50 Years Ago - Galway's Aspirations to Become an Irish-Speaking City

Fifty years ago today (21 January, 1964), the Irish Language Commission released a report stating that Galway should be made an Irish-speaking city.  RTÉ News spoke to some of Galway's citizens to get their opinions of the plans.  That archived footage can be viewed here.

50 years on, Galway has made only modest strides toward that goal.  From my own observations as a Galway resident, I believe this is largely in part due to factors such as a reluctance to use Irish in the home, a historically poor approach to teaching the Irish language in English-speaking schools, and hostility toward the language by some (though such hostility is certainly less common in Galway than in other parts of the country).

Recent improvements in school curriculum have helped, but there is still much that can be done on this front.  Gaelscoil education (where all subjects are taught through Irish) seem to be increasing in popularity.  A handful of groups are working to promote the language in Galway -- one especially worthy of mention is Gaillimh le Gaeilge who are working in association with other groups to develop Galway’s unique Irish image and promote Galway City as a bilingual city in order to gain official bilingual status for the city.

 

* Read More from The Wild Geese on the Irish Language *

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Tags: Gaeilge, Galway, On This Day, Preservation

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