The Official Languages Act 2003
was signed into law on 14 July 2003. The primary objective of the Act is to ensure the improved provision of public services through the Irish language.
The Act provides for the delivery of public services in Irish in three ways:
through provisions of the Act which are applicable to all public bodies under the Act
through regulations made by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media which again are applicable to all public bodies under the Act
through language schemes which are agreed with individual public bodies which provide for an increase over time in the number and standard of services provided in Irish by these individual public bodies
The Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga was established under the Act in 2004. The primary functions of the Office are to monitor compliance by public bodies with the provisions of the Act and to take appropriate measures to ensure such compliance.
Further information on the Act is available in the guidebook published by the Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga, available here
A copy of the Act itself, along with other related legislation, is available here.
Mandatory Requirements for Public Bodies under the Act
The Act and other associated legislation places direct obligations on public bodies regarding services to be provide through Irish. A complete bilingual list of these mandatory requirements is available here
Information on the Guidelines issued by the Department in relation to preparing Language Schemes, along with a copy of the guidelines themselves, can be found here
A template, a handbook as well as sample commitments for preparing a Language Scheme, can be found here