Ealaín na Gaeltachta has been allocated a grant of €325,000 for a traditional arts programme for young people in the Gaeltacht to run through this school year.
Under the new programme, the offering of music, dancing, singing and oral arts classes will be expanded throughout the gaeltacht.
In Galway, schools that previously ran these classes will have them retained, while more schools will now have the chance to offer kids the chance to learn traditional Irish arts.
Ealaín na Galetachta is a joint programme run by the Arts Council and Udarás na Gaeltachta to encourage the growth of contemporary and traditional arts in the Gaeltacht.
While this arts programme is getting underway immediately in Cork and Donegal, classes in the Galway gaeltacht won’t start until next January.
This is because there aren’t enough teachers to run the programme now, and more need to be hired in Galway.
The funding was announced by Minister of State with responsibility for the Irish Language Joe McHugh, who said:
“I am delighted to announce this increased funding to assist with the provision of classes in the traditional arts for young people throughout the Gaeltacht.”
“The arts present a wonderful opportunity for young people in terms of Irish language acquisition and enrichment. Ealaín na Gaeltachta has been involved in the arts in all Gaeltacht areas for many years and, accordingly, they have an understanding of the needs of the communities in those areas.”
The €325,000 being made available for the programme this year is a 45% increase on 2017/18, which was a commitment made in the government’s five year Action Plan for the Irish Language 2018 – 2022.
While no new activities can be added in Galway until January 2019, it’s hoped that existing arts programmes will be able to continue unaffected until the end of the year.