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Irish and ‘language snobs’

March 25, 2014

Sir, – Brian Ó Broin (Letters, March 22nd) suggests that the target of 250,000 Irish speakers by 2030 is an achievable one, but only “if non-Gaeltacht Irish speakers begin to shoulder the burden that Gaeltacht people have been predominantly carrying since the foundation of the State – using the language at home”.

How strange to think that speaking to one’s family in what is considered to be one’s native tongue should be termed a burden. Communicating in either one’s first or second language at home should be (largely) a pleasure, not a burden; and I would imagine that for the vast majority of Irish-speakers it is.

If indeed the Irish language is such a heavy load to carry, then it should be ditched without delay. A language that is a burden is worthless.

Yours, etc,
Co Tipperary

Sir, – An Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, does not advance his cause by using the slur “linguistic Darwinists” (Opinion & Analysis, March 24th). The survival of the 2,000-year-old Irish language is a tribute to its evolution, not a refutation of it.

Yours, etc,
Cnoc an Stollaire,
Gaoth Dobhair,
Co Donegal