Sunday night was yet another successful day for Irish actors and filmmakers at an awards ceremony, this time the BAFTAs. Along with their triumph, a number of Irish stars showed off their Irish language skills, proving that the Irish language is, in fact, cool.
Paul Mescal and Brendan Gleeson showed up for the Irish language at the BAFTAs on Sunday by speaking more than a ‘cúpla focal’ on the red carpet.
When Irish actors see the TG4 journalists, they might shy away in fear of attempting to speak the Irish language. Colin Farrell was many of us in this particular situation, asking if the interview would be in English.
Paul Mescal and the Irish language on the BAFTA red carpet – leaving fans in awe
When the interview with Paul Mescal begins, he apologises to the journalist for his Irish. However, after the interview, she assures him that his Irish is perfect. If Mescal fans weren’t obsessed already, they’re certainly swooning now.
One fan said, “Is it fair to say that Paul Mescal just unknowingly revived the Irish language?”, while another said, “The fact he’s being interviewed in his native language is just emotional to me”.
Brendan Gleeson – a former teacher of Irish
Another Irishman doing the Irish language proud on the red carpet is Brendan Gleeson, a former secondary school teacher of the language. People on the internet were absolutely beaming with pride to hear the Irish language at the BAFTAs.
One fan on TikTok said, “The biggest flex. Talking Irish at the BAFTAs. So happy for Ireland”. While another wondered, “Not sure how many people outside of Ireland will get how amazing this is!”.
While Brendan Gleeson was being interviewed, The News Movement asked Colin Farrell if they could nab him for an interview, to which he asked, “As Bearla? (In English?). Shame on me!”.
Colin Farrell is like many of us in this situation, as a lot of people in Ireland couldn’t string a sentence together in Irish.
The Irish language in Ireland – not dying but endangered
While the Irish language isn’t exactly a dying language, it’s certainly an endangered one.
This Irish pride at such huge events like this could be the source of a huge revival, with lots of people on social media saying that seeing these big stars speak the lingo makes them want to learn it or relearn it.
Recent statistics revealed that 98% of people who speak Irish live on the island of Ireland itself. While support for the language is generally high, actual routine use is very low.
According to 2016 statistics, 1.7 million people in the south said that they could speak Irish. This represented around 39% of the population at the time.
In the north, 104,000 people out of a population of 1.8 million said they spoke the Irish language. These statistics are, of course, estimates.