An Gaeltacht — 3 Comments

  1. I’m far from certain language reserves work if the idea was to expand the usage. On the question of spoken Gaelic we have very little by way of data before the Census. The fasti of the Presbyterians has reports from the 18th century when it would appear Gaelic was the dominant language outside the towns, and by some distance. Then a series of enclosure acts together with the requirements of food and fodder for the French wars pushed the poorer to the margins when farms were enlarged. This left them open to the series of famines that hit every 20 years or so.

  2. Were I a cynic, I might conclude that Irish spoken in the eastern counties of Ireland is more a mark of social class than tradition.

  3. You wouldn’t be wrong. But they tend to be the answer for those who have issues with the semi private or fee paying schools from the church traditions. And not quite so sealed to newcomers. But I doubt they are quite so open to the poorer segments of society.

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