Where Has The Irish Language Gone?

Ireland_(MODIS)Irish, like Scottish, Welsh and many others, is a Celtic language. Due to the rise of the English Empire, these, like many other Celtic languages, have been lost or are dying out.

Irish has less than a million speakers, most of which live on the west side of Ireland. It’s unclear exactly when Irish came to Ireland, but Scholars believe it was introduced around 2,500 years old.

“What’s appreciated in Ireland is the music of the language, that’s what’s attractive to me,” James Dunn of Wendell, an instructor of Irish, told The Recorder.

Dunn teaches Irish for the preservation of an art rather than for political reasons, which is so often found.

“It’s a beautiful language, the expression is very poetic, very concrete.” Dunn said. Other organizations have taken an initiative on the Irish language as well. RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann), a national public broadcast service in Ireland, is starting up an online news service called Irish Today.

Like Dunn, Irish Today will help preserve and create a better awareness and understanding of the language, but it may not be enough.

An Irish Language Bill, which would protect and promote the Irish language, has been proposed in Ireland, leading many to weigh the pros and cons of both the language and the bill on society. Dr. David Hume, director of services for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, told Carrick Times that the Irish language must have more respect before the Irish Language Bill could succeed.

“Seeking to enshrine the Irish language in a legal framework with implications for government, the courts, schools and everyday life will only serve to cause increased division. It will ultimately be to the detriment of the Irish language.” Dr. Hume said.

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