The decline of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht is worse than previously thought, according to a new report.
The study, commissioned by Údarás na Gaeltachta, maintains that Irish will no longer be the most frequently spoken language in any Gaeltacht community by 2025.
According to the research shows that Irish is spoken by 67% or more of the population on a daily basis in just 21 of the 155 electoral divisions in the Gaeltacht.
Publication of the report has been delayed for more than a year following a dispute between Údarás na Gaeltachta and the authors around the inclusion of recommendations for preserving the language, which will now be published separately.
It is understood that some recommendations include criticism of Government policy in the area.
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge responded to the report, saying: “Conchúr Ó Giollagáin’s report on the future of the Gaeltacht shows that the state must not only demonstrate to the Gaeltacht community that it fully supports the continuing existence of a strong sustainable Gaeltacht, but that it will make it a priority to secure this.
“For this reason, the Government needs to provide enough resources to implement a strong, courageous, and comprehensive policy.
“Ó Giollagáin’s research reveals that the future of the Gaeltacht will be secured if decisive action is taken by the state in cooperation with the community.
“Conradh na Gaeilge calls on the government to act urgently and immediately on the basis of this research, and looks forward to working with the government and community groups as we take on this challenge together.”