Irish speakers are here to stay
Published 27/03/2011 | 05:00
Sir -- Almost every substantial conversation I have with strangers, inevitably becomes a conversation about the Irish language. This is so, not because I think everyone should speak Irish, or even like it, but because it's an integral part of my identity. I work through Irish, I also do a lot of voluntary work through Irish, Irish is my family language, I play GAA through Irish and I socialise mostly through Irish. I live on the northside of Dublin.
Unlike me, most Irish speakers only bring up the Irish language, or speak it, with people they know speak Irish -- and even then not always.
So for many who don't speak Irish themselves it can seem like we don't exist. Believe me, we do and, call us what you will, we are a vibrant language community that is growing and that wants only what monolingual English speakers already have -- a small modicum of respect.