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Dr. Padraig O Riagain
Visiting Research Fellow, C.L.C.S.


I am a Visiting Research Fellow in CLCS, and Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Language. Previously I held the post of Research Professor (Sociology of Language) at the Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann (Linguistics Institute of Ireland) for twenty six years. In that time, I directed a series of sociolinguistic surveys at national, regional and local levels and published research reports and papers on topics arising from this research.

In addition, I was a Member of the Committee on Irish Language Attitudes Research, appointed by the Minister of Finance in 1970. I was also Member of the Advisory Planning Committee, appointed by Bord na Gaeilge (Irish Language Board) in 1986, which prepared and published a range of reports on language planning topics.

Internationally, I was appointed a member a member of the Scientific Committee for the 'Euromosaic' project sponsored by the EU 1993-4, and subsequently principal contractor and project co-ordinator of several other Minority language contracts commissioned by the Commission's DGXXII. These contracts also involved partners in Catalonia, Wales, The Basque Region, Galicia and Friesland.

Since 1996, I have been a Consultant/Advisor to the Council of Europe and OSCE on a number of scientific committees, projects and missions relating to language policy and minority rights issues in post-Soviet member states in Central and Eastern Europe and Transcaucasia.

Following my retirement in 2007, I was appointed Research Associate in CLCS.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Ó Riagáin, Pádraig, Measures of language Proficiency in Censuses and Surveys: A comparative analysis and assessment, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 1 - 131pp Book, 2018

Teanga, Féiniúlacht agus Dearcadh Náisiúnta (Language, Identity and Nationalism) in, editor(s)Ó hIfearnáin, T. & M. Ní Neachtain , An tSochtheangeolaíocht Feidhm agus Tuairisc, Baile Átha Cliath, Cois Life, 2012, pp111 - 128, [Ó Riagáin, P.] Book Chapter, 2012

'Implementing International Standards for Minority Language Policy: The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and Moldova between 2000 and 2005' in, editor(s)O'Rourke, B Carson, L. , Language learner autonomy: policy, curriculum, classroom, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2010, pp251 - 272, [Ó Riagáin, P.] Book Chapter, 2010

Global and Local in Gaeltacht Areas: Corca Dhuibhne 1960-1986 in, editor(s)Kirk, John & Ó Baoill, Dónall , Language and Economic Development: Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, Belfast , Queen's University of Belfast Press, 2009, pp92 - 102, [P. Ó Riagáin] Book Chapter, 2009

International Norms and domestic language policies: The Republic of Ireland and the EU in, editor(s)Stickel, Gerhard , National and European Language Policies, Frankfurt, Peter Lang, 2009, pp119 - 130, [Ó Riagáin, P.] Book Chapter, 2009

Language Attitudes and Minority Languages in, editor(s)Cenoz, J. & N.H. Hornberger , Encyclopedia of Language and Education, Volume 6: Knowledge about Language, New York, Springer, 2008, pp329 - 342, [Ó Riagáin, P.] Book Chapter, 2008

Irish in, editor(s)Ulrich Ammon Harald Haarmann , Wieser Encyclopaedia: Western European Languages, Volume I, Klagenfurt, Wieser Verlag., 2008, pp555 - 568, [P. Ó Riagáin] Book Chapter, 2008

Ó Riagáin, P., Review of Language, Religion and national identity in Europe and the Middle East, by John Myhill , Multilingua, 27, (2), 2008, p289-291 Review, 2008

Irish-language Policy 1922-2007: Balancing Maintenance and Revival in, editor(s)Caoilfhionn Nic Phaidín & Seán Ó Cearnaigh , A New View of the Irish Language, Dublin, Cois Life, 2008, pp55 - 65, [Pádraig Ó Riagáin] Book Chapter, 2008

P. Ó Riagáin, Relationships between Attitudes to Irish and Social Class, Religion and National Identity in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 10, (4), 2007, p1 - 25 Journal Article, 2007

