Galway has highest level of daily use of Gaeilge
By Kernan Andrews
Irish is spoken on a daily basis outside the education system by 24 per cent of people in Gaeltacht areas, with Galway having the highest level of usage.
This is according to analysis of the Census figures carried out by statistician and language activist Donncha Ó hÉalaithe for RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Mr Ó hÉalaithe’s analysis showed that the percentage of people in Gaeltacht areas of Galway using Irish on a daily basis outside the education system was 31.4 per cent in county areas and 4.4 per cent in the city.
This compares to favourably to Cork (26.4 per cent), Donegal (29.6 per cent), Kerry (29.6 per cent), Mayo (11.1 per cent), Meath (18.5 per cent), and Waterford 25.9 (per cent).
However Mr Ó hÉalaithe cautioned that these percentages are not an entirely accurate reflection of language usage in the Gaeltacht as they are reliant on official geographical Gaeltacht boundaries which are currently under review.
Mr Ó hÉalaithe said the population of the official Gaeltacht has now surpassed 100,000. The Census figures reveal that 23,175 people in the official Gaeltacht area speak the language outside the education system on a daily basis, an increase of 660 or three per cent from 2006.