Information on the Official Languages Act

The aim of the Official Languages Act is to promote the use of Irish in public affairs and to ensure the use of Irish by public bodies when communicating with the public and/or providing services to the public.  Public bodies communicate with the public in many ways including letters, emails, mail shots, information leaflets, reports, announcements and websites. In the case of each of these, public bodies have specific duties under the Official Languages Act.

Stationery, signage and recorded oral announcements
In accordance with the Regulations under Section 9(1) of the Act, public bodies have a duty to ensure that their: 

  • stationery (headed notepaper, compliment slips, fax cover sheets, file covers and other folders, labels and envelopes)
  • signage and
  • recorded oral announcements
  • mailshots to a group of the population

are provided in Irish or bilingually by specific dates set out under the Regulations. They must either be provided in Irish only or in Irish and English.

Letters and emails in Irish
When a person writes to a public body in Irish, by letter or by email, that person is entitled to receive a reply in Irish. On this basis, public bodies have a duty to ensure that they have a system in place to deal with correspondence in Irish. The service in Irish should not be of a lower standard than the service in English.

You can read more about the Official Languages Act in a useful guide provided by An Coimisineir Teanga here.

Réamhrá leis an stiúrthóir Náisiúnta Cumarsáide, FSS
Director of Communications, HSE
Paul Connors.

 - Tá áthas orm an chéad Straitéis Gaeilge FSS 2019 – 2023 a chur I láthair.  Ullmhaíodh an straitéis chun cabhrú lenár n-eagraíocht ár bhfreagrachtaí Gaeilge a chomhlíonagh agus chun eispéireas daoine a úsáideann ár seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge a fheabhsú.

Is mian lion an deis sea a ghlacadh leis an obair ollmhór a aithint a rinneadh chun an straitéis seo a ullmhú agus an tacaíocht a fuaireamar a aithint ó réimse fairsing daoine aonair agus comhlachtaí, mo chomhghleacaithe féin san áireamh in FSS ina measc sin.  Tá FSS tiomanta go daingean don straitéis seo agus táimid ag tnúth le hoibriú libh go léir chun í a chur I bhfeidhm sna blianta amach romhainn.

- I am very pleased to introduce the HSE’s first Irish Language Strategy 2019-2023 which has been developed to assist our organisation to be compliant with our Irish language responsibilities and to improve the experience of people using our services through Irish.

I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous work that has gone into preparing this strategy and the support we received from a wide range of individuals and bodies including my own colleagues working in the HSE.  The HSE is firmly committed to this strategy and we look forward to working with all of you in its implementation over the coming years.