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Oifig na Gaeilge

Language Policies & Schemes

The Irish Constitution  

The status of the Irish language is set out in the Irish Constitution.  

Article 8 of the Constitution states:  

  • The Irish language as the national language is the first official language.  
  • The English language is recognised as a second official language.  
  • Provision may, however, be made by law for the exclusive use of either of the said languages for any one or more official purposes, either throughout the State or in any part thereof.  


Official Languages Act 2003  

The aim of the Official Languages Act 2003 is to increase and improve in an organised manner, over a period of time, the quantity and quality of services provided for the public through Irish by public bodies. The legislation intends to create a space for the language in public affairs in Ireland.   

The Council is committed to ensuring an improved availability, and a higher standard of public services through Irish. In improving services through Irish, the Council has continued with the implementation of the Official Languages Act 2003 by providing information for staff regarding the Councils obligations in this regard.  

The objective of the Act is to increase the visibility and availability of bilingual service options through continued improvements in the quantity and quality of public service provision through Irish.  

Overview of the Official Languages Act 2003  

Official Languages Act 2003 - Guidebook  



In accordance with the Regulations under Section 9(1) of the Act, Mayo County Council fulfil their obligation to ensure that their: stationery (notepaper, compliment slips, fax cover sheets, file covers and other folders, labels and envelopes), signage, and recorded oral announcements are provided in Irish or bilingually under the Regulations.    

When a person writes to Mayo County Council in Irish, by letter or by email, that person is entitled to receive a reply in Irish. On this basis, Mayo County Council fulfil their obligation to ensure that they have a system in place to deal with correspondence in Irish.    


Mayo County Council's Language Scheme  

This scheme was prepared in accordance with Section 15 of the Official Languages Act 2003 by Mayo County Council. This scheme came into effect on the 18 February 2019.  

Section 15 provides for the preparation by public bodies of a statutory scheme detailing the services they will provide:  

  • through the medium of Irish  
  • through the medium of English;  
  • through the medium of Irish and English  

and for the measures to be adopted to ensure that any service not provided by the body through the medium of the Irish language will be so provided within an agreed timeframe.  


You can download Mayo County Council's Language Scheme from the following link:  

Scéim Teanga Chomhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo 2019 - 2022 - (Word, 103 KB)  

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