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FINE GAEL LANGUAGE MOVE CONDEMNED
The Celtic League Secretary General has written to Fine Gael (FG) to express concern over a motion relating to the Irish language adopted at the Fine Gael Ard-Fheis earlier this year.
Cathal Ó Luain pour Celtic League le 5/10/06 22:06

The Celtic League Secretary General, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, has written to Fine Gael (FG), an Irish political party to express concern over a motion relating to the Irish language adopted at the Fine Gael Ard-Fheis earlier this year. The issue was raised by Irish delegates to the Celtic League Annual General Meeting held in Brittany on the 5-7 August weekend. After discussion of the issue the League unanimously adopted a motion declaring its opposition to the Fine Gael move and also expressing support for Conradh na Gaeilge who have condemned the FG proposal

The text of letters from the Secretary General to both Fine Gael and Conradh na Gaeilge are set out below:

"Fergus O'Dowd TD Irish language Spokesperson of Fine Gael Fine Gael, National Headquarters, 51 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 6198444 Fax: (01) 6625046

Dear Fergus O'Dowd TD

End to compulsory Irish for Leaving-Cert students

The Fine Gael motion that was passed earlier this year at the Fine Gael Ard-Fheis, at City West in Dublin calling for an end to compulsory Irish for Leaving-Cert students does not have the support of the Celtic League. At the League's AGM in Landerne/Landerneau in Breizh/Brittany last week, delegates voted unanimously for the following motion:

'This AGM deplores the Fine Gael decision to downgrade the status of Irish in second level education by eliminating Irish as a necessary subject for study and examination for the Leaving Certificate and supports the Conradh na Gaeilge campaign against it.'

As the Republic's first official national language every effort should be made to create opportunities for its use among students throughout the whole education system. Failure to do so would almost certainly undermine the status of the language. We fear that by giving students the option of dropping their Irish studies after the Junior Certificate Examination would have a detrimental effect on the language throughout Ireland in the future.

In addition, to give students the option of whether to continue with their Irish studies after the Junior Certificate Examination, at this young age, may mean that they do so without fully understanding what they are doing.

To our understanding Conradh na Gaeilge have put together a set of proposals that would improve the way Irish is taught through the education system and perhaps lead to a greater enjoyment of the learning of the Irish language by the students. We are therefore supporting Conradh na Gaeilge campaign to oppose the changes and hope for a positive outcome in the debate.

We look forward to hearing your comments on this issue.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League

C.c Enda Kenny TD, Party Leader

12.08.06"

"Conradh na Gaeilge 6 Sráid Fhearchair Baile Átha Cliath 2, Éire

Dear Sir/Madam End to compulsory Irish for Leaving-Cert students I am writing to you on behalf of the Celtic League to offer you our support in your campaign against the Fine Gael decision to eliminate Irish as a necessary subject for study and examination for the Leaving Certificate.

At the League's 2006 AGM in Landerne/Landerneau on the 5th and 6th August the following resolution was passed

'This AGM deplores the Fine Gael decision to downgrade the status of Irish in second level education by eliminating Irish as a necessary subject for study and examination for the Leaving Certificate and supports the Conradh na Gaeilge campaign against it.'

I have written to Fergus O'Dowd TD, the Irish language Spokes person of Fine Gael, and copied the letter to Enda Kenny TD, Party Leader, expressing our concerns.

We will endeavour to be of more assistance in your campaign and look forward to hearing from you if there is anything further you think we can do.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League

12/08/06"

The Irish language concern was one of a number of issues relating to the Celtic languages which were considered at the League AGM.

J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League

12/08/06

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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues. TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609 (voir le site)
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