Hi David,

I have to say that the Global Diaspora meeting is the first sign of life to emerge from this entire fiasco and you\’re due our gratitude and praise for that in itself. Even if it doesn\’t create a rush of jobs, it was important to give us a lift at this time.

I\’m writing because I believe that the notion you mentioned in your article of Israelis organising Gaeltacht like Coláistí Samhraidh could provide us here in Múscraí – and other Gaeltachtaí – with another avenue to earn our keep. As manager of a Comharchumann – Co-operative society – here in Múscraí, I\’m creating a package holiday for the returning Diasporan where they will get a week or three to taste Irish culture and language at its best. When they return home, they\’ll be tooled up with the basic essentials in Irish language and music – they\’ll probably be able to sing a song or two and hopefully this will strengthen the bond between them and Ireland.

One of the things that should be borne in mind in all of this is the wide range of cuts envisaged by the McCarthy report, Bórd Snip nua. As we grapple with the financial crisis landed on us by the reckless banks and their partners in crime in government and the developers, we are told that one of the cuts being envisaged is a cut in the grant to Mná Ti to keep páistí samhraidh learning Irish. Apparently the Department of Finance believe a cut from €10.60 per day per student to €5 won\’t cause \’undue hardship\’.
That\’s a short sighted attitude which is difficult to marry with the government now supposedly going all out to bolster Ireland\’s image abroad.
For years they spent millions of European money building golf courses in the middle of nowhere – as if that were the real Ireland. They\’re about to cut the heart out of the real Ireland and they don\’t even know it…..
This is not to say that some cuts could occur in expenditure on Irish – particularly on useless translations to Irish of barely read documents in English.
But don\’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, whatever else you do….

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