There are many small and medium-sized businesses involved in the provision of goods or services, who conduct their business solely through Irish, particularly in Gaeltacht areas.
It is important to the Irish-language community to be able to do business in their language of choice. Companies that deal mainly in English may hire a bilingual member of staff to enable them to offer services to Irish language speakers.
Companies tend to recruit staff with qualifications, experience and technical skills relevant to their business. In addition to the required skillset, fluency in Irish is valuable to companies targeting the Irish language community.
The Official Languages Act requires the government and public bodies to provide certain services and printed and web-based material, through Irish. This legislation covers 658 public bodies, including all government departments, all local authorities, An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, the Health Service Executive, the ESB and the National Library.
Spoken Irish is an advantage in the medical and healthcare sector and can set graduates apart from other health professionals. It allows them to create a niche in Gaeltacht areas for example.
Health professionals who have direct contact with patients may be required to deliver services through the medium of Irish. The HSE is committed to a process of developing primary care teams (PCTs) which can provide services through Irish in the various Gaeltacht areas. To date, the primary care team in the Galway Gaeltacht has been set up and consists of speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, public health nurses, social workers, a psychologist and a dentist, supported by four administrative staff.
Speech and language therapists, dentists, physiotherapists and other health professionals with Irish are in demand, in both Gaeltacht and non-Gaeltacht regions, where Irish speakers may seek services through Irish.
The Emergency response lines 112 or 999 have agents who deal with emergency calls in both languages.
Irish Language Development/Promotion Officer role is available in third level colleges, IOTs, student unions; government departments; county councils; An Garda Síochána; political parties and the HSE among others.
What are the main occupations where Irish may be used?
- Dentist - Oral Surgeon
- Doctor / GP
- Emergency Medical Call Taker - EMCT
- Medical Secretary
- Occupational Therapist
- Public Health Nurse
- Social Worker
- Speech & Language Therapist
What types of courses might help?
Where to go for further Information
Acadamh na Lianna is a society of the medical and allied professions who have a shared interest in the Irish language. The society meets on a regular basis to discuss and debate health issues through Irish, organise lectures through Irish and build a network of Irish speaking health workers throughout Ireland.
Strategy for the Irish Language to 2010-2030 - Click here
Gaelchultúr Certificate in Professional Irish.