May 30, 2023
100,000+ cainteoirí nua le ceiliúradh, ach géarchéim le sárú in úsáid laethúil na Gaeilge – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

100,000+ cainteoirí nua le ceiliúradh, ach géarchéim le sárú in úsáid laethúil na Gaeilge – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Chuir urlabhraí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta, Ealaíon agus Cultúir Shinn Féin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, fáilte roimh fhoilsiú an achoimre ar thorthaí a bhain leis an nGaeilge i nDaonáireamh 2022 inniu.

Cháin sé áfach gur chinn an PríomhOifig Staidrimh gan sonraí faoin nGaeilge a fhoilsiú i nGaeilge.

Dúirt an Teachta Ó Snodaigh, atá ina Chathaoirleach ar Chomhchoiste Oireachtais na Gaeilge, na Gaeltachta agus Phobail Labharha na Gaeilge:

“Tá ábhair ceiliúradh le sonrú sna figiúirí a foilsíodh inniu. Tá 100,000 cainteoirí nua Gaeilge sa Stát sa bhreis ar cad a bhí ann i 2016, ag leigheasú an titim a bhí ann ó 2011 go 2016 agus ag dul chun tosaigh ar sin.

“Más fíor mo thuiscint ar chúrsaí, is é seo an chéad uair ó ré an Ghorta Mhór gur féidir a rá go bhfuil 2 milliúin duine le Gaeilge in Éirinn, idir an 1.87 milliúin sna 26 Contae dar leis an Daonáireamh seo, agus an 228,600 aitheanta sna 6 Contae i nDaonáireamh 2021.

“É sin ráite, cé go bhfuil ardú ar líon na gcainteoir iomlán, níl mórán dul chun cinn le sonrú sa chéatadán iomlán – 40% de dhaonra an Stáit – agus tá titim le feiceáil ar líon na gcainteoir laethúil lasmuigh den chóras oideachas.

“Seo an dara Daonáireamh i ndiaidh a chéile ina bhfuil titim sonraithe ar líon na gcainteoir laethúil Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht, agus tá titim le feiceáil i ngach Gaeltacht seachas Ciarraí agus na Déise. Ar a laghad tá an ráta creimidh i bhfad níos lú ná mar a bhí i 2016, rud a léiríonn go bhfuil ag éirí go pointe leis an bpleanáil teanga agus gur gá níos mó tacaíocht a thabhairt dó.

“Caithfidh an rialtas tabhairt faoin 40% atá Gaeilge acu a spreagadh í a labhairt. Duine as gach ceathrar acu a deir nach labhraíonn siad riamh í.

“Seo an chéad Daonáireamh inar cuireadh ceist ar chumas na gcainteoir Gaeilge, agus is ábhar spéise dúinn na torthaí a d’eascair ó sin.

“As an 40% iomlán atá Gaeilge acu, deir 42% go bhfuil Gaeilge mhaith nó an-mhaith acu, figiúir atá os cionn 60% i measc an aoisghrúpa 10-19. Léiríonn sé seo an fiúntas a bhaineann le ham a chaitheamh go rialta le Gaeilge ar scoil mar ábhar éigeantach, agus go dteastaíonn iarracht ar leith chun daoine óga a choimeád ag úsáid Gaeilge tar éis dóibh an scoil a fhágáil más mian linn stop a chur leis an dtitim ó aois 20 ar aghaidh.

“Seans go bhfuil léiriú ar thábhacht an Ghaeloideachais le sonrú sa bhriseadh síos de réir contae, áit a bhfuil Muineachán in éindí le Gaillimh, Dún na nGall agus Ciarraí i measc na contaetha ina bhfuil cumas maith nó an-mhaith ag na Gaeilgeoirí ann. Is i gcontae Mhuineacháin atá an céatadán is airde sa stát de dhaltaí a bhíonn ag freastal ar ghaelscoileanna agus ar ghaelcholáistí, agus dea-shampla atá ann gur féidir éirí leis an athbheochan teanga fiú i gcontaetha Béarlaithe gan Gaeltacht.

