Industrial Development in Gaeltacht Areas The Work of Údarás Na Gaeltachta. MICHAEL J.KEANE, MARY CAWLEY, MÍCHÈAL S. Ó'CINNÉIDE Respectively Department of Economics (first author) and Department of Geography, University College, Galway, Eire. (Received August 1983: in revised form September 1983) Introduction Üdarás na Gaeltachta is a regional development agency responsible fot promoting economic development in the Irish speaking (Gaeltacht) areas of Ireland. It was established under the Udaras na Gaeltacht Act, 1979, and commenced operation on January 1, 1980. Udaras replaced the existing state agency Gaeltarra Eireann which had been established back in 1958. The functions of Gaeltarra, which included the management of existing rural industries, the provision of other new industries and the preservation and extension of the Irish language, were transferred to the new authority. Provision for the granting of further powers to Údarás (in addition to those relating to discretionary grants, the purchase of shares in new enterprises, the purchase and provision of land and factory buildings) was also made in the 1979 Act but to date no such powers have been granted. In two major respects Udaras differs from its predecessor: (a) the Board was entirely restructured to include seven directly elected members alongside six government appointees, and (b) the responsibilities of Udaras with regard to the preservation and use of the Irish language were further emphasised. The problem faced by a development agency in planning industrial- isation in a peripheral region are well documented and include isol- ated geographic location, a poor natural resource base, inadequate infrastructural facilities and an historical condition of social and economic decline (Gilg, 1976). Such is the case in the Gaeltacht areas. Industrialisation policy is made even more problematic in Gaeltacht areas by the desire to preserve and extend the use of the Irish language in these areas since the presence of external capital can obviously lead to conflicts. Linguistic and cultural objectives also mean that any assessment of policies must look beyond narrow nnancial and economic criteria.