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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.

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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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