Wayfinding signs bilingual policy

The Health Service Executive is subject to the Official Languages Act 2003. The Act provides a statutory framework for delivery of services through the Irish language. Several sections of the Act have not yet taken effect/been fully enacted.

Section 9 (1) of the Act affirms the duty of public bodies to ensure that the Irish language only, or the Irish and English languages together, are used on oral advertisements (whether live or recorded), on stationary, signage and on printed advertisements. Regulations for enactment of this section are due from the Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs.

Several other sections stipulate that an incremental increase in the amount of services available through Irish must be undertaken. Obviously, signage will correspond to such developments. Section 32 – which in effect – refers to official place-names in Gaeltacht areas being in the Irish language only and equal status being given to the Irish and English language versions of official place-names in other parts of the country.

Whilst general guidelines have been outlined in this manual, specific information regarding the application of the Irish language should be sought from the Department of the Gaeltacht and / or the office of the Official Languages Commission.