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1.77 million people can speak Irish in the Republic, only 77,000 do so daily outside classroom: census

A further 111,000 people use the language outside school at least once a week, but 439,000 never do it · Almost 70% of Gaeltacht dwellers declare themselves as speakers of the Celtic language

A little bit more than 1.77 million people in the Republic of Ireland have declared that they are able to speak Irish, according to the data of the 2011 Census. This means that 41.4% of the citizens can speak Irish now, up from 40.8% in 2006. As usual in Ireland, young people show the best command of the language since they are studying it: 73.7% of people aged 10-14 and 64.2% aged 15-19 declare their ability to speak Irish. The figure drops to an average of 35% when only people older than 25 are considered.

Nevertheless, the data are much worse for the Celtic language when the social use of it is considered. The census shows that only 77,000 people speak Irish on a daily basis. The figure excludes hundreds of thousands who use Irish daily only at school. A further 111,000 people use the language outside school at least once a week. This group is greatly outnumbered by those who state that they never use the language outside classroom although being able to speak it: almost 439,000 people.

In the Gaeltacht (western districts where Irish is officially recognized as the predominant language), 69.5% of the people declared themselves as speakers of Irish.

Although Irish is the national language of Ireland and one of the official languages of the country, most pupils only study it as a subject (the Gaeltacht being the exception to this). Outside the Gaeltacht, Gaelscoileanna centres offer Irish-medium education to approximately 40,000 pupils.