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Sorry if I missed the answer to this question, but do you speak Irish then?
It sounds like you don't get many opportunities to use it. Do most people not have your level of fluency or just choose not to speak it with others who can?
Since the State was founded in the 1920s as the Irish Free State (see also History of the Republic of Ireland), the Irish Government required a degree of proficiency in Irish for all civil service positions (including postal workers, tax officials, agricultural inspectors, etc.), as well as for employees of state companies (e.g. Aer Lingus, RTE, ESB, etc). Proficiency in Irish for entrance to the public service ceased to be a compulsory requirement in 1974, in part through the actions of protest organizations like the Language Freedom Movement. While the requirement was also dropped for wider public service jobs, such as teaching, Irish remains a required subject of study in all schools within the Republic which receive public money (see also Education in the Republic of Ireland). The need for a pass in Leaving Certificate Irish for entry to the Gardaí (police) was dropped in September 2005, although applicants are given lessons in the language during the two years of training. Most official documents of the Irish Government are published in both Irish and English.
So until Sept. of last year you had to know Irish to join the police force.
What do you think of the dropping of the language requirement for civil servants?
I am generally very supportive of minority languages. I really think having Irish as an official EU language could end up saving it from obscurity.
Now...that feels so much better...
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
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