Everyone in Ireland has the 'cúpla focal' even if it is just the classic 'ciúnas bóthar, cailín bainne' from the famous Carslberg ad!
Luckily we are a country that have our own distinct language and there is no other like it in the world, even if it does sound like double dutch half of the time! Unfortunately for many of us Irish is becoming that dreaded class on a Wednesday that you would do anything to avoid.
In Ireland, i think, the use of Irish is becoming very different. The way we are taught this subject in school doesn't exactly help. Everything is stressing on exams and 'how Irish is so much harder at leaving cert level compared to junior cert' , not to quote any specific teacher. We are made study pages upon pages of notes on characters of a made up story that will never be any use to us after we sit those exams of June 2014.
I for one would like to be able to speak Irish when I leave school. The chances of this are unlikely. You may say that 'if I want to keep speaking Irish then do so myself' but if nobody can respond to me it is utterly pointless! You would get weird looks speaking Irish walking along the halls in school never mind in a shop!
After spending three weeks in the Gaeltacht in Kerry I find it truly fascinating that you can find such strong Irish speaking communities and yet a few miles away in the next town you would be lucky to find somebody who could respond to you in Irish.
I'm all for embracing new cultures but lets not forget our own!