The Irish language is a vital and living part of our culture. It is used on a daily basis by many people throughout Ireland, and remains a living community language in many Gaeltacht areas.
Increasing the use and knowledge of Irish as a community language, and ensuring that as many citizens as possible are bilingual in both Irish and English are objectives of government policy.
The purpose of the Official Languages Act 2003 is to ensure that high quality services are widely available to the public through Irish. As a public body under the Act, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is obligated to provide services in Irish to the public in three ways:
in accordance with Regulations
in accordance with those direct duties imposed by the Act
in accordance with our Language Scheme
Our main duties under the Act are to:
use Irish on stationery, on signage and in recorded oral announcements
reply in Irish to any correspondence written in Irish
provide any written communication that is intended to give information to the general public, or a certain class of the public, in both official languages
publish certain documents simultaneously in both official languages
prepare and implement a Language Scheme with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media
We recognise the role this department has in helping realise this objective, in particular by ensuring that in public services the use of Irish or English will be, as far as practical, a choice for the citizen to make.