“Tá sé suimiúil freisin go dtagann ardú arís ar mhuinín na ndaoine ina gcuid Gaeilge ar bhonn chéimniúil agus iad ag dul in aois ó 55 ar aghaidh. Teastaíonn anailís ar an athrú meoin seo.

“Deir 55% dóibh siúd a bhfuil Gaeilge acu nach bhfuil Gaeilge mhaith acu, rud a léiríonn go bhfuileadar den tuairim go bhféadfadh siad feabhas a chur air. Seans go dtabharfadh ranganna Gaeilge saoir in aisce do dhaoine fásta, mar a aontaíodh ag Ardfheis Shinn Féin anuraidh, deis dóibh tabhairt faoin nGaeilge a fheabhsú agus a úsáid ó lá go lae.

“Tá polasaithe eile molta ag Sinn Féin, sna spriocanna a mhol muid don oideachas lánGhaeilge inár n-aighneacht ar pholasaí an rialtais, agus sna 7 ndícheall beartaithe againn chun an Ghaeilge a normal agus a spreagadh i mbéal an phobail, a féadfadh leo tionchar mór a bheith acu ar an scéal.

“Teastaíonn cur chuige uailmhianach chun dul i ngleic leis an titim ar úsáid laethúil na Gaeilge, go háirithe sa Ghaeltacht, agus chun tógáil ar an méid atá bainte amach sa Dhaonáireamh seo.”

100,000+ new Irish speakers to be celebrated, but crisis of daily speakers still to overcome – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, welcomed today’s publication of the summary results relating to the Irish language in Census 2022.

He criticised however that the Central Statistics Office failed to publish the data on the Irish language in the Irish language.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh, who also chairs the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht and the Irish-Speaking Community, said:

“There is some cause for celebration to be found in the figures published today. There are 100,000 new Irish speakers in the State above what was there in 2016, addressing the decrease that happened between 2011 and 2016 and even growing beyond that.

“If I am correct in my understanding, this is the first time since the era of An Gorta Mhór that we can say there are 2 million Irish speakers in Ireland, between the 1.87 million in the 26 Counties according to this Census, and the 228,600 identified in the 6 County Census in 2021.

“That said, while there is an increase in the overall number of speakers, there has not been much progress in the overall percentage – 40% of the State’s population – and a decrease can be seen in the number of daily speakers outside the education system.

“This is the second Census in a row where a decline is evident in the number of daily Irish speakers outside the Gaeltacht, and a drop can be seen in every Gaeltacht except Kerry and Waterford. At least the rate of decline is much smaller than it was in 2016, which suggests the language planning process is succeeding to a degree and deserves more support.

“The government must work to encourage the 40% who have Irish to speak it. One in every four of them say they never speak it.

“This is the first Census to include questions on the fluency of Irish speakers, and the results emanating from that are of interest to us.

“Of the 40% who have Irish overall, 42% of them say they speak Irish well or very well, a figure that increases to over 60% in the 10-19 age group. This demonstrates the benefit that comes with spending time regularly with Irish at school as a mandatory subject, and that a particular effort is needed to keep young people using Irish after they leave school if we want to stem the decline that happens from 20 years of age on.

“The breakdown of data by county is perhaps showing us the importance of Irish medium education, with Monaghan up there alongside Galway, Donegal and Kerry among the counties where Irish speakers speak it well or very well. Monaghan has the highest percentage in the state attending Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí, and is a good example for us that language revival can succeed even in Anglicized counties with no Gaeltacht area.

“It is also of interest that people’s confidence in their Irish increased gradually as they get older from age 55 on. More analysis is needed on this change of mentality.

“55% of those who have Irish say they don’t speak it well, which shows that they believe they could improve the Irish they have. Free Irish language classes for adults, as agreed by Sinn Féin’s Ardfheis last year, could give them the opportunity to try improving and using their Irish day to day.

“Sinn Féin has proposed other policies, in the targets we recommended for Irish medium education in our submission on the government’s policy, and in the 7 efforts we proposed to normalize and encourage use of Irish in the public sphere, which could have a big impact on the situation.

“An ambitious approach is needed to tackle the decline on daily use of Irish, especially in the Gaeltacht, and to build on what has been achieved in this Census.”

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