HomeWork Of The Department

Irish Language Policy


Official Languages Scheme: 2009 - 2012

This scheme was prepared in accordance with the Guidelines under Section 12 of the Official Languages Act 2003.  It came into force on 21 December 2009.

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.

In addition, as part of a more general evaluation of progress in meeting the commitments in our Customer Charter, the Department undertook a widespread survey of our customers asking, among other things, whether they had used Irish in dealing with the Department, how satisfied they were with the service they received and whether, if offered the same quality of service in both languages, they would choose Irish. The results of this survey will be fed into our implementation of this scheme.

The Content of the Language Scheme

This 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 through annual customer surveys, and to ensure that the Department continues to meet this demand in a planned, coherent and accessible way.

Please see below for copies of the scheme and submissions.

Copies of our previous scheme from 2005 are also below, as are the submissions received in relation to that scheme.

Policy on Publication in Irish and English

In accordance with the Official Languages Act, the following documents are published in both Irish and English simultaneously:

  • Any document setting out public policy proposals
  • Any annual report
  • Any audited account or financial statement
  • Any statement of strategy required to be prepared under section 5 of the Public Service Management Act 1997

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 each of the official languages - e.g.:

  • Customer Charter
  • Link Newsletter
  • An Bhratach Náisiúnta (The National Flag)
  • Cabinet Handbook
  • Department of the Taoiseach Staff Handbook
  • The Guide to Government Buildings
  • Section 15 & 16 Reference Book (under the Freedom of Information Acts)
  • Public consultation documents
  • Commemorative booklets

Documents which do not set out public policy proposals, have limited circulation, and are aimed at specialist groups, are published in English only at present. Speeches are published on the website in the language in which they were given.

It is our policy that the text and graphics are available in both languages on the main pages of the Department's websites.

Contact details of personnel providing an Irish language service

Any comments or queries should be sent to gaeilge@taoiseach.ie