Thursday, 20 October 2011
Questions to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure took place on Tuesday. Staff and stakeholders of the Northern Ireland Irish-language groups threatened with closure under Foras na Gaeilge's proposed new funding arrangements have grounds for cautious optimism in the light of the extended consultation period agreed at the recent North/South Ministerial Council meeting in Armagh. Asked about her approach to the way in which the proposals are being implemented, Minister Ní Chuilín stated:
"The direct answer to the Member's question is that I was not happy with the consultation. To that end, at the North/South sectoral meeting, Jimmy Deenihan and I announced that there will be a new consultation in November that needs to be fully inclusive. The core-funded Irish language bodies, like any other group in the community, are arguing for services and facilities for the constituents and people that they represent. The way in which the details of those schemes were brought forward almost made it impossible for people to consult. To that end, we have agreed a 12-week consultation starting in November."
And it was good to see Dominic Bradley back in the House and speaking Irish too.