Signage among main language commission complaints

Thursday 17 April 2014 19.21
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There were concerns about an absence of Irish language signage in some areas
There were concerns about an absence of Irish language signage in some areas
Rónán Ó Domhnaill succeeded Seán Ó Cuirreáin
Rónán Ó Domhnaill succeeded Seán Ó Cuirreáin

Concerns about signage, written correspondence and communication made up the bulk of complaints to the office of An Coimisinéir Teanga last year.

The office deals with difficulties people have in obtaining services through Irish from public bodies.

Its annual report for 2013 shows just over 700 complaints were made.

Among the issues reported were concerns about official documentation, an absence of Irish language signage and difficulties people had giving their name or address in Irish to State bodies.

The majority of complaints related to Government Departments and local authorities.

Almost 40% were made by people living in Co Dublin. A quarter came from Gaeltacht areas.

Most issues brought to the attention of the commissioner were resolved informally, but 13 formal investigations were carried out last year.

Two of these concerned the Department of Education and the teaching of Irish in the Gaeltacht.

Several others related to Irish road signs or other signage that local authorities are responsible for.

The first Coimisinéir Teanga, Seán Ó Cuirreáin, stepped down earlier this year, citing concern about the steps being taken to safeguard the language.

He said Irish was drifting to the margins of society within much of the public sector.

Mr Ó Cuirreáin was succeeded by Rónán Ó Domhnaill.

More than 6,000 complaints have been made in relation to language rights in the ten years since the office was established.