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Ireland should have one official language

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,079 times Debate No: 41954
Debate Rounds (2)
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Ireland has two official languages, Irish being the first. But we never use Irish on a regular basis. What is the point of learning a language that we can't use. In my opinion, Ireland should have only one official language, and that should be English.

I will discuss under the following point;
*Why preserve a dying language

First to define the motion. The word "Official" means a language that is given a special status in a country, state or other jurisdiction. In Article 8 of the Constitution, it states that Irish is the first official language of Ireland and English is the second. However, just because Irish is the first official language, we use English as our official language. Nothing is set in stone. Things change and Irelands official language is one of them.

Now onto my first point, Why we should preserve a dying language.

In real life, Irish is spoken fluently in places, but the population of native speakers is decreasing every year. Even within the Gaeltachts (Connemara, Dingle, Ring, N/W Donegal), English is commonly spoken. There are only a few places left in Ireland where Irish is spoken well enough to carry out a conversation and understand what the speaker is saying. It is a waste of time and energy and also money to continue teaching the Irish language if the majority of the population of Ireland aren't going to speak it.

If you look at the matter realistically, you will see that there is no point having two official languages if the majority of the population speak only one.

Therefore, I ask you to propose the motion "Ireland should have only one official language"


Irish should remain as one of the official reasons for a number of reasons. Here in the US we don't even have an official language but English is the most common. Ireland has a long history and a very diverse culture (By diverse I mean different from other British Isle countries). Learning Irish helps give and preserve Irish culture. Germany and other European countries teach Latin but today is known as a "Dead" language this also helps to keep their own diversity. Irish has been spoken for over 2,500 years but then during British Occupation of Ireland they band the use of the language in schools and thus no one learning it. By not teaching Irish and learning it you're giving into English Imperialism. Ireland fought for it's independence for a reason. Over 25% of the Irish people speak Irish as a common language, unfortunately it's not the majority. But Irish is more widely spoken depending where you're at, it's more common on the west coast and also it's a known language in Northern Ireland, plus thousands of American and Canadians speak this language.

Debate Round No. 1


First to refute a point the opposition has said, you said that if Irish is not the official language, than it will be considered "dead" but what I am saying is that Irish won't be discarded or forgotten, we would preserve the language as part of our history but it won't be recognised as the official language of the state.

If you look at statistics, which the opposition clearly hasn't, you will see that English is the second most commonly spoken language in the world so realistically, don't you think that for the benefit of the country that only having one official language. In terms of business, if a business deal was being made between a country such as Spain and Ireland, do you think that the deal would be made in English, a language both countries can speak and carry a conversation with, or Irish, a language only a minority of people in Ireland speak and no other country in the world speaks.

The cost of having Irish as an official language is over a million euro to keep and add on the training to teach Irish to third level students. It is double since we also have to deal with the cost of English as well. This money could be put towards more beneficial causes such as health care, developing the economy etc.

I know you may say that Irish is the roots of our culture, but as I mentioned before, the language will be preserved but won't be recognised as an official language in Ireland.

Thank you for listening to my side of the debate and I beg you to propose the motion that "Ireland should have one official language".


Many scientists have proven research that learning a second language whether it be at home or through the school system finds it beneficial to a students learning ability. Learning more the one language will provide your brain with better functionality and problem solving skills. Now Irish being a compulsory subject in schools is vital to keep the language alive. It's no secret that without schools teaching the subject no one would bother learning it. Without the schools help future generations would not bother learning the language and forget all about it, destroying Ireland's culture and diversity from the UK. One of the reasons why Irish isn't so widely spoken as English is (in Ireland itself) is not because it's "useless" but because of how it is taught in school. According to,"There are also too many aspects to cover on the course in too short a time, so teachers are forced to prepare students for an exam, instead of having time to teach the basics. Students thus do not develop the skills needed to learn a language properly". In Northern Ireland Irish is known as a second language and more than 1/3 of the population have no problem using the language because it is taught more effectively and efficiently than Ireland. If Ireland could learn how to introduce Irish to the education system better than there wouldn't be so much controversy over the subject as there is today. Irish is a great language to learn especially about Celtic culture, it provides Poetry, Songs, Culture, Stories and more to the people that know it. Every one in Ireland should learn the language to connect with their heritage and it also provides us with a more "Irish" way of thinking.

I would like to thank my opponent for a good debate and I hope to see you vote my side of the argument.

Debate Round No. 2
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