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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 14, 2010 @ 10:16 am

    Carey hits all the right notes

    Pól Ó Muirí

    New Minister for the Gaeltacht, Pat Carey, made his first official visit to Conamara on Monday. His comments in Tuarascáil today seem to hit all the right notes to me. He emphasises the importance of the Government’s 20-year language strategy and the need for cross-party support and the support of Irish-language groups. Good too to see him stressing the role of the Gaeltacht while giving recognition to those outside its limits who speak the language. It’s a delicate balancing act but I am old fashioned enough to believe that if there is no Gaeltacht then there is no point carrying on.

    Noted too in today’s Irish Times that 1,326 students who were granted an exemption from Leaving Cert Irish still intend to sit an exam in another European language. That brought to mind my own ill-fated year studying German at university. My sorry lack of progress earned me a meeting with the head of the department. Says Herr Professor: “I have been in contact with the Department of Celtic Studies and they tell me that you are doing excellent work in Irish.” Herr Professor pauses for dramatic effect. “I just don’t understand that – Irish is much harder than German.”

    • Mícheál says:

      It’s good to see that he’s taking seriously to his role. Unfortunately though despite the ambitious plans contained in the 20 Year Strategy, realistically speaking, the Irish Language is not a government priority anymore, not with the current obsession with saving our ailing banks. Perhaps some of the empty housing estates could be used to create some Irish Language communities in our larger towns and cities – this would give some sort of cohesion and recognition to Irish speakers outside our Gaeltachtaí as well as giving our Ghost estates a spark of life!


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