- Jan 14, 2016
Turf cutting, Glenasmole, Co. Dublin.
A very interesting article on the slow decline of the Irish language in Dublin city. It's often forgotten that Irish was heard on the streets of Dublin well into the 18th Century - and probably at least as much as English in the poorer districts. Jonathan Swift infamously remarked that, at least, if people could be compelled to speak English in the markets of Dublin, some "progress" could be made. There are a lot of other great articles on the Irish of Dublin and surrounding counties on this blog.
To this must be added the note from Ua Broin (1942, p. 185) that Irish was used by adults in 'Clondalkin and surrounding districts' in 1870 to communicate with migrant workers (harvesters) from Meath who had no English (in order for this to be the case they would have had to have been from North Meath). This is backed up by Healey (ibid., p. 14), who writes of '[an] old man who died at Old Bawn in 1926, aged 90 years, never heard local people speaking Irish, but often heard it from farm labourers from Co. Meath harvesting in the district.' It should be pointed out that Old Bawn is about 10km north of Castlekelly.
Dublin Irish: How exactly did Dublin Irish die out?