NUI Galway have officially launched their new Irish Language Strategy to reinforce the bilingual status of the campus.
The five-year plan (2021-25) aims to redevelop and strengthen the bilingual culture through operational policies and commits to promoting the Irish language within university life.
The strategy was developed by the newly established Irish Language Strategic Committee chaired by President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.
The Committee members discussed their main objectives with the participation of internal and external members to the University, including thestudent voice.
The strategy will focus on several principal areas such as Space and Resources, Administrative and Management Structures, Academic Affairs, the use of Irish in the University, and The Community.
Further development of the Irish Language Residence Scheme will aid the Irish speaking community by providing Irish language speakers reserved places in student residences at NUI Galway to encourage the language.
Furthermore, language hubs for the Irish language will become readily available on Galway campus, and discussions will continue to propose the construction of a new building for the Irish language community on campus.
Recently, it was announced by the University that Eimear Ni Oireachtaigh is to become the new Irish Language Officer of NUI Galway Student’s Union, whose responsibilities will include implementing the new policy to provide customer services through the medium of Irish and establishing a plan of action whereby the Irish language is officially recognised as a skill set in recruitment processes.
The University’s vision for driving the Irish language forward was presented in the University’s plan to design and implement a new art scheme which will focus on the placement of the Irish language across campus.
Committee members will also investigate providing the option of offering interdisciplinary modules through Irish, and providing the option to those who wish to teach through Irish. The network of University Gaeltacht Centres will make the most of the opportunities arising from the State’s 20-Year Plan for the Irish Language and the amendment to the Official Languages Act.
Dr Máire Geoghegan Quinn, newly appointed Chair of the University’s Governing Authority stated that “The Irish language has always had a particular advantage here at NUI Galway in terms of location and community. It was understood from the outset that it was in the interests of our language, the Gaeltacht and our University to foster and strengthen this relationship between us, which was done.”