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    • Lorraine

      I agree also Der Lange gets my vote. It’s a very comprehensive asnwer. There are also a couple of other posters here who have made great comments.Irish (Gaelic) started dying out in Ireland as early as the 12th century during the invasion of the Normans. By the 15th century the area around Dublin known as the Pale was already English speaking. While there were certainly attempts to stop people speaking Irish during the early 1700 s, the biggest influence was almost certainly social and economic: to get on in life you needed to learn English. The people in the towns started speaking English as an everyday language, and over time this started to spread into the rural areas. It was not only the English who discouraged the speaking of Irish, it was often Irish mothers and fathers themselves. By the 1850 s, the language had died out in many parts of the country, and would have died completely had it not been for the Revival movement of the late 1800 s. Right now, there are very few native Irish speakers in the country it’s probably down to just a few thousand. There are however many more people who have learned Irish and speak it quite well. It’s going through something of another revival at the moment. It’s a beautiful language and many people want to preserve it for cultural reasons more than for practical everyday purposes.

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