NUI Galway has appointed Caroline Ní Fhlatharta as its first ever Irish Language Officer.
The appointment of an Irish Language Officer comes as part of the university’s Irish Language Strategy for 2021-2025.
She expressed delight in being selected for the role and looked forward to working to implement the Strategy.
“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,” she added.
The new Irish Language Officer will be responsible for the introduction of numerous new Irish language policies on campus.
Plans include the provision of customer services through Irish, the language being considered a skill when recruiting new employees and ensuring 20% of professional staff will be able to make use of the Irish language in their role.
NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said the establishment of the new role was an important step in developing the university’s status as a bilingual institution.
“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.
“[Caroline] 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.”
“At NUI Galway our strategy for the Irish language is an ambitious one,” said Deputy President and Registrar, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh.
“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.”
Ní Fhlatharta has been a part of the NUI Galway community for over 16 years, including handling the Work Placement Programme for Irish language students and helping deliver the first LIFT Leadership Programme through Irish.
As Irish Language Officer, she will now oversee the current Scéim Teanga and ensure the university maintains its commitment to the Irish language as a bilingual university.
A native speaker from Connemara, Caroline Ní Fhlatharta took up the role at the end of October.