THE GAELTACHT AND IRISH: Dying, or in need of an emergency operation?

Diarmuid Breatnach

Maps showing the decline in the Irish-speaking areas, the Gaeltacht, during the life of the Irish state
Maps showing the decline in the Irish-speaking areas, the Gaeltacht, during the life of the Irish state

“Irish is nearly dead as a spoken language.” A shock ran through the Irish-speaking community at the news…. but although the after-shocks reached linguists afar …. the news caused but a small ripple in Irish society at large.

It should have been big news. In only nine decades of the existence of the Irish state, the Irish-speaking areas had shrunk by 90%. This seemed to herald the imminent death of Irish as a spoken language – a language that, albeit shrunk to being the mother-tongue of small minority of the Irish population, had survived almost a millennium of colonial occupation and a consistent policy to replace it with English.

The loss would be greater than Ireland’s alone – this is an early Indo-European Celtic language of more than four thousand years of development, the language of the earliest vernacular literature of Western Europe, an extremely rich literature of pagan mythology and folklore containing epics which did not suffer the extent of moralistic destruction which either the Reformation or the Inquisition visited upon so many others across Europe. The language is probably unique on the Continent in being that of a state and which is also that of the first recorded settlers of the land. It was (perhaps still is) the Celtic language with the largest number of speakers. It is the mother of Scots Gaelic and Manx Gaelic too.

It seemed almost too difficult to grasp that this had occurred in a state that claims to be independent, which also claimed the language as the first in status in the State, according to its Constitution. And this has, seemingly contradictorily, occurred at a time when there are more Irish-medium schools, Gaelscoileanna, than ever before in the history of the State.

How did it come to pass? Emigration, some might say. Certainly emigration on a large scale has been a feature of Ireland’s demographics since at least the Great Hunger (although it was in the years after that disaster that the outlying western areas began to hemorrhage). Even so, although emigration has been a constant, so also has been the population – in other words, the birth-and-survival-rate kept up with the emigration. Did the Gaeltacht areas experience higher emigration rates than elsewhere then? Certainly – not just to go overseas but also to Irish cities, especially to Dublin. Industry was scarce in the Irish-speaking areas, despite the efforts of cooperatives and Gael-Linn and the land in most places is rocky and poor.

The Gaeltacht  Death or Life
The Gaeltacht
Death or Life (image downloaded from the Internet)

Yet, the reality appears to be that the Gaeltacht population reached a level at which it stayed – so how can there be a continual reduction reaching 90% in the Irish-speaking areas? If the population has not decreased, certainly not to that extent – then the Irish-speakers must have. Have many ceased to speak the language then, losing it over a generation, or two, or three? Or has an inward migration of English-language-only speakers replaced Irish-speakers? Yes to the first and yes, to an extent, to the second.

The Basques have a saying: “No language was ever lost because people didn’t learn it but rather because those who had it, stopped speaking it.” (As an aside, I find myself wanting to say “her”, because in Irish the word “language” is of feminine gender: “Beatha teanga í a labhairt” — literally “the life of a language is to speak her”).  Observers speak of children raised in Irish-speaking families, or in a mixed-language household, even in the Gaeltacht, speaking English with their peers as they leave the primary school where the subjects are taught through Irish.

So, the people make a choice and some people of other mother-tongues move in – that’s democracy, isn’t it? Freedom to move, freedom to speak the language you want. But is it really so? Certainly one can assume that the people moving in are making a free choice (unless one takes into account dearer house prices in the cities). But are the ones moving out making a free choice?  If the absence of industry and therefore employment is a constant in the Gaeltacht then it is not an entirely free choice to leave. If the work were there, one can assume many of the people would stay.

Ok, but the ones who stop speaking Irish – surely that is a free choice?  One suspects cultural factors at play there. The attractive world for pre-teenager – which is what most childhood years have become — and teenager, is a world dominated by and represented through the English language. It is transmitted in English through so many media …. all with very little competition in Irish. The Irish-language TV channel, TG4 is in practice a bilingual one. Publishers find only a small market for books aimed at children and young adults in Irish, whereas the English-language market stretches not only throughout Ireland but abroad — Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand … All of this without mentioning TV, pop-song lyrics, video games, Internet, films ….

But one must also take into account the fact that when those Gaeltacht children visit their nearby towns and cities – Letterkenny, Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Tralee, Galway, Ballina – they hear English all around them. Worse … they hear only English around them – unless they hear other languages from tourists or perhaps an Eastern European language from migrants. What they are practically guaranteed NOT to hear is Irish.

So, hardly anyone speaks her – sorry, it – and it’s not cool and most people of your age around the country don’t speak the language and what do you need it for anyway? It’s not surprising Irish-speaking is in decline.

“You can’t blame the State – they tried their best, didn’t they? Sure Irish is still a compulsory subject in the schools.”  “The national broadcaster has provided a radio station and TV channel for Irish-language use, too! And they give some grants to families speaking Irish in the Gaeltacht, right?”

Ní mar a shíltear a bhítear (loosely translated as “not all is as it seems”. Yes, Irish is taught in the schools but no attempt has ever been made to make it a language of daily use – for work, public transport, banking, shopping, post office, health service, education … Radió na Gaeltachta was won through a civil rights campaign – Feachtas Cearta Sibhialta Muintir na Gaeltachta – and people refused to pay their radio and TV licenses, were dragged to court, fined, refused and some even went to jail before TG4’s precursor, Teilifís na Gaeilge, was supplied. The Irish-speaking grants were a help to households but were not properly administered so that houses that were not Irish-speaking, or had lapsed, continued to receive them. This gave rise to false statistics that helped to conceal the decline in the Irish-speaking areas.

The Gaelscoileanna outside the Gaeltacht, at 143 in the 26 Counties, though an impressive success story, are not State initiatives — they were started by local groups who then battled for state support. Many are still in temporary buildings or in need of repair while others are awaiting the funding that will allow them to employ teachers. As for the other services – nothing. Oh, yes, some of them are supposed to have one designated member of staff who can provide a service in Irish – you can avail of him or her if she or he is not off sick, on holiday, on training or relocated. And if you can wait ….. and put up with the embarrassment while you hold up the queue. Even having one’s address used in the Irish form requires a battle, sometimes drawn out and one still finds one’s letters, from time to time, forwarded from someone else’s address or disappearing somewhere forever. Or discovering that one’s address, which one gave in Irish, has been converted back to English in some office.

A couple of years ago a Dublin court ruled that a man did not have a right to have the case against him heard through Irish. Gardaí are not subject to even the notional obligations to carry out their tasks through Irish or answerable to the Language Ombudsman and, although citizens have a right to have any legally-required procedure in Irish, cases regularly arise of people detained and threatened for insisting on being dealt with through Irish by the Gardaí (police).

Ó Glíosáin showed in research published in the 1980s the decline in Irish-speaking competency among people who had learned Irish at school and who had considered themselves competent speakers upon leaving secondary education. The rate of decline was in the order of a third for every decade passing since they left school. For all its faults, the blame cannot be placed on the educational system, the usual scapegoat. Ó Glíosáin spoke about the absence of “domains of language” for Irish outside the Gaeltacht. In Dublin, with a population of over a million, there is only one social space where everything should happen through Irish. One social space, in the capital of the State, to serve a population of over a million, more than one-fifth of the entire population of the State!

The lack of Irish services obtains even in the Gaeltacht, believe it or not. A man wrote recently of a bank branch in Connemara unable to deal with him making a withdrawal through Irish that asked him to make an appointment. Some years ago, I went to an AIB branch in the Donegal Gaeltacht area and, among a staff of five who were serving customers, could find not one able to give me a service in Irish. People in the Gaeltacht cannot get a decent service in Irish from their local authority, their health service nor, in many cases, their GP. This was so even when, decades ago, many Gaeltacht people hardly knew English.

Anyway, it’s all over now ….

So beat the drum slowly
and play the fife lowly ….

Cnag go mall ar an druma
is séid ar an fhíf go híseal …

Or is it? Irish has been in difficult situations before and still managed to survive. But this may be its greatest emergency. Can Irish-speaking survive if the Gaeltacht dies? Some say not, some say yes. But it will be without a doubt another great blow to the language and a great fall in its status. We should say NO — we will not suffer that to happen!  We will not bequeath a headstone to future generations.

But what can we do?

What can be done – what must be done – must be done by us, each an every one of us, and also by the State. We must accustom the public to hear Irish spoken. Some will respond and some will not. Some will be hostile. But it must be done and WE must do it. And the more it is heard, the more it will be acknowledged, the more people will think it worthwhile to speak what they know, to learn more, to demand services through Irish, to keep speaking the Irish they know. Spreagan Gaeilge Gaeilge – “Irish inspires/ generates Irish”.

We can greet the bus or taxi driver or shop assistant or post office official in Irish and thank them, saying goodbye in the same language. In pubs and cafes we can ask for our drinks, tea, coffee in Irish (we can repeat the request in English if the response seems uncertain; our purpose here is not to embarrass or shame or be superior, only to have the language heard). I know all of this can be done because a few people have been doing it for years. We can ensure our greetings are always in Irish – “the first word in Irish” is a transposition of a slogan from the Basque Country. We can ensure wherever signs, slogans and banners may be, that we provide these in Irish too. Sure, this is the cúpla focal, tokenistic …. but tokens are not to be disparaged; we do not disparage tokens of love and affection. Of course the tokens must be followed by the real practice, just as needs be the case with tokens of love.

Part of a recent lunchtime demonstration outside the office of the Department responsible for the Gaeltacht.  It was called by a new incarnation of Misneach, an organisation active in the mid-1960s.
Part of a recent lunchtime demonstration outside the office of the Department responsible for the Gaeltacht. It was called by a new incarnation of Misneach, an organisation active in the mid-1960s. (Photo D. Breatnach)


Deasún Breatnach
Deasún Breatnach (1921-2007), a founder member of the language-campaigning organisation Misneach, who went to jail in the 1960s to win the right to have his car insurance documentation in Irish or bilingual.

And there are battles that must be fought with the State, with local authorities, with utilities and service providers including private companies. Both logic and history make it clear that this is so. I have already alluded to the civil rights campaign in the Gaeltacht areas and the refusals to pay radio and TV licenses. In the 1960s a Dublin man asked Norwich Union to supply him a bilingual vehicle insurance document or one in Irish. The company declined. The man bought the insurance but refused to display an English-only document on his car. The State’s laws require that every driver display a document showing that they had insurance but no law required a private company to provide that documentation in Irish. The Gardaí regularly stopped the man who explained his stance and they noted his details and allowed him to proceed. For about a year nothing else happened until one day he was summoned to go to court and, despite his explanation and his reference to his right under the Constitution, he was fined. He refused to pay the fine and went to prison. Demonstrations followed with a friend of his playing the bagpipes outside Mountjoy Jail.  In less than a fortnight, “an anonymous cleric paid the fine” and subsequently the law was changed. Every vehicle insurance company wishing to practice in Ireland subsequently has to provide Irish documentation or a bilingual version.

Some policies will have to be put in place in the Gaeltacht and closely followed.  Policies relating to housing, employment and service delivery will be among them.  Some will be welcome and some controversial … but needs must.

The State has already shown by its attitude and by the sad statistics that it does not wish to save Irish as a spoken language. Nor is it only the record of the Gaeltacht decline which speaks volumes. Recently this Government showcased in a video its plan for the centenary commemoration of the 1916 Rising. Among the many criticisms the video attracted was that the Irish in it was of a terrible quality – the Government had employed a translator who had used Google Translate. The video was withdrawn.

Small section of crowd in large "Dearg le Fearg" (Red with Rage) demonstration March 2014 about lack of support for the irish language.
Small section of crowd in large “Dearg le Fearg” (Red with Rage) demonstration March 2014 about lack of support for the irish language. (image downloaded from the Internet)

Towards the end of 2013, the Irish Language Commissioner, a public servant, accusing the State of “lip-service” towards Irish and actual obstruction, announced that he would not seek reappointment at the end of his term – an announcement that led to a number of big demonstrations in 2014 under the slogan “Dearg le Fearg” (Red with Rage).  In July 2014, the Government appointed a Minister for the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht who does not speak Irish – Heather Humphreys. She has, in turn, a Minister of State with specific responsibility for the Gaeltacht, Joe McHugh, appointed in the same month … and, although apparently he is learning it, he does not speak Irish either. And note that responsibility for “Culture” is longer in the same Department as Irish – it has been moved to the much more prestigious Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

The State is being challenged from many diverse directions – on issues of services, state finances, centennial commemoration of the fight for independence, conservation, social housing, social welfare, employment and employment rights, health service, gender and sexuality equality, natural resources, Traveller rights, migrant rights … Irish must be seen and heard in these battles and the civil rights of Irish speakers inside and outside the Gaeltacht must also be presented separately, as an issue in itself. These are battles to be fought in campaigns to be planned and time is short. But we can start today, with ourselves. Beatha teanga í a labhairt.


24 thoughts on “THE GAELTACHT AND IRISH: Dying, or in need of an emergency operation?

  1. Alt suimiúil, a rebelbreeze. Is é an trua nár chuir tú na 6 Chondae san áireamh i do chuid taighde, áfach. D’fhéadfá a rá gur ann a mhaireann an mana “spreagann Gaeilge Gaeilge” cheana féin agus gur ann a chuirtear i bhfeidhm na moltaí a dhéanann tú – an t-aon áit amháin in Éirinn le Gaeltacht nua a bhunú le gairid.

    1. Grma. Sé mo bharúil gur chuireas na 6 Co. san áireamh go ginearálta. In ainneoin na hoibre dícheallach déanta ag cnuasacht beag de dhaoine i measc dreamanna polaitiúla éagsúla agus neamhspleách orthu,is minic go leor i nDoire agus i gceanntar na bhFál i mBéal Feirst mé gan Gaeilge le cloisteál agam. Nuair a chloisim í, de ghnáth ní bheadh ann ach “slán” “go raibh míle” agus “a chara”, sáite isteach i gcaint Bhéarla. Ar ndóigh, is fearr sin ná staid na Gaeilge i gcathracha na 26 Co. ach ní dóigh liom go dtagann sé gar dá bhfuil á moladh agam.

      Deirtear liom anois is arís go bhfuil Gaeltacht nua ins na 6 Co. Más fíor, ní heol dom cá bhfuil sí. Timpeall ar an gCultúrlann i gceanntar Bóthar na bhFál i mBéal Feirste, tá comharthaí sráideanna agus ainmneacha cuid mhaith siopa i nGaeilge agus sa Chultúrlann, is féidir an biachlár a léamh agus seirbhís a fháil trí Ghaeilge — arís, i bhfad níos fearr ná mar atá ag aon chathair ins na 26 Co. Ach ins na siopaí agus na tithe tabhairne sa cheanntar sin, ar an tsráid agus sa chuid is mó den Cultúrlann fiú, is Béarla a chloistear. Ní haon chabhair dúinn a bheith ag cur dallamullóg orainn féin — tá sin déanta againn le ró-fhada anuas.

      1. Ní ag iarraidh dallamullóg a chur ar dhuine ar bith a bhí mé ach in d’alt thrácht tú ar:

        “We can greet the bus or taxi driver or shop assistant or post office official in Irish and thank them, saying goodbye in the same language….Sure, this is the cúpla focal, tokenistic …. but tokens are not to be disparaged;”

        Do mholadh féin ann sin agus moladh a chleachtann daoine i gceantar na bhFál le fada an lá. Is fíor go gcluineann tú Béarla ann fosta, i bhfad barraíocht Béarla, ach seo sampla de phobal a dhéanann iarracht ar fhocail Ghaeilge a shá isteach ina gcuid Béarla mar atá tú a mholadh.

        Thrácht tú ar na Gaelscoileanna taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht “146 sna 26 Chondae”. Tá 86 Ghaelscoil sna 6 Chondae, an chuid is mó acu bunaithe le 10 mbliana anuas. Arís eile, sampla dearfach a bhí ar shlí a luaite – ní le dallamullóg a chur orainn féin ach le dea-shampla a thabhairt.

      2. Chuireas a bhí le rá agam sa chomhthéacs “In ainneoin na hoibre dícheallach déanta ag cnuasacht beag de dhaoine i measc dreamanna polaitiúla éagsúla agus neamhspleách orthu” ins na 6 Co. Tá a fhios agam go ndéanann dream de dhaoine ins na 6 Co. mar a mholas (agus ins na 26 chomh maith). Is ag iarraidh daoine a spreagadh len a chur len a líon a bhíos. Sin ghnímh pearsanta, mar adeirfá.

        Maidir leis na Gaelscoileanna, an phríomh-phoinnte a bhíos ag iarraidh a dhéanamh ná go bhfuill meath na Gaeltachta ag teacht in ainneoin fás na nGaelscoileanna agus nach labharann tromlach na daoine Gaeilge go rialta thréis dóibh an scoill a fhágáil (sa dá chás — ar an slí abhaile agus ar a mbealach sa saol mór). Muna bhfaightear leigheas ar an gceist sin beidh deireadh leis an nGaeilge mar theanga labhartha. Gníomh pobail a bheadh i gceist sa chás sin. Do dhéarfainn “gníomh Stáit” ach amháin gur léir nach bhfuil suim dá laghad ag maoranna an Stáit i slánú na Gaeilge ach a mhalairt.

  2. Philip Sheerin

    Alt iontach suimiiúil. Is fíor a rá go spreagann Gaeilge Gaeilge. Ní labhraím ach Gaeilge le mo ghar’níon agus nuair a chluineann muintir na háite (CathairDhoire) muid is léir go gcuireann sé gliondar Ina gcroíthe. Cuirtear ceisteanna orm faoin Ghaeilge. Deir daoine eile go bhfuil náire orthu gur chaill siad a gcuid teanga nó nach bhfuair siad deis í a fhoghlaim ar scoil(Protastúnaigh ina measc, ní theagaistear an Ghaeilge sna scoileanna Stáit )

    1. grma. Do mhúineas Gaeilge do thosnaitheoirí as poball na bProtastúnach thall i Lúndain. Iad siúd adeir go bhfuil sí caillte acu, níl sí uilig caillte. Dá núsáididís a bhfuil acu, d’fhéadfaidís beagán nua a chur leis diaidh ar ndiaidh. Ach tá sé i bhfad níos éascaidh a rá “do chaill mé í” agus “tá náire orm”. ‘Sé mo bharúil go bhfuil sé de dhualgas orainn a rá leo gan a bheith ag rá a leithéid ach a bhfuil acu a úsáid, agus ina dhiaidh sin, cur len a bhfuil acu.

  3. Nuair chuaigh mé go dtí Oideas Gael i nGleann Cólm Cille i nDún na nGall i tsamraidh 2007 a fhoghlaim, níl mé ábalta labhairt leis an pobal sa ceantair, mar ní raibh siad ag iarraidh le linn stranséirí i nGaellge ar bith níos mó. B’fhéidir nach féadfhaí go leor? (Tá mé i gcónaí ina SAM, ina Cathair na hÁingeal i gCalifoirnea Thuas. Tá mé foghlaimeoir fásta, leis Gaeilge briste, ar ndóigh.)

  4. Bernard Maegraith

    Dia duit, mo chara. Gabh mo leithscéal ach níl mé Gaeilgeoir agus
    labhraím beagán Gaeilge. Tá mé Astrálach, agus táim i mo chónaí i Sydney. Tá mé ag foghlaim Gaeilge le Scoil na Gaeilge Sydney. Bhi mo dhaidí agus mhamaí Gaelach, as Maigh Eo. Ba mhaith liom labhairt Bearla, le do thoil.

    It seems you are all literate in Irish, and I apologise for my impoverished attempt at writing Gaeilge. As a beginner speaker of Irish, coming from English, my first language, I can say that learning Irish is the most difficult intellectual task I have undertaken in my nearly 60 years of existence. The linguistic concepts, grammar, spelling and ways of framing the world are so foreign to an English speaker, or indeed any speaker of a modern European language. This I imagine is behind much of the problem with Irish winning acceptance among the Irish. I always believed that spoken Irish was steadily gaining a hold among the English speakers of Ireland, but sadly that appears not to be true. One day I hope to visit my ancestral home, and if my Gaeilge is sufficient, live in a Gaeltacht. Perhaps that dream will be in vain, so I had damn well better got on with the task at hand and put in more study hours before this beautiful language vanishes. Honestly, I would like to grab your lazy countrymen by the scruff and give them a bloody good shake. I don’t care how you Irish speakers do it, but just get on with the job. Kick the sods if you have to. So sad.

    1. Hi, Bernard. I am sorry that you are finding it so hard. But I need to disagree with what you have said about Irish in comparison with other languages. Firstly, most of Irish has similar grammatical construction to a number of other languages. For example, gender in nouns and adjectives, different cases giving different endings to nouns, etc. With regard to verbs too, including the three different ways of saying what would be “I am” in English = Tá mé tinn; Is fear mé; Tá tart orm: these have exact equivalent in Spanish at least, the most widely-spoken and spread European language apart from English. The first two are in Basque as well. The third is in French (j’ai faim) and other languages. In fact English seems to be a rather unusual case in many ways. And of course English is a forced compression of French and Saxon, with Latin and Greek being used for most scientific terms.
      People who are learning English find it quite difficult in many ways (it has more irregular verbs than Irish) and the spelling is all over the place. George Bernard Shaw invented the word “ghoti” to demonstrate this, which should be pronounced “fish” (gh as in “enough”; o as in “women”; ti as in “mention”. The pronunciation of Irish words is much more related to the sounds of the vowels and consonants. But learning Irish needs to be combined with speaking it (speaking her, we’d say in Irish). I wish you all the best in your endeavour. Go néirí leat.

