Friday, 25 January 2008

Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh

…de Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh:

Cllr. Joe Kelly has welcomed the comprehensive research on the Linguistic Study of the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht which was presented in Gweedore on Monday night. The three year study was initiated by Minister Ó Cuiv and it gives a detailed and up to date perspective on the state of the spoken language throughout the Gaeltachts.

While the study shows that spoken Irish is still a community language in a large area is western Donegal, it raises nonetheless serious questions for the people of the Gaeltacht. The report highlights that there is a clear threat to the survival of the Irish language, a threat which is intensifying.

Evidence form the research shows that the Gaeltacht education system is not transforming those who come to school as English speakers into active Irish speakers. Furthermore it is alleged that students outside the Gaeltacht outperform Gaeltacht students is some language ability tests. Clearly this raises critical linguistic questions in relation to educational aims and practices currently implemented in Gaeltacht schools.

Cllr. Kelly stated that 'Padraig Pearse who visited Cloughaneely regularly, had claimed that "the Irish speaking child is the most valuable living thing in Ireland." 'This still holds true today' Cllr. Kelly asserted and added that this new Lingusitic Report further highlighted that fact.

While the comprehensive Report offers detailed analysis, maps and figures as well as recommendations, Cllr. Kelly believed that immediate focus was needed on the Irish speaking child. He suggests that Naíonán beaga class sizes in Gaeltacht schools should be reduce to ten pupils so as to allow the teacher to foster the language and to facilitate the positive developments of Cuntoirí teangaí.

Undoubtedly, State organisations can help to further promote the Irish language, nevertheless, Cllr Kelly asserted that the onus rest ultimately with the people of the Gaeltacht. 'I urged the people of the Gaeltacht to cherish the language and to rise to the challenge of ensuring that we sustain our native language- let it not be said by future generations that the language died on our watch' he concluded.

1 comment:

Darren J. Prior said...

Sort the planning system out in the Gaeltacht and invest in marketing the language using the most modern 21st century marketing techniques. That is what is needed in the Gaeltacht. Of course marketing for the language is needed nationally- not just in the Gaeltacht.