The annual Irish language festival Seachtain na Gaeilge began yesterday and runs to the 17th.
Does it unintentionally marginalise the Irish language by treating it as something to be used for a couple of weeks each year? Something to be trotted out for ceremonial purposes, like a sentence i nGaeilge at the beginning of a speech, or the switch to Irish-language forms of names in certain contexts?
I would argue that the normalisation of language politics in Ireland is in the best interests of Irish, and will ultimately lead to a moderate increase in the number of habitual speakers. Seachtain na Gaeilge reinforces the peripheral position of Irish in Ireland, and further links the language in the popular imagination with tokenism.