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Working together in voluntary sector

Working together in voluntary sector

Last week, Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge held a co-operation seminar for all voluntary Irish language organisations.  The seminar was held to provide opportunities to Irish language organisations to achieve practical synergies by working together to provide improved services to Irish language speakers. 

Gaps in the Irish language sector were identified, and methods discussed to tackle these said gaps, using the concept of interorganisational co-operation, within the resources already available to the sector.Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs officially opened the event.  It was mentioned a number of times throughout the seminar that the intention was to create processes not structures. 

Pádraig Ó Ceithearnaigh, Leas-Stiúrthóir of Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, discussed the many different methods of co-operation and the issues surrounding this topic.   

The obstacles and challenges to interorganisational co-operation were also examined.  A series of steps were proposed which organisations can take to identify co-operation opportunities, from simple networking, to collaborating on major projects.

This was the second seminar in the ‘Ar Scáth a Chéile’ series, and since the first seminar was held, information has been gathered from Irish language organisations throughout the country as to the areas where they are functioning.  This information was mapped, and this map was shown at the seminar, to show the geographic gaps in the areas in which Irish is being promoted on the ground. 

The audience broke into smaller groups to discuss the opportunities to co-operation which individual organisations faced.  All Irish language organisations are working to promote the Irish language in one way or another, but it is important to ensure that the organisation work together rather than parallel to one another.  Many practictal suggestions were proposed as to ways which particular orgaisations could co-operate together, Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge will compile and publish these recommendations in the coming weeks. 

An Chomhdháil will work to identify and take advantage of the co-operation opportunities which will enable organisations to promote the Irish language and the work of the voluntary sector more effectively and efficiently. That same afternoon, a public relations seminar was held, entitled ‘Scaip an Scéal’. 

 Kevin De Barra, Marketing and Communications Manager of Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge discussed practical public relations skills and the best methods to promote the work of Irish language organisations in both the Irish and English language media.  Open discussion followed this event, chaired by Gormfhlaith Ní Thuairisg, of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.  The audience had an opportunity to seek advice and discuss their concerns with members of the media.  Members of the panel included Harry McGee, of the Irish Times, Sinéad Crowley of RTÉ News, Pádraic Ó Ciardha, of TG4 as well as Tomás Ó Síocháin, of Nuacht TG4. 

The public relations seminar was open to all organisations promoting the Irish language, and the positive feedback received would suggest that the organisations involved learned a lot on the day.

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