‘Massive’ numbers speak Irish in Clare

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PUBLIC support for the Irish language is “undeniable” according to research published earlier this week while it has been claimed that the amount of people speaking the language in Clare is “massive”.

Céard é an Scéal is a newly published research report conducted by Conradh na Gaeilge, with Kantar Millward Brown and Cinnteacht. It found that 66 percent of people believe the State should do more to support the Irish language while 70 percent felt public services should be made available as Gaeilge. Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge was encouraged by the findings, he said they “demonstrate that the public have a respect for and an understanding of the importance of the Irish language”.

Implementing some recommendations could lead to 1,100 jobs based on estimations from General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, Julian de Spáinn. The findings were reiterated by Mark Nestor who became Development Officer with An Clár as Gaeilge at the beginning of October. “Given the tradition people have with the language going back many years, the need for services to be provided in Irish is very much evident amongst locals in the town of Ennis and in the county of Clare”.

Of the work being done to promote the Irish language in the county, Mark told The Clare Echo , “There is a very strong effort being made in the town of Ennis but we could try and strengthen that and push it out to take all of the county of Clare. The officers here in An Clár as Gaeilge have been doing a lot of good work with the likes of Féile na hInse, the Féile Scoldrámaíochta, the effort to try and get businesses to speak through Irish like Inis Dom. “There is a strong effort being made here in the county, organisations like Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Éireann, Cumann Luthcleas Gael have made strong efforts to try and promote the language, that has become very much evident when you see an
increase in the uptake of classes”.

Some 67 percent of those surveyed maintained the presence of Irish language centres in cities and towns would help with the uptake of our native tongue. None exist in Clare, with the An Clár as Gaeilge offices in Ennis “the closest thing to a language centre” according to Nestor. A native of Ennis, Mark who also graduated with an Irish degree from NUIG, stated that the Irish speaking community in Clare “is massive”.

A conversation circle is held in the town of Ennis every Tuesday. “Here in Ennis, I think it is very strong, we have the language classes that take place once a week in Cois na hAbhna and they are full up, we’ll have the Féile na hInse taking place in March 2019 and we’ve more than 2,000 young kids from throughout the county taking part in that.” He added, “The Irish speaking community is massive, the Gaelscoil here in Ennis is quickly developing and it’s growing very quickly. There is a demand to provide services for the Irish speaking community at the moment”.

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