The Need to Cherish and Respect the Native Gaelic Speaker

In an Article entitled “Irish is a Necessary Language – The Plight of the Native Speakers..” by journalist and Language Activist Sorcha Ní Chéilleachair, the Author speaks of how the Gaelic Tongue is cherished and respected in Irish speaking communities, of her concerns about the future of the language and her hopes that the living beating heart of the Celtic culture of Ireland will survive.

The following are excerpts from the article in the Irish Times, the full text can be found via the link below.

“The struggles of a native Irish speaker are often not understood. While others bemoan how difficult it is to learn the language and argue the merits of compulsory Irish in State examinations, young native speakers are left with little or no support system.”

We are succeeding and it is very important to state that. We need support, we need to be positive and, most of all, we need hope. We need that hope to realise that there is a chance of making it. We accept that we are in the minority and we accept that the future is not all that bright if things go on as they are – but, against the odds, Irish-speaking families are blooming.

The State has been accused of denying that the Gaeltacht is in trouble and the arguing goes on. People in suits play politics and talk of 20-year strategies, reports come and go, meeting are called, many statements are made and much banging of tables goes on. But where is the action?

I take solace in the success of Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta, an organisation I was involved in founding. Five years ago, a handful of brave mothers came together to organise social occasions for native-speaking families. Soon after, we decided to form an organisation and Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta was born. We were politely told by Gaeltacht funding authorities they had no money to give us and, even if they had, we were to prove the need for such an organisation.




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