So who’s Irish is good enough to become a Minister of State for the Gaeltacht?

Interesting to discover that both Gerry Adams and Peadar Toibin are availing themselves of a new scheme aimed at improving the proficiency of Oireachtas Deputies in Irish

Mr Adams and party colleague Peadar Toibin TD are using the subsidised tuition service which is also available to civil servants and political staff in Leinster House.

A Freedom of Information Act request by the Sunday Times revealed that the two Sinn Fein TDs are joined in classes by Fine Gael deputies Joe O’Reilly and Paul Coghlan and Independent TDs Thomas Pringle and Maureen O’Sullivan.

The classes are being provided in Leinster House by Conradh na Gaeilge, the group that promotes the everyday use of Irish. Language advocates have been critical of the lack of statements in Irish in the Dail.

Personally, I think it’s a good thing to close the gap between where you want to be with the language and where you are. Far too many people imagine proficiency is beyond them. No matter how well or how poorly you speak there is always room for improvement.

Shame some of the beneficiaries of this scheme where less than charitable when it came to Joe McHugh’s admission on his appointment as Minister of State for the Gaeltacht that he had poor Irish.

How good is good enough? And barring the odd FOI, how do we know who is, and who isn’t?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty