Irish language in decline?

An apparently shocking set of statistics that would have been hard to believe even 10 years ago, claims that less than a quarter of families in the Gaeltacht still speak Irish.

Some commentators suggest that this implies extinction of the language within 10 to 20 years, it should be taken with a large pinch of salt. This figure seems to includes areas called Breac Gaeltachtai, where the populations speaking Irish have always been in a minority and areas like North Donegal where the language has been in serious decline for most of the 20th century. The report singles out southern Connemara, west Donegal and Dingle as strongholds of the language.

This paper provides some reasonably up to date material on the subject, as does this short critique of the same paper.

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