Gaeilge…there are problems, aren't there?

Why not try a highly emotive ceist? The Irish language seems to get everyone’s juices flowing. Every couple of months a discussion is raised about the viability of our native language.
A recent study shows that only about 3% of Irish people speak Gaeilge as their main language of communication. This is despite the fact that anyone who leaves school after the Leaving Cert has had 14 years instruction in the language.
I’m always intrigued by how other countries have resurrected their native language. Take Israel as an example. It was only 1948 when Hebrew was taken as the national language. Now everyone speaks it in their day to day life. Both Welsh and Manx have been resurrected from the dead in recent years.
It appears to me that although we don’t want to lose the Irish language, most people don’t actually want to go to the effort of speaking it. The education system is obviously failing miserably

1 thought on “Gaeilge…there are problems, aren't there?”

  1. I agree, the education and the political system( though extremely well intentioned) are failing if they want to resurrect the Gaeilge. An interesting article today in the Irish Independent stated that there is an increasing decrease(?) in the amount of students who are officially opting out of doing Irish at Leaving Cert, due to learning difficulties or being foreign.
    However, the report also points out that these students who don’t want to do Irish are also studying either French or German( 50% of them)…Interesting!
    9 year olds report Gaeilge as being their most disliked subject.
    What do our Government do about this? What does the Minister of Education do? He gets into meetings with Des Bishop and looks for ideas on how to promote the Irish language!!
    Hilarious! ( sorry, bad joke)
    What we need is some honesty? Let’s admit that things are pretty dire in the world of Irish language speaking and then let’s start our evaluation and planning from this point, maybe if we hit rock bottom?

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