Lá Lá land?

That’s the view of Liam Collins in the Sunday Independent of the claims by Lá’s editor that political pressure forced Foras na Gaeilge to block funding for the Irish language daily. It certainly ruffled a few feathers of the posters here. But… not so, says Foras na Gaeilge. Their PRO, Brendan Mac Craith, is saying that Lá actually applied under the wrong scheme and a special committee has been set up to devise a more suitable application. (try to look past the *ahem* ‘intemperate’ language to the bones of the story, if you can)

THE Irish-language daily La has blamed a campaign by Lord Laird and Lady Sylvia Hermon for its decision to lay off two staff and cut production to four days a week.

“The Andersonstown News Group has kept La afloat by investing over stg£150,000 in the paper since it went daily in April ’03. However, with funding from INTERREG and Foras na Gaeilge being blocked at the instigation of Lord Laird and Lady Hermon, jobs have to go,” said La editor, Ciaran O Pronntaigh. “Both these developments are the direct result of unionist pressure on a local civil service only too willing to block an Irish-language newspaper.” This is just not true.

Foras na Gaeilge, which gave La €250,000 already this year, is adamant that no political pressure has been brought to bear. Brendan Mac Craith said that La applied for more money under a community scheme to promote the Irish language, but Foras na Gaeilge decided this was not the right scheme to fund this project.[my emphasis] They have set up a special committee to find a suitable scheme to give the whingers in La more money.

That’s on top of the stg£250,000 they also take from the British government.

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