The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland conducted a survey on the public’s attitude toward the Irish language in the region recently.
The survey showed that the majority of those polled still hold an interest in the Irish language and believe that more options should be available to learn the language.
UTV reports on the findings of the survey entitled ‘Public attitudes towards the Irish language in Northern Ireland 2012' in Northern Ireland.
The majority (52 percent) of those surveyed believed it is important that Northern Ireland does not lose its Irish language traditions while 26 percent disagreed and 22 percent neither agreed nor disagreed.
The Westminster Government was committed to introduced the Irish Language Act through the St Andrews Agreement of October 2006 based on the experience of Wales and Ireland, reports UTV.
They also committed to working with the Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language.
53 percent of those surveyed agreed that there should be more options available to learn the language, while 20 percent disagreed and the remaining 26 percent were neutral.
41 percent, the majority for this question, indicated that the language should be supported and encouraged throughout Northern Ireland.
35 percent disagreed and the remaining 23 percent neither agreed or disagreed. A staggering 81 percent of those polled believed that students should have the option of choosing
Irish language as a school subject if they wish. Interestingly, 52 percent felt that the Irish language was not important to personal identity while just under half (49 percent) believed the language to be important to the region's culture.
Just over half of those responding indicated that Irish should be included on leaflets, documents and notices where other languages are offered.