Young people against Irish opposition leaders proposal to make Irish optional

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Dec 13 22:28:39 UTC 2005

Young people against Irish opposition leaders proposal to make Irish

Baile Atha Cliath, Friday, 02 December 2005 by Davyth Hicks

Irish opposition leader Enda Kenny's plan to scrap compulsory Irish to
make it more attractive to young people has been given a big thumbs down -
by young people. According to a poll commissioned by the Fine Gael party
62% of those questioned agreed with the Fine Gael leader that Irish should
be optional for school students after the Junior Certificate exam.
However, the poll revealed that 52% of those aged 18-24 disagree with him.

The fact that the age group closest to school-leaving age disagree with
the Fine Gael leader may give some within Fine Gael reason to reassess
their opinions on the matter. The Fine Gael poll was carried out by MRBI,
and was based on a poll of 962 people between November 15-24. It's
findings mirror a phone poll conducted by the Irish language weekly paper
'Foinse' last week.

The Foinse poll found that 64% of people under the age of 34 rejected
Deputy Kennys proposal. That figure fell to just 26% in the over 34 age
group. Both polls suggest that the Fine Gael leader is out of step with
young people.

Commenting on the Fine Gael poll Enda Kenny welcomed the fact that 62%
favoured his demand for change. He called for a new national audit of the
language to examine usage, attitudes and the potential for development of
the language. "This survey confirms my instinct in relation to public
attitudes to the teaching and presentation of Irish in our schools." Fine
Gael are planning a special meeting next March to discuss the leaders
proposal which has been met with outright hostility from the main Irish
language groups, Irish language education groups and other political
parties. (Eurolang 2005)

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