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You'll hear people saying , 'The Connemara ones' as if they've got two horns and a tail, and it's a way for Galway City people to define themselves against the rural population and the rural Irish population, so those old prejudices continue.
But there's now a new population of people who learn Gaelic from those old speakers and they've developed the language, so there might be 200 or 300 people who know some Manx, but there's 55 people that if you put them in a room, they wouldn't have to speak English to each other and they're committed active speakers.
There are more speakers now than there was in 1970 and they're all learners. So I don't know how to feel about it, because since I grew up in an Irish speaking area, I'm committed to that.
There's actually a research project going on here about new speakers, people who make Irish their main language, even though it's not their first language and there seems to be more and more of those people.
I was looking at an article on Manx recently and the last native speakers in Manx died in the late 20th century, so from the sixties to the seventies, the last 30 speakers died out.
I always wanted to study Irish and I always knew I wanted to be an academic, but it wasn't cool to admit that when you were younger. The Irish speaking areas are in deep trouble demographically and employment-wise and therefore, since the population is under threat, the number of speakers are under threat.
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I wouldn't have been telling people that because people would have thought that maybe I had ideas above my station. There's all this research saying how English is affecting the speech of young people and how they're stronger in English.
Then I got a job in the Department of Education as an editor, working on Irish texts.
I wasn't there very long when I got a job in Limerick as a lecturer in a place called Thomond College, which became the University of Limerick in 1991.
I would like to see a proper curriculum for native speakers and really good pupils in gaelscoileanna, because they need reinforcement as well.
I hope people will remain committed to it, because you could use English all the time for practical purposes, but I hope and I think there will always be a language community and I hope it will increase and get stronger as time goes on.