Ireland: Language and Cultural Identity

Language and culture are inseparable. While Irish is the official language of Ireland, it's estimated only 1.8 percent of the population speaks it daily. With the number of Irish speakers dwindling in recent generations, there have been numerous attempts to keep traditional culture alive through a revival of the language.

The Irish government has created plans to address dozens of aspects of the language and culture, including radio and television, schooling, legal and business, but often there are too few resources to properly take on the issue. It is more often left up to the Irish speakers to promote their own language and pass their culture on to new generations of Irish citizens. A small community of people are now responsible for an entire nation's cultural revival.

Saving Irish

Irish is the official language of Ireland, but its use is in rapid decline, and UNESCO lists it as an endangered language. A community of Irish speakers scrambles to revive their cultural treasure.

Learning Irish

For many in Ireland, inadequate education in school left them without the ability to speak their own language. What's left is a longing for their culture and a sense of guilt.

To Have Irish

Irish speakers are earnestly holding on to a cultural treasure. In a nation where it is recognized as the national language but rarely treated as such, the Irish language is fighting to stay alive.