20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language

Open policy debate

The 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 will be five years in existence at the end of this year. In this context, an open policy debate on the Strategy is to be held.

The aim of the debate is to look back at what has been achieved under the Strategy over the past five years and to look ahead at priorities under the Strategy over the next five years.

Further information:

Open policy debate on the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030


The 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 was published on 21 December 2010, following cross-party support in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The Strategy promotes a holistic, integrated approach to the Irish language which is consistent with international best practice. The Strategy is the result of a consultative and research process, including a report commissioned by the Department (DCU, 2009), the Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht (NUIG & NUIM, 2007), and the report of Coimisiún na Gaeltachta (2002).

The Programme for Government 2011-2016 states that the Government will support the 20-Year Strategy and will deliver the achievable goals proposed therein.


The specific objectives of the Strategy are to:

  • increase the number of people who speak Irish on a daily basis outside the education system from 83,000 to 250,000;
  • increase by 25% the number of people who speak Irish on a daily basis in the Gaeltacht; and
  • increase the number of people who use State services through Irish and who can access television, radio and print media through the language.

Phased Approach

The Strategy itself recognises a need for a phased approach to accomplish its various measures. Four phases associated with the process are specified, namely:

  • Establishment Phase which will be devoted to the communication of the goals and content of the Strategy and setting up the organisational and operational structures;
  • Implementation Phase I when the foundations will be set during the first years of the Strategy;
  • Implementation Phase II which will focus on the full implementation of all relevant measures; and
  • Implementation Phase III when all measures will be mainstreamed.

The Strategy’s establishment phase is ongoing under the leadership of the Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. A Strategy Unit has been established in the Department which is responsible for directing the planning and implementation of the Strategy.

Areas of Action

Nine areas of action are set out in the Strategy, namely:

  • Education
  • The Ghaeltacht
  • Language transmission by the family – early intervention
  • Administration, Services and Community
  • Media and Technology
  • Dictionaries
  • Legislation and Status
  • Economic Life
  • Cross-cutting Initiatives

Click here for a copy of the Strategy.

Contact Details for the Strategy in the Department

Seán Ó Leidhinn
091 503763

Email address:

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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