Irish people want the language to survive

Most Irish people support the language, but are under the impression that they are in a minority. Opinion research carried out by the Linguistics Institute of Ireland in 1993 showed that:

65% agreed with the statement "most people just don't care one way or the other about Irish".

60% disagreed with the statement "What the government does about the Irish language is not important to me"

This can only be attributed to the impression given by the media. It has important implications, because people are more likely to express an opinion which they believe is widely shared, and much more likely to do something about it. Other results from the survey were:

60% agreed that "Ireland would not really be Ireland without Irish-speaking people"
66% agreed that "No real Irish person can be against the revival of Irish"
64% said the government should encourage "Use of Irish in the Dáil"
61% said the government should encourage "Irish exams and qualifications for civil servants, gardaí, etc."
66% said the government should encourage "Use of Irish within the civil service"
30% said they would send their own children to an all-Irish primary school if there were one near them
70% agreed that "The government should provide all-Irish schools wherever the public wants them"
91% wanted Irish either taught as a subject or used as a medium of instruction in schools. (Only 5% opposed this).

The same questions were asked in 1973 and 1983. Although there were some changes, they show a continuing high level of support for Irish.

Summarising the findings from opinion surveys, Bord na Gaeilge (Shaping The Future, pxxii) said "Most Irish people... are not themselves strongly committed to using Irish, perhaps because it is perceived as inappropriate to most of the social situations that they routinely encounter. Never the less, the general population is willing to accept considerable commitment of state resources to ensuring its continuity even if not particularly optimistic about the outcome, and to support a considerable imposition of legal requirements on certain groups within society to know or even use Irish, e.g. teachers and civil servants. The much more favourable attitude to school Irish since the removal of 'compulsory' policies suggests, however, that where such requirements directly affect respondents own material opportunities, or those of their children, they are less readily supported, although this is least true of those who have already enjoyed success in their encounter with such requirements".