Irish language

Líofa bursaries are back to help people to learn Irish in the heart of the Gaeltacht

Robert McMillen

THE Department for Communities has announced that the 2020 Líofa Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme is open for applications.

The scheme – infamously cut but then restored by DUP minister, Paul Givan in January 2017 – will help people on low incomes to experience Gaeltacht life, where they can immerse themselves in an Irish speaking community, increase their knowledge and use of Irish through attending classes whilst taking part in a wide range of cultural activities including sport and music through the medium of Irish.

The Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme is open to students whose parents are in receipt of a means-tested benefit, or adult learners in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits, who are resident in Northern Ireland. 

As demand for the bursary - which averages at a cost of £500 per student and includes accommodation and tuition - is very high, preference is given to those adults or students who have not previously received a bursary and who meet the criteria set out in the application form.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Department for Communities website or by contacting Líofa directly on 028 9051 5008. The scheme will close on the 6 March 2020.

Since the scheme was launched, 2,314 applications have been received and 756 bursaries have been awarded.

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Irish language