:

I was congratulating Liam on his new position.

Mr D Bradley:

He was also making derogatory remarks about people from County Tyrone, Mr Chairperson.

The Chairperson:

That is ok; I have a lot of support here.

Mr Brolly:

I was hoping that he would be able to work alongside a Tyrone man. It is very difficult for Derry people to do that. [Laughter.]

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

I object to that.

The Chairperson:

Please come to the point, Francie.

Mr Brolly:

There are two points. Obviously, you are not happy with the funding from this Administration, particularly for staffing, which always takes a huge part of a budget. On a secondary matter, Derry City Council recently announced an initiative to put townland names on road signs so that people know what townland they are in — it was in the news yesterday. Something similar has already happened in County Tyrone. Would Foras na Gaeilge encourage Derry City Council to put those names in the original Irish rather than the anglicised rendering? I am thinking of places such as Stranagalwilly, which is a lovely name but means nothing, as opposed to Sruthán Geal an Bhaile — the bright stream of the mountain — which is lovely. Thiocfadh leo a bheith dátheangach.

The Chairperson:

Mr Brolly’s questions are about the integrity of townland names and how they are presented; and staffing levels.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

The agreed staffing complement for 2001 was 65. Based on an external review, the board has since recognised another 13 posts to deal with terminology, lexicography and book distribution. We have a staff of 43 at present, and we have a staffing submission with the Departments. Although those posts have been agreed in principle, the mechanism for approving posts for the language body is long and torturous.

The posts must be cleared by both sponsoring Departments, then by the Department of Finance and Personnel, and finally they must be approved by the North/South Ministerial Council. Our submission for extra posts has been with the Departments since the start of November and is based on earlier submissions. We hope that the NSMC will approve the extra posts when it meets in sectoral format in April. I understand that the posts have been cleared by the sponsoring Department and are now with the Department of Finance and Personnel.

Nelson mentioned that he attended a lecture on townland names and place-names. Townland names are fascinating. However, I accept Francie’s point that some townland names do not translate well into English. I am originally from a wee place in east Tyrone called Brackaville, which does not mean anything.

Mr Brolly:

I think that I have heard of it.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

You should have, given that you just mentioned it

The Chairperson:

I think that Francie found a wife there.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

He has never been forgiven for crossing the county border.

I encourage as great an understanding of townland names as possible; it is important that we know who we are and where we are from.

Mr McCarthy:

It takes luck to get the townland names in English, never mind in Irish and English.

The Chairperson:

In 2002, Kieran tabled an extremely good motion in the Assembly that promoted the use of townland names by all Departments.

Mr McCarthy:

I will not let it go, either.

Mr Shannon:

Thank you for your presentation, gentlemen. I am keen to know more about the figures involved. A colleague asked how much annual funding you receive, and you gave a figure of €20·7 million. However, I did not catch how much income is generated. Will you repeat that?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

We estimate that the book distribution will generate approximately €750,000 or €800,000.

Mr Shannon:

I thought that you mentioned a figure of €1·6 million.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

That was our turnover.

Mr Shannon:

Where do you get your funding and how is it spent? What percentages do you spend in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

An Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta — the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs — provides 75% of the funding, and the other 25% comes from DCAL. I do not know the percentages for the South and the North because we advertise schemes on an all-island basis, and none of the assessment criteria that we use for the schemes contains geographical information; they all relate to the work of the scheme. Therefore I cannot give you a breakdown of our spending North and South.

Mr Shannon:

I did not expect you to have the figures at your fingertips, but, if it is not too much trouble, could you forward them to the Committee?

You referred to the schools project and how, years ago, the only contact between Ireland and the United Kingdom was by sea. You mentioned a new schools project, to which your presentation also refers. Which schools will be involved in that project? I assume that it would involve Irish and Ulster Scots.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

The language body will select the schools. Initially, we are geared towards involving eight schools, equally split on a cross-community basis, and we will ask the schools to commit to a follow-up. We envisage the young people involved becoming ambassadors for building better understanding in their peer group at school. This year we had planned to start in Rathmullen, go from there to Coleraine, then to Donaghadee, and finally across to Scotland, holding an event, whether Irish or Ulster Scots, at each of the stops to build on that understanding. We were too ambitious in hoping to do it this year, so we are now aiming for next year, which gives us more time to work on the programme. The programme is not yet close to being finalised, but we hope to introduce it to schools in October 2008 and to run the project in June 2009. We hope to involve mainly GSCE and AS level students.

Mr Shannon:

There is a question mark over Donaghadee High School.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

Donaghadee was one of the planned stops; we have not yet reached the point of contacting schools that we may wish to involve.

Mr Shannon:

The stops are just lines on a map at this time.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

Yes.

The Chairperson:

I presume, Jim, that you can remain involved in the process if you wish to make any further inquiries.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

It would be difficult to break down spend North and South. For example, should the spend on magazines be broken down according to where they are based or where they are read? We can provide a breakdown to a certain degree; we can look at the community schemes and the summer camps, for example, and attribute spend according to where they take place. We fund a summer camp every year in Tyrone in memory of Cormac McAnallen, and so we would know what the spend is on that. However, it would be more difficult to provide a breakdown in the funding for other schemes.

Mr P Ramsey:

Ferdie, you are very welcome. Although he will not introduce an Irish language Act, the Minister is to introduce an Irish language strategy. Will Foras na Gaeilge have direct contact with Minister Poots in preparing and advancing the strategy and giving it a key role in promoting the Irish language?

