Two early years initiatives in the Cois Fharraige area of the Galway Gaeltacht have been awarded grants totaling €425,000.
Minister of State and Galway West TD Seán Kyne confirmed that grants have been approved for Naíonra na bhForbacha and Ionad Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh to support Gaeltacht education and language planning.
The committee of Naíonra na bhForbacha has been awarded €198,000 in order to build a new nursery on the existing site next to Scoil Náisiúnta na bhForbacha.
A grant of up to €230,000 has also been approved for Ionad Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh in Indreabhán to allow the clearance of debts relating to the development of the centre at an Cnoc, Indreabhán.
Minister Kyne said that these two initiatives were the first to benefit from an increase in funding
“I greatly look forward to the implementation without further delay of the language plan for Cois Fharraige, which has been approved for some time now by my Department under the language planning process,” Seán Kyne said.
“The sooner this happens the sooner the local community will benefit from the yearly allowance of €150,000 which has been approved for the area under the process and the sooner it will be possible to make further progress which will be of benefit to the overall area”
A spokesperson from Coiste Teaghlaigh Naíonra na bhForbacha said that the allowance would be a great help towards promoting the Policy on Gaeltacht Education.
“Providing immersion education through Irish to infants sets down a strong linguistic foundation for the children which will aid in strengthening and cementing an Irish Language community in Na Forbacha in the years ahead.”
“As a result of the practical advice received from the Department the preschool committee will be able to provide a suitable early years centre beside the new school here in Na Forbacha, which will be of benefit to the local community and ultimately the Irish Language.”
Séan Breathanach, principal at Scoil na bhForbacha also welcomed the announcement, saying he was pleased that Naíonra would be building a new centre in the community.
“It is a positive result of the work that has been done in the area over the years in order to provide early years services through Irish for parents who wish to raise their children in this Gaeltacht area,” he added.