In the Irish-speaking areas of Ireland, visitors are sometimes frustrated because they speak Irish to locals and are responded to in English. It doesn’t take long for them to give up altogether, deciding that the language is actually truly dead in the area.
‘I mbliana ní raibh aon urraíocht ar fáil faraor, leis an tseachtain ealaíne is oidhreachta a reachtáil mar a bhíonns againn go hiondúil.’ Or, in English: ‘Unfortunately, no sponsorship was available this year to organise the arts and heritage week as usual.’ The note came home from school, here in Conamara. Not an insurmountable problem. It’s a resourceful school and the staff are going to mix up the classes and deploy their own talents to keep the week going. In the past, the funding, mainly public, has been used to bring in artists, musicians and writers from outside.