Irish language courses in the Gaeltacht have been cancelled for a second summer in succession, due to ongoing public health concerns.

Minister of State with responsibility for the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers said the decision has been made following extensive consultation with colleges and families that host students.

The move, while anticipated, will have a significant impact on communities where courses traditionally take place.

The influx of around 27,000 students to rural areas in Galway, Donegal, Mayo, Kerry, Waterford, Meath and Cork generates an estimated €50 million each year.

Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, Mr Chambers said the decision to cancel courses follows extensive discussions with the mná tí and with CONCOS, the federation of Irish summer colleges.

He said that in the course of those discussions it became clear that the Gaeltacht community were very concerned about bringing large numbers of people into their homes in the context of the current public health situation.

He said he "completely understands and respects their view" and made today's announcement about cancellations to give certainty to the sector for this summer.

He says that work will now begin on providing a compensation package to the communities that would be reliant on the income brought by the language courses.

Last year a €4.7 million fund was put in place to assist those areas.