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AN IRISH LANGUAGE PLANNING OFFICER has been appointed to support Ennis’ standing as an Irish language network town.

On Wednesday last, a special event was held in the county town to formally launch the initiative of Ennis as an Irish language network town, it is now included in the national project, Gaelphort. This is the result of the continual work over the past five years and it marks the beginning of a new era in the development work being undertaken by An Clár as Gaeilge.

In 2016, An Clár as Gaeilge, the lead organisation with responsibility for the promotion of Irish at community level in the County, compiled a submission to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, to have Ennis recognised as an Irish Language Network Town. This plan was accepted and on September 24th 2021, The Minister of State, Jack Chambers (FF) launched the Plan.

Since then, the work to recruit and appoint a Language Planning Officer has been ongoing and now, Macdara Ó Conaola from Inis Oirr has been appointed as Language Planning Officer for the Ennis Network.

Macdara will be based in the offices of An Clár as Gaeilge in Barrack Street and will be interacting with State Agencies, Public Bodies, Commercial Organisations and Community Groups, to promote the use of Irish in everyday life.

Cathaoirleach of An Clár as Gaeilge, Dónal Ó hAiniféin, welcomed Macdara to Ennis and said that the Language Planning Officer will be ploughing in fertile ground as a result of the work that has been done in promoting the Language in the town over that past four decades. He referred to the many National Awards that the town has won over the years and he was sure that there would be more to follow in the years ahead. “This is the future of the development of Irish in Ennis and in County Clare. There is an onus on us all to participate in some way in the planning process, which will be undertaken by Macdara,” he stated.

Of his appointment, Macdara expressed delight at having an involvement in an innovative project to promote the use of Irish at community level in Clare.

Development of Irish in learning opportunities outside of the educational system, in youth services and family supports, in the business and commercial sector, in community groups, on social and broadcast media, in social and leisure services and throughout the local authority is the focus of the language plan.

As the lead organisation in developing Irish in the County, An Clár as Gaeilge will be co-ordinating the work and is issuing a welcome to all in the community to become involved in it.

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