Údarás na Gaeltachta is the regional authority responsible for the economic, social and cultural development of the Gaeltacht, which are the regions in which the Irish language is spoken.
The overall objective of Údarás na Gaeltachta is to ensure that the Irish language remains the main community language of the Gaeltacht and is passed on to future generations. The authority endeavours to achieve that objective by funding and fostering a wide range of enterprise development and job creation initiatives and by supporting strategic language, cultural and community based activities.
Údarás encourages investment in the Gaeltacht through a range of generous financial and nonfinancial incentives for new and existing enterprises. The organisation supports businesses in developing new markets, technologies, products and strategic alliances through research and development. Gaeltacht companies span a range of commercial sectors, including life sciences, ICT, tourism, fish processing and aquaculture, renewable energy, food, niche manufacturing, audio visual and digital media, arts and crafts
Over 7,000 people are currently employed full time in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies. These companies have a significant economic impact and make a substantial contribution to the Irish economy.
All of the organisation’s activities have the aim of preserving and promoting the Irish language at their core. Údarás funds a range of strategic language and cultural initiatives as well as supporting the language through its own practices. These include:
• Language Services Centres
• Irish Language Pre-schools
• Irish in Business
• Language Learning Incentives
The people of the Gaeltacht play an active role in the economic, social and cultural development of their communities, largely through well-established groups such as community cooperatives and community development companies. Údarás provides funding for these and provides the advice, assistance and financial support that help these community groups become strong and proactive structures, which can deliver local services, promote local development initiatives, and in many instances manage and administer community or state assets such as enterprise centres.