Minister of State McHugh welcomes Research Report on the Irish Language
Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh T.D., has welcomed the all-island research report Attitudes towards the Irish Language on the Island of Ireland published by the Economics and Social Research Institute today. The report was commissioned by Foras na Gaeilge in the context of its role as an all-island agency of the Language Body. The report is based on evidence gathered as part of two surveys commissioned by Foras na Gaeilge in 2001 and 2013 respectively.
Based on the 2013 survey, 67% of respondents in the south, and 45% of respondents in the north, expressed a positive attitude towards the Irish language. This is a significant increase on the 2001 figures (49% in the south and 29% in the north). In addition, 57% of the respondents in the south reported that they were fluent in Irish (basic fluency 43% and advanced fluency 14%). The corresponding figures in the north are basic fluency 14% and advanced fluency 3%.
Minister of State McHugh said, “I welcome this comprehensive report, particularly the significant results it contains regarding the public’s positive attitude to the Irish language. Research such as this is vital to forming a scientific basis for policy planning and for initiating actions that will benefit the Irish language. This research is encouraging and it will underpin the work already being carried out on the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, particularly in the important areas identified in the report, i.e. the education system, family life and community life.”
The Minister of State also said that he is looking forward to discussing the results and conclusions of the research with Foras na Gaeilge and with his colleague in the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in the north, Minister Carál Ní Chuilín.