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TG4 Irish hard to understand

Sir -- In your edition (Sunday Independent, January 8, 2012), Concubhar O Liathain lauded the work being done by TG4 and inter alia said it had "recast the Irish language as an integral part of Irish culture that is attractive and useful".

Personally, I would take issue with him on this point.

Many years ago in my Leaving Certificate I got what would now be described as an A plus in Irish.

I spent two full summers in Gaeltachts, firstly in Colaiste na Rinne and later in Ballingeary, West Cork.

I have frequently holidayed in Dingle for 15 years, I have had a lot of contact with native Irish speakers in this area and find that I have been able to hold my own in conversations in Irish with them.

Why is it then, that when I turn on TG4 for the news, weather or any other item, I find the presenters speaking in a western or north-western dialect which is incomprehensible to me except for an odd word here and there. They also speak at a rate of knots which adds to the difficulty. I wonder how many other people, especially in Munster, have the same experience as me. I raised the matter with a friend of mine who is a native Irish speaker from the north-east and his answer was that he fully understood the problems which Munster residents have in this regard. Surely part of the mission of the station is to promote the use of the Irish language.

I would have thought that an essential element of any plan to promote the language to make it "attractive and useful" would be to present it in a way that would be understandable to its audience.

Dick Brennan,

Tramore, Co Waterford

Sunday Independent