I realise that there are difficulties in bringing people up to date with modern software technologies and online learning resources; we are all trying to come to terms with those developments and their potential. How can Foras na Gaeilge make best use of such developments?

On a subject close to my own heart, I was disappointed that the Flight of the Earls commemoration did not advance as well in the North as it did in the South. I met Mr Poots recently to discuss the commemoration of the Plantation of Ulster in 2010 and the role that Derry played in it. Even though the plantation and the Anglo-Irish connection between London and Derry would be a matter mainly for the Ulster-Scots Agency, have you any thoughts about how it can be advanced holistically? Despite Derry’s rich built heritage from that period, it should not focus exclusively on Derry but should be regarded as a national commemoration as well. As for east-west co-operation, what is happening in Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Man?

Finally, you will be glad to hear, I recently met representatives of Altram and commended them on their excellent work on the early-years programme. Although they are struggling to achieve full capacity, they work well with the Sure Start programmes throughout Northern Ireland. They are mainly based in Derry and Belfast and involved in the naíscoil sector and do important work at the early-years stage. Where does Altram fit into the future of funding, and will there be a review of all programmes that are funded by Foras na Gaeilge?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

I will start with the last question. Altram is one of Foras na Gaeilge’s core-funded organisations, and this year we will start a review of all those organisations. There is no doubt that early-years learning is important, but there needs to be a follow-on from pre-school into primary school.

Altram does very good work. Its counterpart in the South is Forbairt Naonraí Teoranta (FNT), which is also funded by Foras na Gaeilge. Altram is on the board of FNT, so it considers the question on an island-wide basis. As you said, Altram is based mainly in Derry and Belfast, but it is involved in training and childcare with several pre-school groups, especially in the initial stages when those groups are finding their feet and trying to achieve recognition.

With regard to east-west contact, we have a relationship with Bòrd na Gàidhlig in Scotland and with Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg — the Welsh language board. We have only 43 staff of an approved complement of 65, so although we would like to spend more time working on those relationships, unfortunately we do not have the staff or the time.

We have already had a meeting with the interdepartmental charter implementation group about the strategy, and we have offered our assistance. We understand that Foras will have an input into the development of the strategy. I hope that I have answered all your questions.

Mr P Ramsey:

There was a question about the Plantation of Ulster, but it may not be for you to answer. Perhaps at some later stage —

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

We will have to discuss that with our colleagues in the Ulster-Scots Agency, but it is part of our shared history.

Mr McCarthy:

I extend a céad míle fáilte to the witnesses this morning and thank them for their presentation. I congratulate them on their work. I note that there is co-operation between Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency. You must be aware that, outside that environment, there is animosity towards languages. In fact, there was almost a riot in the Committee this morning when the words “Irish language” were used. What are you doing to overcome that animosity? We want it to be overcome; we want everybody to work together to enjoy the shared heritage that you mentioned. What can you do to encourage people who are not interested in languages to work with you?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

I accept that there are perceptions about all languages. “French is the language of love” — that is small round objects with which one plays tennis. Please do not minute that.

The Chairperson:

It has been minuted; please move on.

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

French is merely a means of communication, as is any language. We are working towards overcoming animosity, as Kieran said. We are trying to show that people here have more in common than they think and that we are a hybrid nation, whether we like it or not. We have influenced one another over the years: Irish has influenced how we speak English; so has French. There is a great word that they use on the Antrim coast — dishabills — which comes from the French word déshabillés . There have been innumerable influences on the English language over the years. Our work is only in its initial stages, and we must remember that the language bodies are still very young. We are trying to show people what we do to break down barriers and to disperse myths.

Mr McCarthy:

Well done. Keep up the good work.

Mr McCausland:

You used a word that I had forgotten for years. My question is about the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages (EBLUL). Do Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency fund the Northern Ireland committee of EBLUL?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

No.

Mr McCausland:

I would like to take up that issue later because we should be looking at it.

One of the themes of the British-Irish Council is indigenous minority languages. Are both parts of the North/South Language Body involved in that in some way?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh:

No; the language body is not involved in that. The secretariat is provided by Bwrdd yr laith Gymraeg. There are representatives from the two sponsor Departments in the language section, but there are no representatives from the language body. EBLUL was funded by the European Commission. There was a problem some years ago, but I do not know what it was. It seemed to disappear and then reappear. I do not know where the funding comes from.

Mr D Bradley:

The members’ pack contains an invitation from Pobal to a conference on 7 March to address a proposal by the committee of experts on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages on the development of a comprehensive language policy for the Irish language. You mentioned that you work in the context of the European charter. What progress has been made in developing the use of Irish by public bodies in Northern Ireland?

Mr Mac an Fhailigh;

A code of courtesy was produced in 2005. However, when we met the interdepartmental charter implementation group at the end of January, we said that it was time to review that code. I do not think that enough progress has been made in developing the use of Irish. More could be done about it, but it is a two-way street. Capacity must be built on both sides: the language community is not used to asking for a service, and public bodies are not used to providing one. A simple audit of the Civil Service would help enormously in finding out how many people have language skills and whether they would be prepared — and have the ability — to provide a service in those languages if they were given training. At the same time, we have to encourage our communities to look for such services. We can go down the rights way, which is important; however, we must build capacity on the two sides.

The Chairperson:

This léiriú has come to a conclusion. I thank Ferdie, Tomás and Liam for sharing their experiences and insights with us. We will discuss some of the issues that have been raised. Go raibh maith agaibh go léir.

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