Irish Language Policy
Official Languages Act, 2003
The Official Languages Act 2003 was signed into law on 14 July 2003.
The Act is the first piece of legislation to provide a statutory framework for the delivery of services through the Irish Language.
Objective of Act
The primary objective of the Act is to ensure better availability and a higher standard of public services through Irish. This is to be principally achieved by placing a statutory obligation on Departments of State and public bodies to make specific provision for delivery of such services in a coherent and agreed fashion through a statutory planning framework, known as an “Irish Language Scheme”.
Irish Language Scheme 2010 – 2013
The Department of Enterprise, Trade & Innovation’s Irish Language Scheme was prepared in accordance with the Guidelines under Section 11 of the Official Languages Act 2003. It came into force on 25 October 2010, and will remain in force for 3 years from this date. In preparing the scheme, the Department published a Notice inviting submissions from any interested parties in relation to the preparation of the draft Scheme. The submissions received are available below, and were taken into account in drawing up the Scheme. Members of the Department’s staff were also consulted and their views and suggestions have also informed the Scheme.
The Content of the Irish Language Scheme
The Department’s Irish Language Scheme builds on the principles of Quality Customer Service, and on the commitment in the Department’s Customer Charter to ensure that customers who wish to conduct their business through Irish can do so. It sets out the extent to which services are currently available through Irish, and identifies areas for future enhancement. It also includes a commitment to assess on an ongoing basis the level of demand for services through Irish to ensure that the Department continues to meet this demand in a planned, coherent and accessible way.
Policy on Publication in Irish and English
In accordance with the Official Languages Act, the following documents are published in both Irish and English language versions simultaneously:
- Documents setting out public policy proposals
- Annual Reports
- Annual Audited Accounts or Financial Statements
- Statements of Strategy
- Major policy documents (Green Papers/White Papers)
In addition, in order to recognise the spirit of the Act, and in line with our commitment to Quality Customer Service, we publish a range of other documents in the Irish Language – e.g.:
- Customer Charter
- Customer Complaints Procedure
- Companies Report
- Report of the Registrar of Friendly Societies
- Various other Reports, booklets
Documents, which do not set out public policy proposals, have limited circulation, and are aimed at specialist groups, are published in English language versions only at present. Speeches are published on our website in the language in which they are delivered.
Public Consultation Submission Request
Official Languages Act, 2003
Official Languages Act, 2003 Overview
FAQ’s on the Official Languages Act
Last modified: 22/10/2010