Irish in, editor(s)Britain, David , Language in the British Isles, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp218 - 236, [P.Ó Riagáin] Book Chapter, 2007

Gaelic Revivals (Ireland and Scotland), Merriman J. & J. Winter , Europe since 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction, Vol 3, Detroit, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006, pp1160 - 1163, [P.Ó Riagáin] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2006

Minorities in Lithuanian Society and Schools in, editor(s)Council of Europe , Lithuania: Language Education Policy Profile, Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 2006, pp40 - 88, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 2006 URL

Irish Language Revival in, editor(s)J.T. Koch , Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2005, pp1094 - 1096, [Ó Riagáin, P.] Book Chapter, 2005

Language and Literacy: Irish Language since 1922 in, editor(s)J.S. Donnelly , Encyclopedia of Irish History and Culture, New York, Macmillan Reference, 2004, pp375 - 377, [Ó Riagáin, P.] Book Chapter, 2004

The Role of the Sociolinguistic Survey in the Language Policy Process: Some Reflections on the Irish Experience in, editor(s)L. Mondala and S.P. Doehler , Plurilinguisme, Mehrsprachigkeit, Plurilingualism (Festschrift for Georges LUdi), Basel, Franke Verlag, 2003, pp39 - 49, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 2003

P. Ó Riagáin & G. Ludi, Bilingual Education: Some Policy Issues, Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 2003, 47pp Book, 2003

Galisch in, editor(s)Janich N. & A. Greule , Sprachkulturen in Europa: Ein Internationales Handbuch, Tubingen, Gunter narr verlag, 2002, pp80 - 88, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 2002

P. Ó Riagain, The Consequences of Demographic Trends for Language Learning and Diversity in Europe, Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 2002 Report, 2002

Irish Language Production and Reproduction 1981-1996 in, editor(s)J. Fishman , Can Threatened Languages be Saved?, Clevedon, Multilingual Matters, 2001, pp195 - 214, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 2001

P. Ó Riagain, T. German, Proficiency of Irish Adults in European Languages, Teangeolas, 38, 1999, p60 - 71 Journal Article, 1999

Reviving the Irish Language 1893-1993: The First Hundred Years in, editor(s)Nic Craith M. , Watching One's Tongue: Issues in Language Planning, Liverpool, University Press, 1997, pp33 - 56, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1997

P. Ó Riagáin, Language Policy and Social Reproduction: Ireland 1893-1993, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, 297pp Book, 1997

P. Ó Riagain, Postmodemity and Language Policy; A Need To Refocus?, Sociolinguistica, 11, 1997, p16 - 28 Journal Article, 1997

Language Contact Research in Ireland: Retrospect and Prospect in, editor(s)Wolck, W. & De Houwer, A. , Recent Studies in Contact Linguistics (Plurlingua XVIII), Bonn., DUmmler, 1997, pp269 - 327, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1997

P. Ó Riagain with Niamh Nic Shuibhne, Minority Language Rights, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 17, 1997, p11 - 29 Journal Article, 1997

Ireland in, editor(s)Goebl H., Nelde P., Stary Z. & Wolck W. , Contact Linguistics: An International Handbook of Contemporary Research., Volume II, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 1997, pp1097 - 1106, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1997

Language Use Surveys in Western Europe: Towards a Comparative Analysis in, editor(s)Ahlquist A. & V. Cepkova , Dan do Oide (Essays in Memory of Conn R. 6 Cleirigh), Baile Atha Cliath, ITE, 1997, pp503 - 514, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1997

Galway Gaeltacht 1926-1981: Continuity and Change in, editor(s)Gillespie R. & G. Moran , Galway:History and Society, Dublin, Geography Publications, 1996, pp651 - 680, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1996

P. Ó Riagain, Language Maintenance and Language Shift as Strategies of Social Reproduction, Journal Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 15, (2&3), 1994, p179 - 197 Journal Article, 1994

