An interview with Ian Mac Gabhann, Oifigeach Iontrála Sonraí, Conradh na Gaeilge

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What are the Services offered by Conradh na Gaeilge?

“Conradh na Gaeilge is offering a new marketing service to companies and businesses that is completely free. This service could help attract more customers to a business and offers a unique selling point. The new web directory for Irish language services is currently being developed and will be publicly available from March 2016 onwards as part of the website General information about companies i.e. contact details, opening hours, and business category, will be shown on the directory. This information will be available to members of the public for their own personal use. This directory is being developed in order to distribute information regarding Irish language services and increase the demand and usage of them.”

Why is Conradh na Gaeilge offering such services now?

“There have been great directories developed for individual counties around the country but this new directory will act as a national convergence of information with links to company and business websites and to various services that are available through the Irish language. There is nearly two million people who have a certain level of Irish in Ireland. This means that there is a completely unique market for companies, businesses and organisations. There has been an increase in the amount of businesses who understand that using the Irish language in the business place creates many advantages for the business itself.”

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Why do you believe it is important the use of the Irish language in business?

“Here are ten reasons to use the Irish language: It is a matter of pride for the people of Ireland to be able to use their own native language; People have Irish and there is a demand for services through Irish, this is one of the main reasons the directory is being developed; 70% of people in the south and 54% of people in the north believe that services should be available through Irish for those who wish to use them; The Irish language in business creates a common link between customer and company – A special relationship and loyalty is created between the company and the customer because of this common link; Using Irish offers the availability to new markets; It gives a specific recognition and edge to the company in the marketplace providing the company with a USP; The amount of customers rises due to increased visibility in the Irish Language Community; The bilingual trait adds greatly to the national and global status of the company; It creates a unique experience for consumers and customers with an insight into Irish culture; And final, but no least: It is cost-effective and easy to implement!”

“In addition to all of it, using Irish with business gives a great opportunity to add to the brand and the image of a company and there are many ways that elements like signage, marketing materials, social media, and advertising materials can be easily put into Irish. There are even simpler ways to incorporate Irish into a business like answering the phone in Irish or signing off an email with an Irish phrase. If a company registers a service with Directory, a free support pack will be sent out to them with resources to help promote the Irish language in the workplace and to inform the public that an Irish language service is available to them.”

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