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'Use fada and your pay may be delayed' warns Government department

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Jan O'Sullivan, TD, the Minister for Education

Jan O'Sullivan, TD, the Minister for Education

Jan O'Sullivan, TD, the Minister for Education

A GOVERNMENT department is advising its staff not to use a fada in the spelling of their names, despite being a huge supporter of the Irish language.

The Department of Education sent an email recommending that its staff refrain from including the accent in the spelling of their name, as its finance systems will not recognise the accent and, therefore, employees risk delayed wage payments.

The email, sent last month by the department's assistant finance principal asked finance system users not to include the sine fada when using the service.

"Using a fada in a Supplier Name or Bank Account field name will cause the payment file to be rejected by the bank and result in delays in payments to suppliers," the email said.

"It is recommended not to enter any accents, symbols or punctuation characters, if possible, when setting up suppliers or entering invoice descriptions," it added

A source told the Herald that there is anger among some staff within the department regarding the instruction to drop the fada and that several are threatening to make a complaint to the Irish Language Commissioner.

A Bill is expected to be published soon to make a statutory provision for the use of a person's name and address in English or Irish.

systems

The Irish Language Commission stated that "the department has committed to ensure that computer systems which come to the end of their life cycle will be replaced by systems which are capable of handling the Irish language".

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said that they do "not prohibit the input of Irish on to the system, however in this case the use of a sine fada was identified as the reason for a payment run to fail".

hnews@herald.ie