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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use Irish English |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}}{{#invoke:Check for unknown parameters|check|unknown= |name|altname|nativename|acceptance|pronunciation |states|state|region |latd|latm|latNS|longd|longm|longEW |ethnicity|speakers|speakers2|extinct|era|revived|revived-cat |date|dateprefix|ref |familycolor|fam1|fam2|fam3|fam4|fam5|fam6|fam7|fam8|fam9 |fam10|fam11|fam12|fam13|fam14|fam15|family |ancestor|ancestor2|ancestor3|ancestor4|ancestor5|protoname |creator|created|setting|posteriori |dialects|dia1|dia2|dia3|dia4|dia5|dia6|dia7|dia8|dia9|dia10 |dia11|dia12|dia13|dia14|dia15|dia16|dia17|dia18|dia19|dia20 |stand1|stand2|stand3|stand4|stand5|stand6|standards |script|sign |nation|minority|agency |iso1|iso2|iso2b|iso2t|iso3|iso2comment|iso3comment|isoexception|iso6|ietf |lc1|ld1|lc2|ld2|lc3|ld3|lc4|ld4|lc5|ld5|lc6|ld6|lc7|ld7|lc8|ld8|lc9|ld9|lc10|ld10 |lc11|ld11|lc12|ld12|lc13|ld13|lc14|ld14|lc15|ld15|lc16|ld16|lc17|ld17|lc18|ld18|lc19|ld19|lc20|ld20 |lc21|ld21|lc22|ld22|lc23|ld23|lc24|ld24|lc25|ld25|lc26|ld26|lc27|ld27|lc28|ld28|lc29|ld29|lc30|ld30 |linglist|lingname|linglist2|lingname2|linglist3|lingname3|linglist4|lingname4|linglist5|lingname5 |lingua|guthrie |aiatsis|aiatsis2|aiatsis3|aiatsis4|aiatsis5|aiatsis6 |aiatsisname|aiatsisname2|aiatsisname3|aiatsisname4|aiatsisname5|aiatsisname6 |glotto|glotto2|glotto3|glotto4|glotto5 |glottoname|glottoname2|glottoname3|glottoname4|glottoname5 |glottorefname|glottorefname2|glottorefname3|glottorefname4|glottorefname5 |glottofoot |image|imagesize|imagealt|imagecaption|imageheader |map|mapsize|mapalt|mapcaption|map2|mapalt2|mapcaption2|boxsize |notice|notice2 }} Irish (Gaeilge{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), also referred to as Gaelic or Irish Gaelic,<ref>Oxford University Press, "Oxford Dictionaries Online: 'Gaelic'", Oxford Dictionaries Online, Retrieved 5 January 2015.</ref> is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language by a small minority of Irish people, and as a second language by a rather larger group. Irish enjoys constitutional status as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland, and is an officially recognised minority language in Northern Ireland. It is also among the official languages of the European Union. The public body Foras na Gaeilge is responsible for the promotion of the language throughout the island of Ireland.

Irish was the predominant language of the Irish people for most of their recorded history, and they brought it with them to other regions, notably Scotland and the Isle of Man, where through earlier branching from Middle Irish it gave rise to Scottish Gaelic and Manx<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref></ref><ref></ref> respectively. It has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

The fate of the language was influenced by the increasing power of the English state in Ireland. Elizabethan officials viewed the use of Irish unfavourably, as being a threat to all things English in Ireland. Its decline began under English rule in the 17th century. In the latter part of the 19th century, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of speakers, beginning after the Great Famine of 1845–52 (when Ireland lost 20–25% of its population either to emigration or death). Irish-speaking areas were hit especially hard. By the end of British rule, the language was spoken by less than 15% of the national population.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Since then, Irish speakers have been in the minority. This is now the case even in areas officially designated as the Gaeltacht. Efforts have been made by the state, individuals and organisations to preserve, promote and revive the language, but with mixed results.

Around the turn of the 21st century, estimates of native speakers ranged from 20,000 to 80,000 people.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}: 20,000 to 80,000 speakers out of a population of 3.5 to 5 million.</ref><ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> In the 2006 census for the Republic, 85,000 people reported using Irish as a daily language outside of the education system, and 1.2 million reported using it at least occasionally in or out of school.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref> In the 2011 Census, these numbers had increased to 94,000 and 1.3 million, respectively.<ref name = "Census 2011 - This is Ireland">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> There are several thousand Irish speakers in Northern Ireland. It has been estimated that the active Irish-language scene probably comprises 5 to 10 per cent of Ireland's population.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref>

In recent decades{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=When |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[when?] }} there has been a significant increase in the number of urban Irish speakers, particularly in Dublin. This community, described as disparate but large, well-educated and mostly middle class, enjoys a lively cultural life and has been linked to the growth of non-mainstream schools which teach through the medium of Irish.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref> In Gaeltacht areas, however, there has been a general decline of the use of Irish. It has been predicted that, within 10 years, Irish will no longer be the primary language in any of the designated Gaeltacht areas.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

It has been argued that most Irish people think highly of Irish as an symbolic marker of identity but that few think of it as having a practical value.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It has also been argued that newer urban groups of Irish speakers are a disruptive force in this respect, since their aim is to make the language a practical instrument of communication.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Irish language sections
Intro  Names  History  Current status  Use  Dialects  Phonology  Syntax and morphology  Orthography  See also  References  External links  

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