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Written Answers. - Official Language Equality.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 209. Mr. O'Shea Information on Brian O'Shea Zoom on Brian O'Shea  asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Brian Cowen Zoom on Brian Cowen  the additional costs which have arisen from the obligations on his Department in relation to the adoption by the Government in July 2002 of official language equality as one of the three new principles for quality customer services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24597/02]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): Information on Brian Cowen Zoom on Brian Cowen The enactment of the Official Languages Equality Bill, An Bille Comhionnais um Theangacha Oifigiúla, places a statutory obligation on Depart[1055] ments to make specific provision for the delivery of an agreed level of service through Irish. A co-ordinated and intensive Irish language training programme for key staff will be required to enable the Department of Foreign Affairs to fulfil its obligations under the proposed legislation. An Irish language committee has been established within the Department to assess and advise on the practical and cost implications of the initiative. Work in that regard is ongoing. No specific costs have been incurred to date.

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