Council to appoint part-time Irish language officer

The Council is to formally appoint an Irish Language Officer, the role to be fulfilled on a part-time basis in the Cavan County Library Service.

The revelation emerged at the October monthly meeting of elected members, and on foot of a motion on the subject tabled by Sinn Féin's Paddy McDonald.

The Bailieborough representation called on the Council to acknowledge that, under Section 15 of the Official Languages Act 2003, public bodies have a duty to prepare a statutory scheme specifying the services they provide through the medium of both Irish and English.

“There is a duty on public bodies including Cavan County Council to promote the Irish language and that this should be done through written by-lingual communications.

“Irish language training for Council workers, a programme of cultural event and activities, support and for the public who wish to avail of council service through Irish and international translation services,” said Cllr McDonald, who demanded that the post be advertised immediately.

The motion was seconded by Fianna Fáil's John Paul Feeley, who noted that the matter had been on the agenda for discussion almost three years previous.

He informed the meeting of his understanding that the Council was already in the process of exploring options with a view to making such an appointment, and that developments were awaited as early as next year.

Cllr Feeley said that most people in Ireland had some level of Irish, and while he acknowledged that the Council had done good work in the past in promoting the language, he suggested: “We can always do more.”

There was further support for the motion from Fianna Fáil's Clifford Kelly.

Director of Services Eoin Doyle confirmed that the Council was involving in an “ongoing” process exploring the appointment of an Irish Language Officer on a part-time basis only.

This position would fall under the remit of the library service, and he said that the Council hoped hire a person to the role in 2021.

Cllr McDonald welcomed the development as “positive news”.

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