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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C

Just 6.3% of Gaeilgeoirí speak Irish on a weekly basis

Census figures have revealed where the most Irish speakers are in the country.

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JUST 6.3% of Gaeilgeoirí speak Irish on a weekly basis, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The statistics released today show that 39.8% of the population claim to be able to speak Irish).

In April 2016, 1,761,420 people (aged three and over) said they could speak Irish. This was a slight decline of 0.7% on 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Galway County recorded the highest percentages of people able to speak Irish at 49%, followed by Clare (45.9%), Cork County (44.9%) and Mayo (43.9%).

In contrast, the lowest percentages were in Dublin City at 29.2%, followed by Louth and South Dublin (both 34.1%) and Cavan at 34.6%.

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Of the 39.8% of people who said they could speak Irish, almost one in four (23.8%) indicated that they never spoke it. A further 31.7% said that they only spoke it within the education system.

Among the remaining group, 33.3% spoke Irish less often than weekly, while 6.3%, or 111,473 people, spoke it weekly.

The number of people speaking Irish on a daily basis stood at 73,803, representing 1.7% of the population. This was down by 4.4% on 2011.

While Dublin City had the lowest percentage of Irish speakers overall, it had the largest number of daily speakers with 14,903 people, up from 14,229 in 2011. This represents 20.2% of all daily speakers.

Cork, Galway and Limerick combined had 6,304 daily speakers. After the cities, the largest number of daily speakers were in An Bun Beag-Doirí Beaga (771), followed by Letterkenny (525) and Swords (487).

Education and skills

The CSO also released statistics regarding education and skills.

It found that, of those aged 15 and over in April 2016, 42% had a third-level qualification, compared with 13.6% in 1991.

Looking at people aged 20, Census 2016 shows that those with parents with higher levels of educational attainment were more likely to still be in education. Overall, 60.6% of all 20-year-olds in family units were still students in 2016.

Among those whose parents were educated at the most lower secondary level, 44.9% were full-time students, increasing to 65.2% for those with both parents educated to upper secondary level.

For those 20-year-olds with both parents having a degree, 87.5% were full-time students.

The numbers of doctorates in Ireland has continued to increase, according to the latest statistics.

The 28,759 people who said they had a doctorate (PhD) level qualification was an increase of 30.9% on the 2011 figure and up 99.5% on 2006.

Read: Ireland has only recovered by 41% from the recession

More: Small towns ‘hit hardest’ in the past 10 years, Dublin least affected

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