29/03/12 – Minister of State McGinley welcomes 2011 Census results on Irish speakers
Minister of State, Dinny McGinley T.D., welcomed the statistics on Irish speakers published today (29 March 2012) as part of the Census 2011 results.
The statistics show that 1.77 million people aged 3 years and over were able to speak Irish in 2011 compared with 1.66 million people in 2006 and that the total number of people who answered ‘yes’ to being able to speak Irish increased by 7.1% between 2006 and 2011.
“I am pleased to see an increase in the number of people who indicated they are able to speak Irish. This is a positive development in terms of making progress towards the achievement of the targets in the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030,” said Minister of State McGinley.
In terms of Gaeltacht areas, the statistics show that the total population of all Gaeltacht areas increased by 5.2% from 91,862 in 2006 to 96,628 in 2011. While the total number of Irish speakers in Gaeltacht areas decreased by 2.3% between 2006 and 2011, the number of daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht areas increased by 2.9% since 2006.
“The increase in the number of daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht areas is good news, particularly since the 20-Year Strategy has set a target of a 25% increase in this area over its lifetime,” said Minister of State McGinley.
Note for editors:
The 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 includes the following targets:
• increase the number of speakers who speak Irish on a daily basis outside the education system to 250,000 and
• increase the number of speakers who speak Irish on a daily basis in the Gaeltacht by 25%.