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The new board of Údarás na Gaeltachta was announced this week by the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley TD.

Anna Ní Ghallchóir was appointed as chair of the board and takes over from previous chair, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin. Ms NíGhallchóir is the Director of the Languages Centre in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Members of the new board are: Seán Ó Cuireán; Cathal Seoighe (nominated by Meath County Council); Dairíona Nic an Iomaire; Eunan Mac Cuinneagáin; Fiachra Ó Ceilleachair;  Ian Mac Aindriú (nominated by Mayo County Council);  Micheál Ó Scanaill;  Pádraig Ó hAinifín; Séamus Cosaí Mac Gearailt (nominated by Kerry County Council); and Seosamh Ó Laoi, County Councillor (nominated by Galway County Council).

These members have been elected under a new system following the implementation of the Gaeltacht Act 2012. In accordance to the Act, membership of the Údarás Board has been reduced to 12, where five positions are determined by seven County Councils and the remaining seven, including the Chair, are appointed by the Minister. Currently however, only four of five members nominated by County Councils have been appointed as the nomination by Donegal County Council has yet to be ratified.

The term of office for newly elected members will not exceed five years and members shall not be appointed to office for more than two consecutive terms.

On announcing the new Board, Minister McGinley declared that “while Údarás na Gaeltachta undoubtedly faces challenging times ahead, I am confident that the ability, experience and wide range of skills of all the board members will greatly benefit both Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Gaeltacht community in the coming years,”.

Údarás na Gaeltachta was established in 1980 and is the regional authority responsible for the economic, social and cultural development of the Gaeltacht.