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Declan Lynch: The real world beyond the Magic Door

WHEN Prime Time reporter Katie Hannon was interviewing me for her excellent feature on the state of the Irish language, there was a moment when it seemed that we had passed through the Magic Door. Through the Door and into that other world where you can hear the strange music.

It went something like this: Katie had suggested to me that perhaps the GAA is an environment in which the Irish language is used more frequently than it would be in other areas of Irish life. To which I replied that the captain of the winning team in the All-Ireland final may indeed use a bit of Irish at the start of his speech – roughly the same bit every year, it must be said – but after that it's usually English all the way. Because GAA players, like the players of any other sport in this country, generally speak English, which is the language that most Irish people speak.

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