President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, announced the launch of the new programme at this year s conferring ceremony in Gaoth Dobhair. He said he was delighted to be in Gaoth Dobhair conferring graduates of the Acadamh for the third year running and was very pleased to be able to announce that, "Next year the first full-time university degree will be offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Gaoth Dobhair. We are particularly delighted to be offering the B.A. sa Riarachán Gnó in conjunction with LYIT. In effect we are pooling our resources to provide a very attractive Irish-medium degree programme for the North West."
Mr. Paul Hannigan, President of LYIT, also emphasized the importance of the collaboration between both third level institutions in developing this new programme. "The LYIT School of Business has steadily gained widespread recognition for the excellence of its business courses and we currently have over 1,000 students between our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Donegal has one of the largest Gaeltacht areas in the country and we are delighted to be collaborating with National University of Ireland, Galway in providing a new Irish-medium business course, at degree level."
Padraig Ó hAoláin, Chief Executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta who are supporting the programme said that this course was further evidence of the Údaras' commitment to the economic and linguistic development of the Gaeltacht. "We have seen a steady shift away from the traditional manufacturing industries and employment in the Gaeltacht regions has suffered heavily as a result. We have to compete now in a global environment where higher levels of knowledge and skills are the key to success. Initiatives such as this degree course will enable Gaeltacht people to better equip themselves to face these new challenges and to not only attract higher level industries but also to set up in business themselves."
Éamonn Mac Niallais, Administrator of Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair, said, "This is a four year course and our aim is to provide our graduates with the practical and analytical skills needed to work in a bilingual business and administration environment.
"In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the employment opportunities that are available in organisations functioning through the medium of Irish, in the Gaeltacht and outside of the Gaeltacht. Graduates of this degree course can therefore realistically expect to have access to excellent employment opportunities."
Further information about the B.A. sa Riarachán Gnó can be attained at www.acadamh.ie or by contacting Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair at 074 9531919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .