NUI Galway announces first ever Irish Language Officer

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NUI Galway has appointed its first ever Irish Language Officer as part of the University’s Irish Language Strategy for the next four years.

Caroline Ní Fhlatharta, a native speaker from Connemara, joined NUI Galway over 16 years ago and has worked in various roles, including in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.

She will take up her new position as Irish Language Officer at the end of this month.

The University’s President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said the appointment reinforces the message that NUI Galway is fostering and developing an exemplary bilingual campus.

“The appointment of an Irish Language Officer is a key first step in our Straitéis don Ghaeilge and an act of recognition that reflects NUI Galway’s clear vision for the Irish language within university education,” he said.

“She has the full support of colleagues in the University in promoting the values set out in the Irish Language Strategy, increasing and strengthening the University’s Irish language community.”

Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Deputy President and Registrar of NUI Galway, said the University’s strategy for the Irish language is an ambitious one.

“The appointment of Caroline Ní Fhlatharta as Irish Language Officer will support that, and our vision to develop and foster a sustainable bilingual environment and promote our language across University life and the NUI Galway community, as well as in the Gaeltacht and Irish language communities.”

The Irish Language Officer will have overall responsibility for driving the University’s vision for the Irish language and the role involves working on the University’s current Scéim Teanga and planning the next, as well as ensuring the University lives up to obligations for the Irish language.

Speaking about her appointment, Caroline Ní Fhlatharta said: “It is an honour to be given this opportunity and pioneering role as NUI Galway’s first Irish Language Officer and to start implementing the University’s Irish Language Strategy.

“I am looking forward to pouring my energy into improving the status and profile of the Irish language and on developing and encouraging language awareness and competency across the entire NUI Galway community.”

The Irish Language Officer will also oversee implementation of the new policy which requires all units to provide customer services through the medium of Irish; implement a scheme whereby the Irish language as a skillset is officially recognised in recruitment processes; and that 20% of professional staff will have the ability to conduct business through Irish.