Jack Chambers, the new minister of state for the Gaeltacht, says that he has enough Irish to ‘converse’ but that he intends to do a course immediately to get acquainted with the language
The new Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, says that he is about to take an “intensive Irish language course” to improve his Irish in the coming weeks.
A Fianna Fáil spokesperson told Tuairisc.ie in the evening that the new minister of state is “relatively comfortable conversing” in Irish as it is but that he is about to do the course to “get into” the language.
Jack Chambers, the Fianna Fáil TD from Dublin West, was appointed Chief Whip and minister of state for the Gaeltacht and sport today.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed this in the Dáil today, after announcing the appointment of Dara Calleary as Minister for Agriculture to replace Barry Cowen, who was given a stick and a road yesterday.
According to a survey conducted by Tuairisc.ie among the political parties this year, Jack Chambers was not among the Fianna Fáil TDs who are fluent in Irish.
The measure of fluency in that survey was sufficient Irish for a live interview with the Irish language broadcast media.
Neither Fianna Fáil nor Jack Chambers indicated that he spoke Irish either when a similar survey was conducted in 2016 when Chambers was first elected to the Dáil.
Jack Chambers, 29, has been a TD since 2016,
He was born in Galway but moved with his family to Dublin when he was young.
He has qualified as a doctor since March this year, and holds a degree in law and politics from Trinity College. as well.
The minister of state ‘s plan to conduct Irish language courses will remind people of the great controversy that arose when Enda Kenny appointed Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh as minister of state in the Department of the Gaeltacht in 2014.
Enda Kenny, then Taoiseach, announced that McHugh would go on a “language journey” while he was minister of state for the Gaeltacht and McHugh immediately registered for a course with Oideas Gael.
In a national poll conducted by Millward Brown on behalf of Tuairisc.ie in 2014, 61% of people said that Taoiseach Enda Kenny should not appoint a person as Minister for the Gaeltacht who was not fluent in Irish.
20% of participants said it was not a mistake.