While a cancellation of the Gaeltacht summer colleges was expected, the absence of any support packages for the colleges and the man tí has been condemned by a Galway TD.
The Gaeltacht colleges have been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this week, the Minister of State, Sean Kyne, announced that the Government is looking at a help package for those affected. However the package has yet to be discussed with the Department of Public Expenditure, and so nothing can yet be guaranteed.
'Funding needs to be signed off on immediately," she said, "so there will be no more uncertainty for people at this difficult time for us all'
The situation has been strongly criticised by Sinn Féin Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell. "We are now in the unusual position where the Department of the Gaeltacht said no summer courses will go ahead, but it cannot guarantee what support package will be available," she said. "I can’t think of any other announcement made during this pandemic, that would significantly affect a particular group’s income and where there was not a corresponding guarantee that funding would be put in place to assist those impacted financially."
She said a plan should have been agreed between the two Departments for a fund to be put in place before an official announcement was made on cancelling the courses.
The Department of the Gaeltacht said it will contact the mná tí directly, but Dep Farrell said this is not acceptable. "Funding needs to be signed off on immediately," she said, "so there will be no more uncertainty for people at this difficult time for us all.”