Over 1.5 million people confident in their ability to speak Irish and almost 2 million confident in their ability to understand Irish on the island of Ireland

Over 1.5 million people confident in their ability to speak Irish and almost 2 million confident in their ability to understand Irish on the island of Ireland

CEASFigures published today, Wednesday, 13 January 2021, based on Kantar's annual survey on Irish language issues, as part of Conradh na Gaeilge's annual major research series called Céard É an Scéal, show that the equivalent of nearly two million people on the island of Ireland are confident in their ability to understand or to speak Irish.

The Kantar 2020 survey was conducted to gain an insight into public attitudes towards the Irish language and related matters. In total over a thousand people took a questionnaire in the north and a further thousand people in the south and a series of focus groups were organised afterwards on identified themes.

This year's results include:

  • 28% of people in the south and 12% of people in the north said that they are confident in their ability to speak Irish
  • 35% of people in the south and 15% of people in the north said they are confident in their ability to understand Irish
  • 67% in the south and 55% in the north agreed that the Irish language is a unique resource that can have a positive impact on the development of tourism on this island
  • 59% in the south agreed that an Irish language radio station aimed at young people & available on FM should be funded through the current TV license fee and 51% agreed that state support should be available for migrants who are living in Ireland to learn Irish
  • 60% in the north agreed that core subjects at GCSE level should include languages, with the result that all students would study one language other than English at GCSE level

Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge said:

“A Kantar survey published today as part of Conradh na Gaeilge's annual major research series called Céard É an Scéal has shown that the equivalent of over 1.5 million people are confident in their ability to speak Irish and almost 2 million are confident in their ability to understand the Irish language on the island of Ireland. Our challenge is to provide opportunities for the general public to use their Irish more regularly.”

Julian de Spáinn, Secretary General of Conradh na Gaeilge said:

“We are calling on Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Jack Chambers, Chief Whip of the Government and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Defence and Sport to act on the recommendations arising from the research contained in Céard É an Scéal 2020. A full-time youth radio station as Gaeilge on FM, for example, would be very supportive and encourage young people to use the language more. In addition, greater use of the Irish language could have a positive impact on tourism in Ireland.”

This is the sixth year of the Céard é an Scéal? research series compiled by Conradh na Gaeilge with the support of funding from Foras na Gaeilge. The research is aimed at gaining a better understanding of the views and opinions of the Irish public on various issues relating to the Irish language.

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A full copy of the annual major research series called Céard É an Scéal published today can be found at this link

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge