Fine Gael TD Michael Creed has accused Fianna Fáil of deceiving the people of the Muskerry Gaeltacht, after the Tánaiste and Minister for Education Mary Coughlan admitted that the Department of Education is not in a position to proceed with the initiative to develop an Ionad Oideachais Naisiunta, in Colaiste Íosagain. Commenting on a reply to a Dáil question, Deputy Creed;

“Eight years ago the then Education Minister Michael Woods, and his Fianna Fáil colleagues launched the Ionad Oideachais Naisiunta to great fanfare onsite at Colaiste Íosagain. Five years later prior to the last General Election, the plan was repackaged and again relaunched onsite in Colaiste Íosagain. Eight years on after the first announcement the Tánaiste has now admitted that the project will not proceed”.

“I can understand how in the current climate how it is not possible for the project to commence. However in 2002 when the development was announced the State was flush with cash. This is the frustrating issue for the people of the Muskerry Gaeltacht. The Íonad Oideachais Naisiunta should have been established and functioning long before now as was promised in 2002”.

“This news is a blow to the Irish language. This undermines the 20 year strategy for the language which makes reference to the facility in Baile Bhuirne. Despite much rhetoric it is now evidently clear that Fianna Fail have no commitment to the future of the Irish language or indeed na Gaeltachtaí. This announcement also calls into question the future of Colaiste Íosagain. The building is idle with almost twenty three years and is falling into dilapidation. Without an anchor tenant the prospects for the future development of this historic building are bleak. It appears that the building will remain an eternal monument to the failure of Fianna Fáil in this area”.


Ceist Pharlaiminte

Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha

To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills if he intends to

proceed with the establishment of Ionad Oideachais Náisiúnta at a location

(details supplied) in County Cork.

– Michael Creed.


* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 29th September, 2010.

Reference Number: 33319/10


Tánaiste Mary Coughlan

My Cabinet colleague, the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

and my predecessor Minister Hanafin announced in March 2007 that a support and

development initiative for the Irish language under the aegis of An Chomhaire

um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta would be located at Coláiste

Íosagáin in Baile Bhúirne and that four additional staff would be assigned to

An Chomairle for this purpose. The intention was to provide a key resource

that will support and contribute to a national strategy for Irish at all levels

of the education system. The capital costs were to be funded by Udaras na

Gaeltachta. The commitment to proceed with the centre has been reiterated in

the context of the 20 year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030.

My Department is not in a position to proceed with this initiative in the

current budgetary climiate. However, the matter will be kept under review, and

it is the intention that the project will proceed as soon as resources allow.