P. Ó Riagain, Public Attitudes to the Irish Language and Policies for Irish in the Schools, Studies in Education, 10, (1), 1994, p7 - 15 Journal Article, 1994

P. Ó Riagain, Language and Ethnicity: A Comment, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 110, 1994, p169 - 176 Journal Article, 1994

P. Ó Riagain, Stability and change in public attitudes towards Irish since the 1960s, Teangeolas, 32, 1993, p45 - 49 Journal Article, 1993

P. Ó Riagain, John Harris, Multilingual Policies in Irish First and Second Level Schools, Sociolinguistica, 7, 1993, p152 - 161 Journal Article, 1993

P. Ó Riagain, Language Maintenance and Language Shift as Strategies of Social Reproduction: Irish in the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht 1926-86, Dublin, Institiuid Teangeolaiochta Eireann, 1992 Report, 1992

Social Class, Education and the Irish Language in, editor(s)MacGrianna S. & P.E.S. Ua Conchubhair , Essays on Class and Culture in Ireland, University of Ulster, Deny, 1992, pp49 - 73, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1992

P. Ó Riagain, State Broadcasting and Minority Languages: The case of Irish in Ireland, Educational Media International, 28, (3), 1991, p113 - 119 Journal Article, 1991

The Irish Language in, editor(s)E. Kane , The Culture of Ireland: An Introduction. Irish Audio Library, Historical and Cultural Series, Dublin, Hidden Ireland Productions, 1991, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1991

National and International Dimensions of Language Policy when the Minority Language is a National Language: The Case of Irish in Ireland in, editor(s)Coulmas F. , A Language Policy for Europe, Berlin, Mouton, 1991, pp255 - 278, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1991

Reform of the Orthography, Grammer and Vocabulary of Irish in, editor(s)Fodor I. & C. Hagege , Language Reform: History and Future, Vol V, Hamburg, Helmut Buske Veriag, 1990, pp173 - 195, [P. Ó Riagain, D. 0 Baoill] Book Chapter, 1990

P. Ó Riagain, M. 0 Gliasain, Formulating a national language policy in the emerging European context: some preliminary considerations, Teangeolas, 27, 1990, p36 - 40 Journal Article, 1990

P. Ó Riagain, Public Attitudes towards Irish in the schools: a note on recent surveys, Teangeolas, 25, 1988, p19 - 21 Journal Article, 1988

P. Ó Riagain, Bilingualism in Ireland 1973-1983: An overview of national sociolinguistic surveys, International Journal a/Sociology of Language, 70, 1988, p29 - 53 Journal Article, 1988

P. Ó Riagain, Social Class, Education and Irish, Teangeolas, 23, 1987, p6 - 9 Journal Article, 1987

'Athni agus buanu Teanga sa Ghaeltacht' (Language Maintenance and Language Shift in the Gaeltacht) in, editor(s)P. O Riagain , Taighde Sochtheangeolaiochta agus Teangeolaiochta sa Ghaeltacht, Dublin, Institiuid Teangeolaiochta Eireann, 1982, pp3 - 28, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1982

The influence of social factors on the teaching and learning of Irish in, Contemporary Perspectives on the Teaching of Irish, Dublin, Bord na Gaeilge, 1982, pp36 - 53, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1982

P. Ó Riagain, Language Planning', Teangeolas, 11, 1980, p11 - 18 Journal Article, 1980

P. Ó Riagain, M. Ó Gliasain, All-Irish Primary Schools in the Dublin Area: A sociological and spatial analysis of the impact of all-Irish schools on home and social use of Irish, Dublin, Institiúid Teangeolaiochta Eireann, 1979 Report, 1979

