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Gaeltacht

From Academic Kids

The Gaeltacht, or An Ghaeltacht, refers to any of the regions in Ireland where the Irish language is officially the major language, that is, the vernacular spoken at home. These regions were first officially recognised during the early years of the Irish Free State after the Gaelic Revival as part of government policy to restore the Irish language. The Gaeltacht boundaries have not been changed since they were set in the 1950s, though the Irish-speaking population has seriously decreased from what it was then. In most Gaeltacht areas, Irish speakers are now in the minority.

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Traffic sign, meaning "Give Way" (i.e. "Yield"), in County Waterford

The current population of the Gaeltacht regions is approximately 85,000 with major concentrations of Irish speakers in the western counties of Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, and Cork. There are smaller concentrations in the counties of Waterford in the south and Meath in the east.

The Department of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, under the leadership of the Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, is responsible for the overall Irish Government policy with respect to the Gaeltacht, and supervises the work of the Údarás na Gaeltachta and other bodies. Raidió na Gaeltachta is the RTÉ radio station targeted at the Gaeltachtaí and Irish language generally. TG4 is the television station which is focused on promoting the Irish language and is based in the County Galway Gaeltacht.

In March of 2005, Irish Gaeltacht Affairs Minister Éamon Ó Cuív announced that the government of Ireland would begin listing only the Gaelic versions of place names in the Gaeltachts as the official names, stripping the roadsigns of their English equivalents.

Ireland has also negotiated with other European Union member states and made Gaelic an official language of the EU.

See also

External links

de:Gaeltacht ga:Gaeltacht nl:Gaeltacht no:Gaeltacht pl:Gaeltacht

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