I SUSPECT that Kevin Myers’s observations on the state of the Irish language may be much closer to the truth than Fianna Fail and Labour would have us believe.
I have a hard time accepting that Irish is a “vibrant” language, or that the census results represent the true ability of the Irish to speak Irish.
In the formative days of the state of Israel, making Hebrew compulsory was one strategy employed in order to ensure that it became the day-to-day language of the country. This policy worked and Hebrew flourished because, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I just don’t see this will among Irish people.
As Manchan Magan’s documentaryNo Bearla demonstrated, if you actually attempt to speak Irish to Irish people, you are likely to be met with incomprehension, contempt, amusement or hostility – or all of the above.
PHIBSBORO, DUBLIN 7.