P. Ó Riagain, Regional Planning in Irish Bilingual Areas, Cambria, 5, (2), 1978, p182 - 187 Journal Article, 1978

P. Ó Riagain, The Language Factor in Regional Planning, Administration, 26, (26), 1978, p197 - 211 Journal Article, 1978

P. Ó Riagain , The Gaeltacht Studies: A Development Plan for the GaeUacht, Dublin, An Foras Forbartha, 1971 Report, 1971

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Policy Implementation: A neglected Dimension of Language Planning for Minority Languages in, editor(s)P. Nelde/R. Rindler Schjerve , Minorities and Language Policy/Minderheiten und Sprachpolitik/Minorites et I'amenagement linguistique (Plurilingua XXII), Asgard, St Augustin, 2001, pp103 - 113, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 2001

Language Maintenance and Language Shift as Strategies of Reproduction in, editor(s)P. W. Thomas and J. Mathias , Developing Minority Languages, Cardiff, Gomer Press, 2000, pp446 - 465, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 2000

A Language Strategy for Europe: A Sociological perspective in, P. O Riagain and S. Harrington , A Language Strategy for Europe: Retrospect and Prospect, Baile Atha Cliath, Bord na Gaeilge, 1999, pp11 - 21, [P. Ó Riagain] Book Chapter, 1999

A Language Strategy for Europe: Retrospect and Prospect, (1999), P. Ó Riagain, S. Harrington, [eds.] Journal, 1999

P. Ó Riagain, Evaluating Language Policies: Some Theoretical Considerations, Actes del Congres Europeu Sobre Planificaci6 Linguistica/Proceedings of the European Conference on Language Planning, Barcelona, 9-10 November 1995, Generalitat de Catalunya, 1997, pp374 - 384 Conference Paper, 1997

P. Ó Riagain, M. Ó Gliasain, National Survey on Languages 1993: Preliminary Report, Dublin, Institiuid Teangeolaiochta Eireann, 1994 Report, 1994

Language Planning in Ireland, Special issue of International Journal of Sociology of Language, 70, (1988), P. Ó Riagain, [eds.] Journal, 1988

P. Ó Riagain, Public and Teacher Attitudes towards Irish in the Schools, Dublin, Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Eireann, 1986 Report, 1986

P. Ó Riagain, M. Ó Gliasain, The Irish Language in the Republic of Ireland 1983: Preliminary Report of a National Survey, Dublin, Institiuid Teangeolaiochta Eireann, 1984 Report, 1984

Taighde Sochtheangeolaiochta agus Teangeolaiochta sa Ghaeltacht, (1982), P. Ó Riagain, [eds.] Journal, 1982

Research Expertise


Sociology of Language, Language Policy, Sociology of European Minorities, Globalisation, Bilingualism, Multicultural Society, Cultural Identity, Surveys and Survey Research, Bilingual Education.


  • Title
    • The Irish Language in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the First Decade of the Twenty First Century: A Review of Census and Survey Evidence.
  • Summary
    • Utilising primary data collected by the author in an All-Ireland survey, together with secondary national data obtained under licence from national, UK and European data archives, the study will provide an integrated statistical overview of the evidence relating to the incidence in the two adult populations of speaking and other skills in Irish, the degree to which Irish is used in home and community life, and public attitudes to the Irish language and to policies to promote it.
  • Funding Agency
    • Foras na Gaeilge
  • Date From
    • March 2009
  • Date To
    • December 2011


Sociology of Language



Member, Committee on Irish Language Attitudes Research (Department of Finance). 1970-75

Member, Advisory Planning Committee (Bord na Gaeilge). 1984-88

Member, Steering Committee, Modern Languages Project, Royal Irish Academy. 1982-90

Review editor, Language, Culture and Curriculum. 1987-97

Member, Scientific Committee, "Euromosaic" project, European Commission (DGXXII) 1993-5

Member, International Advisory Committee, Language Policy Research Centre, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. 1995 - Present

Member, Scientific Committee (Language Education Policies), Council of Europe. 1999-2002

Member, Editorial Board, NOVES SL, Revista de Sociolinguística, Barcelona. 2003-present

Member, Scientific Committee, Sociolinguistics Seminar 16 2006

Member, Scientific Committee, Sociolinguistics Seminar 17 2007