Official Languages Act 2003

F34[Language standards

19A

19A. ...]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F34

Inserted by Official Languages (Amendment) Act 2021 (49/2021), s. 9, not commenced as of date of revision.

Modifications (not altering text):

C30

Prospective affecting provision: section inserted by Official Languages (Amendment) Act 2021 (49/2021), s. 9, not commenced as of date of revision.

F34[19A. (1) For the purpose of prescribing language standards to apply to a public body or class of public bodies in order to promote the use of the Irish language for official purposes in the State, the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister of the Government in whom functions in relation to the body or each body in the class of public bodies is vested, prescribe the public body or class of public bodies for the purposes of this section.

(2) The Minister may prescribe language standards to apply to a public body or class of public bodies prescribed under subsection (1) and different standards may apply to different public bodies or different classes of public bodies.

(3) Language standards prescribed under subsection (2) may include standards specifying—

(a) services to be provided, through the medium of the Irish language, by the public body or class of public bodies concerned,

(b) services to be provided, through the medium of both the Irish and English languages, by the public body or class of public bodies concerned,

(c) the level of competence in the Irish language required by staff of the public body or class of public bodies concerned so as to enable—

(i) the public body or class of public bodies to comply with paragraphs (a) and (b), and

(ii) staff of each public body concerned to communicate, within that body, with other staff of the body—

(I) through the medium of the Irish language, or

(II) through the medium of both the Irish and English languages,

and

(d) where a public body or class of public bodies is delivering or implementing, or intends to deliver or implement, a service, programme or policy in a Gaeltacht Language Planning Area, Gaeltacht Service Town or Irish Language Network, the extent to which the linguistic impact on the Gaeltacht Language Planning Area, Gaeltacht Service Town or Irish Language Network concerned shall be taken into account as respects the delivery or implementation of that service, programme or policy.

(4) The Minister shall, when prescribing language standards under subsection (2), have regard to the following—

(a) the services provided by the body through the medium of the Irish language,

(b) any scheme in force in respect of the body under section 14,

(c) any language standard prescribed under this section that applies to the body,

(d) the extent to which the public body or class of public bodies concerned interacts with the general public or a class of the general public,

(e) the extent to which a service, programme or policy delivered or implemented, or to be delivered or implemented, by a public body or class of public bodies may affect the general public or a class of the general public in a Gaeltacht Language Planning Area, a Gaeltacht Service Town or an Irish Language Network, with particular reference to Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas,

(f) any views received under subsection (6)(c) or (d), and

(g) services identified in the National Plan.

(5) The Minister shall, when prescribing language standards under subsection (2), ensure that a standard to be prescribed shall not have the effect that the public body concerned may be required to provide fewer services through the medium of the Irish language than the body provided (either of the body’s own accord, pursuant to a scheme in force in respect of the body under section 14 or pursuant to a language standard prescribed under this section) prior to the standard being prescribed.

(6) Before prescribing language standards under subsection (2), the Minister shall—

(a) consult—

(i) such other Minister of the Government as the Minister considers appropriate having regard to the functions of that other Minister, and

(ii) such public body as the Minister considers appropriate,

(b) seek the advice of the Advisory Committee,

(c) publish, on the website of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, a draft of the standards giving the general public 3 months from the date of publication to provide to the Minister views, in writing, on the draft standards, and

(d) contact each public body to which a standard shall apply to advise that the body may, within 3 months of the date of publication of the draft standards under paragraph (c), provide to the Minister its views on the draft standards.

(7) The Minister may, where he or she considers it appropriate to do so, extend the period referred to in subsection (6)(c) or (d).

(8) The Minister shall forward a copy of language standards prescribed under subsection (2) to the Commissioner.

(9) (a) The Minister shall, from time to time but at least once every 5 years, carry out a review of language standards prescribed under subsection (2).

(b) When carrying out the review referred to in paragraph (a), the Minister shall seek the advice of the Advisory Committee.

(10) Notwithstanding this section, the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in relation to those of its services delivered exclusively through the medium of the English language, direct a public body to draw up a plan for the delivery of those services in addition through the medium of the Irish language together with an estimate of the period of time required to implement the plan.]