      And remember that Irish was the first vernacular writing in Europe!

  5. Not much of a mention of the woeful, joyless curriculum at school? I think everything else should be secondary – It was a total trudge, all colour stripped from the thing for me. If we can make Irish the class you look forward to in the day, we’re laughing.

    1. I am sorry you had that experience Conor but it wasn’t everyone’s. In fact the Education Department is perhaps the only one of the State’s departments that made any serious attempt to teach the language. In the study I mentioned, one third of every year of students leaving school considered themselves as competent in Irish but ten years later, that third had declined by a further third. And so on. It seems clear that lack of practicing the language was the cause. And so it goes today.

      The article was sparked by the statistics on the huge reduction of the Gaeltacht, i.e. those areas where Irish was spoken in the home, the street, the shop, the pub …. Whatever anyone feels about the teaching methods of Irish, it can hardly be responsible for that decline in those areas. What is happening is that competent speakers are leaving Irish, not using it outside very small circles. There could be a variety of reasons but one seems to me to be that Irish is not being heard in the cities, therefore city dwellers don’t learn it and therefor rural dwellers think it uncool.

  6. anidhorchaidhe

    Is alt den chéad scoth é sin! Ba mhithid do dhuine éigin sin a rá! Caithfear an cheist a chur, áfach, cad chuige a lig stáit na hÉireann do cur chuige chomh naimhdeach sin i leith na Gaeilge? Is maith liom an phointe agat, gur tharla seo i stáit “neamhspleách”. Céard is neamhspleáchas ann? Ní hé neamhspleáchas aigne atá i gceist le stáit na hÉireann. Tá sé ar nós Stockholm Syndrome, an meon seo in aghaidh na Gaeilge. Ba mhaith liom iniúchadh éigin a dhéanamh air seo. Tá suim mhór agam in iar-choilíneachas. Bíonn gach uile duine againn ag strí le tionchar an choilíneachais ar an dtír s’ againn…

  7. anidhorchaidhe

    Reblogged this on Alison Ní Dhorchaidhe :: Sruth na Maoile and commented:
    Is alt den chéad scoth é seo! Ba mhithid do dhuine éigin sin a rá! Caithfear an cheist a chur, áfach, cad chuige a lig stáit na hÉireann don chur chuige chomh naimhdeach sin i leith na Gaeilge? Is maith liom an phointe ag Diarmuid, gur tharla seo i stáit “neamhspleách”. Céard is neamhspleáchas ann? Ní hé neamhspleáchas aigne atá i gceist le stáit na hÉireann. Tá sé ar nós Stockholm Syndrome, an meon seo in aghaidh na Gaeilge. Ba mhaith liom iniúchadh éigin a dhéanamh air seo. Tá suim mhór agam in iar-choilíneachas. Bíonn gach uile duine againn ag strí le tionchar an choilíneachais ar an dtír s’ againn…

    1. Is fíor dhuit, a Alison, tá an fhadhb seol luaite ag an bPiarsach agus roimhe sin in 1843 ag John Kells Ingram, i línte an amhráin “Memory of the Dead” (“Who Fears to Speak of ’98”): …… “He’s all a knave or half a slave who slights his country thus …” Scríobh Franz Fanon faoin gcruth sin intinne freisin agus is fíor dhuit gur fágadh rian an chóilíneachas orainn. In éindí le sin tá ceist an ghaimbíneachas, ionnas nach bhfeictear do dhream an airgid go bhfuil buntáiste maoine le teacht as an Ghaeilge a chaomhnú, agus gur leis an dream chéanna a bhíonn ár rialtais ag éisteacht.

  8. Eleanor Lunn

    I wish all who will work at reviving Irish as a living language the best of luck. You are doing noble work because if the Irish lose their language, they lose their soul!

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