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Public consultation on Gaeltacht planning guidelines

Members of the public will be given an opportunity to take part in public consultations related to planning permission in Gaeltacht areas, according to the Department of Housing.

It follows calls from a newly established campaign group, Meitheal Náisiúnta Pleanála Teanga, which said new planning laws should make it easier for native speakers to build houses in the Gaeltacht.

The new Planning and Development Bill is entering committee stage in the Oireachtas.

Meitheal Náisiúnta Pleanála Teanga, comprising groups such as Conradh na Gaeilge and the Union of Students in Ireland, is holding demonstrations outside Leinster House.

A spokesperson for the group, Róisín Ní Chinnéide, said the housing crisis has had a particularly devastating effect on Gaeltacht communities, with a “slow and steady decline” of native Irish speakers.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, she said that it was becoming increasingly difficult for local Irish speakers to get planning permission in such areas, given the requirement to prove a “local need”.

The group is calling for the native language to be view as a local need, in the same way as agriculture can be.

Campaigners say it is ‘becoming increasingly difficult for local Irish speakers to get planning permission’ in Gaeltacht areas

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing has said that Gaeltacht Planning Guidelines are being finalised and will be put out to public consultation.

In addition, the National Planning Framework will also be subject to public consultation.

The spokesperson also said that the new Planning and Development Bill, which is currently going through the Oireachtas, includes a provision to protect “Irish as the community language”.

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