Survey on our young Irish speakers aspirations

POBAL is inviting the Irish language community and interested parties to attend the launch for a survey on the aspirations and needs of young people in relation to the Irish language, ‘The Irish Language: What are your needs as a young Irish speaker’.

The launch, entitled ’Irish Language Strategy in the North - Is there a place for our youth?’, will run in Gaelscoil an Chaistil, Ballycastle, on Wednesday 28 May at 11am with guest speaker Cara Nic Sheáin, Moyle District Councillor.

POBAL staff visited Irish language primary schools, secondary schools (Irish and English) and Irish language youth clubs throughout the north with questionnaires for the survey. 772 young Irish speakers completed the form. As a result of this work the survey generates the views of young people in all six counties and of all ages from 10 to 18, giving a good sample representation of the intended target group.

A spokesperson from POBAL explained: “We received responses from primary 7 pupils in 10 primary schools, from the Irish language secondary school (Coláiste Feirste), from English language schools with Irish language streams or units and from English language schools with high numbers of pupils studying Irish at GCSE or A Level. We also visited two independent Irish language youth clubs as part of the survey, Cumann Óige An Carn, Maghera and Ógras Oirialla, Crossmaglen. The questionnaire was bilingual and questions were designed to be clearly understood and easily answered, to produce best results. There are four question categories: General questions - gender, age, school type, Using Irish - where do you use the Irish language, how important is the Irish language to you?, Opportunities & facilities - activities, technology, Irish language signage, and Rights - language rights, an Irish Language Act.

“In 2012 we also travelled round asking people what should be included in a strategy for the Irish language and we have sent all ideas to politicians and other decision makers. The results of this consultation with young people should also be included in the strategy for the Irish language because the opinions of this age group are extremely important when planning the future of the Irish language.”