UK news ‘To save my own embarrassment’ – Garda Commissioner Drew Harris plans to learn Irish last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, has said he wants to learn enough Irish to be able to speak it on public occasions like garda college graduations.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, has said he wants to learn enough Irish to be able to speak it on public occasions like garda college graduations. Commissioner Harris said he had begun one-on-one tuition in Irish but this was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic a year ago.The Belfast native, who took office as Garda Commissioner in September 2018, having been deputy head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, admitted he has no Irish at all but he was trying to learn.“It was through a sense of, one: I would say, good manners and respect for my audience. And two: just to save my own embarrassment, that I could at least open and close events in Irish,” he told the Oireachtas Irish language and Gaeltacht committee.Mr Harris said he hoped to re-engage with his Irish lessons as soon as he can.Commissioner Harris and his senior management team were called to the committee following a complaint by the Irish Language Commissioner, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, who had expressed extreme frustration at the failure to provide gardaí able to speak Irish in Gaeltacht garda stations.The commitee proceedings were conducted in Irish, with Commissioner Harris listening to interpretation, and replying to TDs’ and senators’ questions in English. Several key committee members backed Galway West TD, Catherine Connolly, who said it was depolorable that the force could not obey the law of the land and fulfill five key recommendations made a decade ago on policing services in Irish for the Gaeltacht.
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.Ms Connolly said she was very discouraged by the Commissioner’s responses and she urged the Garda Commissioner to lay out a plan and a timescale to fulfill the five simple recommendations which date back to 2011. She said it was “entirely exceptional” that the Irish Language Commissioner, who she described as “level-headed and reasonable,” would refer this issue to the Oireachtas.“Why did the Irish Language Commissioner feel he had to refer this issue to the Oireachtas? Details of the correspondence on this issue stretch to eight pages,” the Independent Galway West TD said.Commissioner Harris said he believed Irish was important and he wanted to fulfill the force’s obligation to provide a service in Irish for people in the Gaeltacht and people elsewhere in Ireland who want to speak Irish. He said An Garda Síochána had set out to have 10pc of new recruits being Irish speakers – but he admitted that this did not come anywhere success.Under this scheme just 55 gardaí were recruited with a sufficient standard to hold a conversation and conduct their professional business in Irish. The meeting heard that just 240 gardaí – out of a force of 14,500 – are currently deemed fluent in Irish.The Commissioner pledged to increase resources for garda Irish language training, increase the use of technology for translation, and use more civilian staff and garda reserve members with Irish."
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