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May 1, 2012


The northern regional Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) has published a new study, ‘Public Attitudes towards the Irish Language in Northern Ireland: Findings from the Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey January 2012’. A medium size document (available in PDF format) it lists a number of topics covering a wide area of language usage in the North of Ireland.

Two things stand out immediately. One is the surprising level of support or acceptance amongst those who identify themselves as “Protestants” for the Irish language (14%). However this is also coupled with an attitude amongst “Protestant” correspondents of no firm opinions either way (an unexpectedly high 40%). Barely over half of all “Protestants” surveyed opposed the language outright (54%), considerably lower than expected.

Though the figures should be approached with caution (as with all surveys and polls in the north-east of the country), it does offer some signs of encouragement

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