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Response to Maeve (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 28, 2017, 12:45 PM

2. Ta se bronach ach ta an teanga ag titim ar feadh i bhfad.

(It is sad but the language has been declining for a long time.)

The biggest acknowledged problems with the language, is the teaching of it and forcing people to learn it. Irish people have a habit of rebelling against being forced to do things !!!

This is from the official press statement from the Central Statistics Office in relation to the 2016 Census

Irish Language
In April 2016, 1,761,420 persons (aged 3 and over) stated that they could speak Irish, 39.8% of the population. This was a slight decline (-13,017 or -0.7%) on 2011. More females (968,777) than males (792,643) stated that they could speak Irish.

Ability to speak Irish by (administrative) county
Galway County recorded the highest percentages of persons able to speak Irish at 49.0%, followed by Clare (45.9%), Cork County (44.9%) and Mayo (43.9%). In contrast, the lowest percentages were in Dublin City at 29.2%, followed by Louth and South Dublin (both 34.1%) and Cavan (34.6%).

Frequency of speaking Irish
Of the 1,761,420 people who stated that they could speak Irish, almost one in four (418,420 or 23.8%) indicated that they never spoke it. A further 558,608 (31.7%) indicated that they only spoke it within the education system.

Among the remaining group, 586,535 persons (33.3%) spoke Irish less often than weekly, while 111,473 (6.3%) spoke it weekly. The number speaking Irish daily stood at 73,803, representing 1.7% of the population. This was a decline of 3,382 (4.4%) on 2011.

Daily Irish speakers
Of those who spoke Irish daily, 14,903 (20.2%) lived in Dublin City and suburbs. This was an increase of 674 people (4.7%) on 2011. Cork, Galway and Limerick together accounted for 6,034 daily Irish speakers (8.2%). Outside of these cities, the largest absolute numbers of daily speakers were living in An Bun Beag-DoirÝ Beaga (771), followed by Letterkenny (525) and Swords (487).

Daily Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht areas of Galway County and Donegal made up almost three quarters of all daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht areas, with 9,445 (45.9%) in Galway and 5,929 (28.8%) in Donegal.

The Daily figure above is the key one - 74,000 out of a population of 4.6 million people, and that's after 90 years of compulsory Irish being taught in schools. My own son is in a school which is run by very pro Irish principal and staff, but he says most in his class see Irish as a waste of time.

As someone who was just a teenager in 1979 when Pope John Paul came to Ireland, there were a number of reasons for the decline of religion, some of which were

- the Bishop Eamon Casey / Annie Murphy scandal
- the Father Michael Cleary Scandal
- the Paedophile Priests scandals
- the coverup of the Paedophile Priests scandals
- the Mother & Baby home/ Magdalene Laundry scandals
- the response of the Bishops who were more concerned with protecting the Church's Bank account than facing up to what happened.

What seems to have happened subsequently is that many moderates pulled away from the Church, leaving lay RW hardliners in charge, who have largely doubled down on the Bishops outlook.

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