Cosaint na Gaeilge calls for measures to protect the Irish language

A new group has formed calling for language conditions to be introduced into the planning department of Kerry County Council to protect the Irish language in Gaeltacht areas. In a letter to the council the group calling itself Cosaint na Gaeilge refers to an application for 20 houses in Ballyferriter which they believe if populated by English speakers will seriously damage the growth of the Irish language.Spokesman for Cosaint na Gaeilge Donnacha O Heallaithe says the development plan for Kerry states the importance of ensuring the development of gaeltacht areas in the Dingle and Iveragh Peninsula. He says in his letter to the council that inviting people with little or no Irish into Gaeltacht areas is not ensuring the growth or vitality of the language. Evidence of housing schemes in other gaeltacht regions around the country such as Spiddeal in Connemara has put the language under huge pressure.Cosaint na Gaeilge says other local authorities have put languages conditions in place with housing group schemes to ensure Irish is spoken. The proposed development is for 20 houses in the Cloonties in West Kerry. Although not against the development the letter does ask that the council take their concerns into account. Donnacha O` Heallaithe says that the West Kerry Gaeltacht is one of the most heavily populated Gaeltacht regions in the country and fears for the language if the scheme gets the go ahead without conditions in place.