This study researched the impact of the recent Irish policy for language promotion and revival, the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, on language usage in the country, especially in the Gaeltacht regions. It aimed at ascertaining how the policy had been received by the population and assessing its effects, so far, on Irish speaking communities. The research employed ethnography as the primary method of investigation. Specifically, the study relied on participant observation and interviews, which were conducted in twelve villages and towns located in the seven Gaeltacht regions. The research confirmed that the declining usage of the Irish language in Gaeltacht regions was no longer associated with historical or colonial legacies, but was partly the result of a larger worldwide phenomenon faced by all minority languages, with English as a dominant language globally. The research also demonstrated that the seven Gaeltacht counties are not homogeneous. Beyond contrasts of linguistic dialects, there are significant differences between each county, in relation to such variables as economy, geography and social structure, and these differences have significant policy implications. More importantly, the research found that a number of social problems continue to affect rural isolated areas in the western seaboard of Ireland, where most of the Gaeltacht regions are located, adversely affecting language preservation in the area. As the government strategy for the Irish language is in its initial implementation phases, the study proposed to following up on the policy’s progress, especially with regards to the community language planning processes proposed for the Gaeltacht regions.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2018|
- Irish language