The 1871 census came to the stark conclusion that 'within relatively few years' Irish would cease to exist. Yet, over a century later, Irish became the twenty-third officially recognized language of the European Union in 2007. To believe the census returns of recent years, Irish is in a state of rude health. But is this true when half a million people claim to speak Irish, but seldom actually speak it? In the traditional Gaeltacht areas, Irish is in peril - whilst it flourishes in Gaelscoileanna, in urban areas and in cyberspace. What do these dramatic shifts mean for the language's future?A New View of the Irish Language covers issues such as language and national identity; the impact of emigration and immigration; music, literature and the media; the importance of place-names; teaching and learning Irish; attitudes towards Irish; and the state of the Gaeltacht - and probes beyond the statistics and rhetoric to explore the true situation of Irish in the contemporary world.Contributors: Ruair hUiginn, Pdraig Riagin, Liam Mac Mathna, Mirn Nic Eoin, Liam Muirthile, Gearid Tuathaigh, John Harris, Breandn Delap, Conchr Giollagin & Seosamh Mac Donnacha, Caoilfhionn Nic Phidn, Pdraig Laighin, Lillis Laoire, Anna N Ghallachair, Ciarn Mac Murchaidh, Brian Conchubhair, Aidan Doyle, Aidan Punch, Suzanne Romaine, Dnall Mac Giolla Easpaig and Iarfhlaith Watson.
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