Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 08 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Irish Language.

  467. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the expenditure by his Department on providing services through the Irish language in each of the years 2002, 2003 and 2004; and the breakdown of the expenditure under training, translation, advertising, bilingual signage and other. [32476/05]

  Éamon Ó Cuív: It has been a long-standing policy of my Department to ensure that customers who wish to conduct their business through a choice of English or Irish can do so as far as practicable. Expenditure on providing services through Irish and English arises from our existing commitments to our customers and is met from our administrative budget. It is not possible, therefore, to readily separate the bilingual or Irish language dimension from the overall cost of running my Department and its service delivery. In this context and as part of its commitment to the principles of quality customer service prior to the coming into effect of the Official Languages Act 2003, almost all classes of documentation intended for public dissemination, including advertisements, are published in both Irish and English and signage is provided in Irish or bilingually. Staff in many of my Department’s organisational units are in a position to provide services through Irish or English, as required by the customer.

My Department, in September 2004, published its scheme under the Official Languages Act for the period 2004 to 2007. The scheme details specific additional commitments with regard to improved delivery of the services of the Department through the Irish language. All of these commitments, both long-standing and new, are being delivered from within the overall budgets available to my Department in the relevant years.