[lg policy] Councillors to consider creating apps for tourists in Irish and Ulster Scots

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 14:55:32 UTC 2015

Councillors to consider creating apps for tourists in Irish and Ulster Scots

Published: 4 Aug 2015 12:000 comments

FERMANAGH and Omagh District councillors will consider a draft Irish
language and Ulster Scots policy at their full council meeting in
Enniskillen Townhall tonight (Thursday).
Julie Kenwell <http://www.impartialreporter.com/author/jkenwell/>

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[image: Enniskillen townhall.]

Enniskillen townhall.

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The draft policies aspire to “protect, promote and enhance linguistic
diversity within the District”.

They include proposed initiatives such as introducing a dedicated voice
messaging service for Irish speakers, exploring opportunities to provide
‘apps’ or visitor guides in Irish and Ulster Scots, using leaflets posters,
social media and the council’s website to promote Irish language projects,
and providing bi-lingual versions of street names, on request.

A report on both policies was brought before members at the latest Policy
and Resources committee meeting.

According to the report, meetings were held with repreentatives from Foras
na Gaelige and Conradh na Gaelighe to inform the development of the draft

Desktop research was also conducted to examine the Irish language and the
Ulster Scots policies from Derry City and Strabane District Council,
together with the developing Irish language policy from the Mid-Ulster

And in drafting both policies, officers from the Policy and Strategic
Services section worked with colleagues from the Community, Health and
Leisure department who had a remit for language and cultural promotion.

Subject to approval tonight, it is proposed that a broader consultation now
takes place with a particular focus on groups, organisations or individuals
with an interest in the development of either or both languages.

According to 2011 census figures, within the Fermanagh and Omagh District
14.54 per cent of the local population had some knowledge of the Irish
language. There are 5,049 people within the district who have the ability
to speak, read and write in Irish, representing 4.46 per cent of the
district’s population.

Meanwhile, 4.4 per cent of the local population had some knowledge of
Ulster Scots in the same census.

The council states that “all necessary human, financial and material
resources” will be made available to implement the policies if approved,
“whilst being mindful of budgetary constraints”.

An implementation timeframe is provided for both policies.

The timeframe for the Irish language policy suggests that the council will,
among other things: accept and reply to all written correspondence in
Irish; respond in a positive manner to requests for Irish translations of
an Council documents and ensure that the council’s website makes available
all information in Irish.

It suggests that by September this year the council should introduce a
dedicated voice messaging service for those who choose to leave a message
in Irish.

On an ongoing basis the council will provide bi-lingual versions of street
names, in English and Irish or English and Ulster Scots, on request,
provided residents can show community consensus on this.

Frontline employees will be trained in procedures for dealing in an
appropriate and welcoming manner with an enquiry or request in Irish or
Ulster Scots.

And by Decembver this year it suggests that materials such as leaflets,
posters and tools such as the council website and social media should be
used to promote Irish language projects or initiatives.

Both draft policies say the council “recognises and celebrates the rich
diversity of linguistic traditions that has helped to shape the history of
the district, and that continues to reflect in the variety of languages
that are written, spoken, and understood by the District’s residents and

The council says the policies represent a “local response” to various
regional, national and international initiatives and programmes, along with
statutory obligations falling on the Council, while also “aspiring to help
promote good relations within the Council and the District generally”.

It adds that the aim of the policies, besides establishing a “transparent
set of principles and procedures for promoting, protecting and enhancing
both languages and cultures, is to develop opportunities for residents,
customers and visitors to use the both languages when accessing the
Council’s facilities and services.


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