Speaking Irish - A language in jeopardy

THOUGH a good number of Irish people — 83,000 — express to their idea of being Irish by speaking some Irish every day the vast majority of us make little or no commitment to what is still called our first language.

This is not as it might be or as many would wish it to be but it is how it is. The continual decline, despite huge state support, suggests an indifference that is all but impossible to overcome.

Another programme to rejuvenate the language was launched yesterday but it is hard to see how it might succeed when so many others have failed. Some people love the language for what it is, others cherish it for the economic rewards it can bestow. Until very many more of us love it for itself its future remains in jeopardy.

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