The University’s commitment to the Irish language was first set out in the University College Galway Act 1929 and updated in the University College Galway (Amendment) Act 2006. A principal aim of the University is "the provision of education ... through the medium of the Irish language". The University’s Strategic Plan goes even further mandating the University to respond to the needs of the Irish speaking community regionally and nationally as a living community.
An Rúnaí is the member of the University Management Team which is tasked with ensuring that the University fulfills its obligations in relation to the furtherance and development of the Irish language and culture. He works closely with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and monitors the University’s performance against the Language Scheme, which public bodies are required to prepare under the Official Languages Act 2003. The NUI Galway second Language Scheme 2012-2015 details the approaches and efforts undertaken to promote the use of Irish in the daily business of the University. NUI Galway is currently preparing the third iteration of its Scéim Teanga or Language Scheme, which is agreed through consultation with the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Oifig an Rúnaí is happy to provide a full range of services through the medium of Irish.
NUI Galway is currently preparing the third iteration of its Scéim Teanga or Language Scheme, which is agreed through consultation with the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
In the interim the NUI Galway Language Scheme 2012-2105 remains in place. This scheme set out the University's commitments to providing Irish language services to staff and students.
Lisa Ní Fhlatharta and Daithí Ó Madáin from the University's Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, will be working closely with support services to help implement the scheme's guidelines, to monitor progres, and to increase the visibility of Irish language services in the University.
The measures outlined above are in addition to existing, on-going commitments in place across the University, in some cases for many years:
Coiste Seasta na Gaeilge, established under statute decides on the Irish language competency for all posts as they arise in the University.
The University operates under the ‘Tairiscint ghníomhach’ system, which loosely translates as the ‘active offer’. Under this approach staff actively offer services as Gaeilge which internationally has been found to more effective than a ‘services available here’ approach. The ‘G’ Scheme is in operation across the University, where staff members with a ‘G’ symbol on their desk are open to working through Irish, and also the ‘G’ symbol denotes all staff within the staff directory that again are open to working through Irish.
Signage throughout the University is bilingual, and the Irish language version features above the English language version. Furthermore communications to all staff are issued in both Irish and English simultaneously.
NUI Galway staff, both academic and administrative, feature frequently across Irish language media, and the University’s media directory identifies those staff who are willing to share their expertise as Gaeilge.