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Fearghal O’Maolagain - SCC

A chairde, beatha agus sláinte. My appointment as Irish Language Officer in April 2016 marked the first full-time appointment of an officer to this role by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. My predecessor, Breandán Ó Caollaí, and those before him ensured that I inherited the role with Irish in a very healthy state in this Department. We have a strong Irish Language Committee (Coiste na Gaeilge), with representatives from all over the world and a high level of fluency throughout our Embassy network.

While the main function of the role is compliance-based, there is also scope for promoting the use of Irish through training and social events. Highlights of my first year include our Christmas Carol celebration and Seachtain na Gaeilge events, including a celebration of our language and culture through music, prose and poetry. It was great to see Minister of State McHugh and Secretary General Burgess attend and support these events.

Keeping abreast of developments in Irish language legislation and policy, while ensuring the Department meets its compliance obligations at home and abroad has yielded a challenging and rewarding year. I look forward to continued engagement and interest from colleagues in the future. Ní neart go cur le chéile!