More Polish Speakers than Irish Speakers in Ireland?

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    “The ancestral language of Irish people is Irish Gaelic. Nowadays 1.6 million people claiming a self-reported competence in Irish, but only 380,000 fluent speakers remain. And there are now more Polish speakers in Ireland than native Irish Speakers. Over 5% percent of the population of Ireland is Polish! “
    Éinne in LA ag iarraidh labhairt liom i nGaeilge?
    Is breá liom go bhfuil níos mó teangachaí ann.
    Is mór an trua é nach bhfuil níos mó daoine sásta Gaeilge a labhairt an t-am go léir.

    Daithi Carr

    the source for that figure comes from their own site.
    The recent Census has recorded a increase in daily speakers to 82,600 speakers,
    behind polish’s 120,000. However there are estimated to be a lot more polish people in Ireland than that. its no big revelation that there are more Polish speakers than Irish speakers.

    At the Same time there are a lot weekly speakers of Irish and there has been a increase in the Gaeltacht .
    The fact that the current government are focused more on increasing Daily speakers is encouraging , rather than holding the total number of people who report an ability to speak Irish as a sign of their success.


    The full breakdown of the figures aren’t out. For example how many Gaeltacht residents in education speak Irish daily/weekly/less often/never outside of education. At the moment it just gives a figure for number who speak also outside of education.

    Aside from that I notice the following in the wider figures:

    * Of those in Education, increase in those using Irish daily outside of education: 15.82% (18,677 -> 21,631)
    * Of those in Education, increase in those using Irish at least weekly outside of education: 30.11% (5,772 -> 7,510)

    These are quite big increase. For example for daily the above is nearly 4x the increase as daily usage among those who aren’t in education system. Likewise for weekly speakers above is a 2x increase compared to increase in weekly speakers in non-education sector.

    Knock on effect of increase in Irish medium schools perhaps?

    The total of Daily and Weekly speakers (where use is happening outside educational hours) adds up to 187,827 (77,185 daily) which is an increase of 7.32% from 175,009 (2006). Personally I would regarded the language comunity been made up mostly of these two groups. Even if there is over-reporting on the weekly numbers if you were to half them this would point to an active language community of at least 120k people.


    What for those weekly speakers needed? There are native and non-native speakers. How many native speakers are there in Ireland and what is the dynamics?

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