Decline in numbers attending gaeltacht colleges

New figures show a decline in young Irish people heading off to the Gaeltacht during their summer holidays.

Nationally, less than 24 thousand children are attending Gaeltacht courses this summer, compared to 28 thousand in 2008.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is confirming that there's been a continuous decline in the numbers heading for the Gaeltacht in the past four years.

The summer colleges' umbrella group Concos has described the decline as "dramatic", with Spokesperson Maria Nic Dhonncha telling Highland Radio News the numbers are down 15 to 20% on the peak, and while it'll be the end of the summer before final figures are confirmed, she expects that declined to be reflected in the six member colleges in Donegal.

She says the costs of running the summer schools continues to rise, which rules out any substantial reduction in charges, adding that the only state subsidy is the €9.50 per head per day paid to the Bean an Ti's a figure which has been cut by 10pc over the last two years.