Census finds 7.1% rise in Irish speakers

 

The 2011 census recorded a 7.1 per cent increase in the number of people who said they could speak Irish.

Some 1.77 million people said they could speak Irish - accounting for 41.4 per cent of respondents. More women than men answered "Yes" when asked if they could speak Irish.

Almost 45 per cent of women said they could speak Irish compared with almost 38 per cent of men. The Central Statistics Office noted that more women than men consistently identified themselves as being able to speak Irish.

Almost one third of 10 -19 year olds said they could not speak Irish.

Of the 1.77 million who said they could speak the language, just 1.8 per cent said they spoke it daily outside the education system. However, this was an increase of 5,037 people since the previous census.

A further 2.6 per cent said they spoke it weekly, while 12.2 per cent spoke it within the education system. Some 14.3 per cent said they spoke it less often - an increase of 27,139 and was the largest increase of all categories. One in four said they never spoke Irish.