Monday 11 December 2017

Irish and the Gaeltacht - they haven't gone away, you know

Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs Joe McHugh
Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs Joe McHugh

Rónán Mac Con Iomaire

I woke up one day not so long ago to the news that the Gaeltacht had 10 years left before being effectively wiped out. An academic report, commissioned by the Gaeltacht development agency, Údarás na Gaeltachta, found that Irish would no longer be the majority language in the Gaeltacht within a decade.

For me, the news was quite alarming, not just because I was raised in Irish and happened to live in the Gaeltacht, but because my children were in the same boat.

It occurred to me, as it did a number of other parents I spoke to at the time, that raising your children to speak a rapidly dying language mightn't be the greatest long-term strategy.

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