Tuesday, 25 March 2008


...de la Irish Independent:

The population of the Gaeltacht could be cut by more than half and Dingle could lose its designated all-Irish status if the Government introduced new linguistic criteria.

The criteria are set out in a detailed study on the use of Irish in Gaeltacht areas which was commissioned by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and published late last year.

Now a detailed analysis of that study, carried out by maths lecturer and Connemara-based Gaeltacht expert Donncha O hEallaithe, has revealed the full implications of the findings and recommendations.

Currently, the Gaeltacht areas of the country have a population of 95,500, but following a comprehensive analysis of each of the 162 electoral divisions making up the official Gaeltacht, Mr O hEallaithe has revealed that the population would drop to 44,000.

Towns such as Dingle, Belmullet in Co Mayo, Dungloe and Burtonport, in Co Donegal, and parts of Galway city would all lose their Gaeltacht status if the linguistic criteria were to be implemented...

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