Fund for Gaeltacht community halls affected by summer colleges cancellation

Galway Daily news Increased funding for Gaeltacht summer college accommodation providers

A stabilisation fund has been set up specifically for Gaeltacht Community Halls affected by the cancellation of Irish language colleges this summer.

The €240k fund announced by Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers can give up to €7,000 in payments to community halls which would normally provide class, entertainment and sports accommodation for the Irish language colleges.

Irish language colleges in Gaeltachts have been cancelled for the second year in a row this summer due to concerns about COVID-19.

Community Halls which apply to the scheme can receive €750 per week in respect of all summer courses.

Galway has the largest number of halls/centres which have been identified by the Department for this fund, with 18 halls in the Connemara Gaeltacht supporting 54 courses.

In total, Galway is eligible for €93,750 out of the €240k set aside for this programme.

Minister of State Chambers said that this money will help the community centres which are “suffering” due to the consecutive cancellation of summer colleges.

“This is another step in helping the Irish language college sector which is suffering, for the second year in a row, as a result of COVID-19. Last year we relied on the colleges on a voluntary basis, to come to the aid of the halls they use.”

“As a result of this measure there will be no need for them to do so. With the announcement of this fund and the previous specific fund aimed at the system’s accommodation providers, the Department is gradually assisting the sector.”

This latest financial support follows on from a €2.2 million support fund announced for families that would normally provide accommodation for summer college students announced earlier this month.

The cancellation of Irish Language summer colleges this year was decided on after a consultation between the Department and stakeholder organised by Minister Chambers at the beginning of the summer.