Learning at the Plain Language Association Internation Conference

This Tuesday, 21 September,  we are off to the Plain Language Association’s International (PLAIN’s) conference in Oslo. We will learn about the latest developments in plain language and see how they might you to further improve the quality and clarity of your information.  They will also help us develop the plain English services we can offer to you. We will write you a post about this important conference on our return.

We thank Leargas and EPALE for funding us to take part at this important conference.


NALA calls on local authorities to use plain English

Ireland has a referendum coming up on May 24. As part of this, the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) in Ireland is calling on local authorities to:

  • adopt plain English for all its written, verbal and online communication;
  • identify adult literacy skills as an issue and prioritise and develop local responses to supporting this; and
  • develop an adult literacy plan as part of their next Local Economic and Community Plan.

Learn more and remember to vote for candidates who support adult literacy and plain English on May 24.

Plain English Winners

Department of Public Expenditure, the National Disability Authority and the Passport Service win the Plain English Awards

This week we were delighted to announce the winners of the Plain English Awards for Ireland in the Law Society of Ireland. The awards were sponsored by Mason Hayes & Curran.

In the ‘Best use of plain English by an organisation’ category, with a joint entry, were the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the National Disability Authority. Their winning entry is a Customer Communications Toolkit for the Public Service. The document shows workers in the public service how to produce communications that can be easily understood by members of the public.

In the ‘Digital’ category, the Passport Service won first place for their online passport renewal website. This service can be used by Irish citizens living anywhere in the world and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The full list of winning organisations are:

  • Passport Service
    Entry: Online passport renewal website
    Category: Plain English in the digital world
  • AIB
    Document: The impact of rewriting three customer letters in plain English
    Category: Plain English – the impact
  • Clare O’Byrne
    Entry: Financial letter
    Category: Public category – best letter rewritten in plain English
  • Champions of plain English
    A champion of plain English is someone who promotes the use of clear communication and plain language in their organisation. At this year’s awards, the following people were recognised as champions of plain English:
    Liam Ronayne from Cork Library
    Patricia Carey from the Adoption Authority of Ireland
    Norma Deasy from the HSE
    Mike Gogan from AIB
    The facilitators of the knowledge transfer and exchange workshop at the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care.


Aims of the awards
The aims of the Plain English Awards are to reward organisations that communicate clearly and to promote the use of plain English in all public information.

Organisers, sponsors and judges

The Plain English Awards are organised by NALA and sponsored by leading law firm Mason Hayes & Curran (MHC).

An independent panel of experts were involved in the judging process.

NALA and MHC thank all those who entered the awards. It is a very inspiring to see so many organisations committed to using plain English.


New Plain Language Bill launched!

For years, we have worked to promote plain English with political parties and others. And, yesterday, Tuesday 29 January 2019, we were delighted that a Plain English Bill was proposed. It has cross party support. This is a very positive step for plain English in this country.

We will keep you posted about developments!

Finally, we congratulate those who use plain English and encourage those who don’t to start!



2019 training days

We are delighted to announce plain English open one-day training dates (all Wednesdays) for 2019. Training is in Dublin though we may run courses in other regions as required.

  • April 10
  • May 8
  • June 12
  • September 18
  • October 16


Training costs just €120 per person or €100 if you are from the Community and Voluntary Sector. The days start at 9.30am and continues until 3pm. Lunch is not provided but you will have a fun and useful day and leave with an understanding of basic plain English writing and design guidelines.

Email Claire at coriordan@nala.ie if you would like to reserve a place. You will need to pay in advance. We look forward to hearing from you!