Should we be using the Irish language more frequently in Ireland’s Media/PR industry?

by

The topic of the Irish language amongst Irish people can be a very touchy subject.

Only 73,000 Irish people speak the Irish language on a daily basis – and the other 4.7 million of us don’t!

Why is this?

Is it because of how Irish is taught to us in school, or is it just our lack of exposure to the language?

Even though about 95% of the Irish population cannot speak Irish fluently or do not use it on a daily basis, we are quite protective over the language in general.

To many, the Irish language is part of our Nation’s individual identity. We tend to view the Irish language as part of our heritage and culture, and it also separates us from and makes us different from other countries who primarily speak English.

If we are so precious over our language, then why is it not used more regularly? In my opinion, I think that we are afraid of the language due to how it was taught to us in school.

In recent years, the Irish language is slowly but surely making a more frequent appearance in our daily lives, though our media.

RTE 2FM have been a great role model by showing us that the Irish language can be fun.

This time last year, presenter, Tracy Clifford was not fluent in Irish at all. She took some time out to learn the language and since then she has presented a full show “As Gaeilge”, and this was a huge hit amongst listeners.

2FM superstar, Eoghan McDermott is a major advocate for the Irish language.

Since 2016, he has produced a full Irish music album, called “CEOL”. This album has featured some massive stars such as Ed Sheeran, Picture This, Macklemore, Saoirse Ronan and many more.

Since 2016, Eoghan has given away over 500,000 copies of the album to schools and competition winners all over the country.

This is such a huge undertaking, and a major commitment to the Irish language by 2FM and Eoghan.

According to Eoghan, he believes that there is a “retrospective appreciation” for (the Irish language), like the big firework Irish project that (2FM) do is the Ceol album.

So we get bands to record a song in Irish. Over the last two years, we’ve given away over 500,000 copies of CEOL and I find so many people will request a copy, because they did Irish in school and never really appreciated it, but now they are a little bit older and have gone back to learn or have started to try and brush up on Irish”.

The Irish language isn’t a scary thing, so I don’t know why we are afraid to speak/ use our national language in the media or even in our day to day lives. Our language makes us unique, so why don’t we embrace it. The more exposure we have to the language, the more we will understand.

I think most people have a very basic understanding of the language and can generally piece together what is going on.

The language in which we view our media is just the medium, we should be embracing our language and appreciating our cultural originality through Irish.

However, I think with more exposure to the language through our media and different PR campaigns, that people will become less afraid and start to embrace our powerful and unique language.

Check out Is Sinne Óg by Picture This:

Abigail Shaw - Fuzion CommunicationsAbigail 

Abigail Shaw is a PR Executive with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

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