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Irish language under threat

February 28, 2014

Sir, – I live part of the year in Wales, where you can hear more Welsh in five minutes than Irish in a year in nearly every part of Ireland (this is no exaggeration).

The unwelcome truth is that very few of us have any intention of ever speaking Irish. Instead we have long ago opted for cuplafocalarism, This consists of putting road signs, notices, documents and all the rest of it into Irish (even better if it can be done at European level) regardless of whether it is used or not.
Meanwhile, we blithely continue to speak our real native language, English. It shouldn’t fool a 10-year-old. But we are quite content with this nonsense and woe betide anyone who questions the emperor’s attire.

– Yours, etc,
Meadow Grove

Sir, – In the course of my work, over many years, I travelled the entire island of Ireland. I know very little Irish, but that was never a problem. No one I ever met had any difficulty in speaking to me in English.
In fact, everyone I met or did business with spoke English. This also applied to shops, theatres and pubs. The only other languages to be heard, mostly in the high season, were, Spanish, French, German and some East European languages.
So I would like to challenge any one of the letter writers who accept the accuracy of the 2011 Census (which states 1.77 million speak Gaeilge on a daily basis), to stand with me on the main street of any large town or city in Ireland (apart from Galway) to hold a short conversation with passers by, as Gaeilge. Any takers?

– Yours, etc,
The Demesne,
Killester, Dublin 5.

A chara, – I agree with Revd Patrick G Burke (Letters, February 25th) that “the so-called financial experts” destroyed the Irish economy. And they were ably aided and abetted by a lot of our politicians and developers. In fact its arguable whether we own our country any more. We own the Irish language, but it seems a lot of our people do not value it very highly. Maybe our new immigrants – the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Nigerians – might succeed where we have failed. “Níl tír gan teanga”.

– Is mise,
Cúirt an Choláiste,
Dún Dealgan, Co Lú.