It is so sad. Most people in Ireland don't know how to speak Gaelic, the traditional language.
Most people in Ireland received instruction in Irish during their school years, and many of them found the experience to be unpleasant, which colored their impression of the language. Most people in Ireland don’t need to be fluent in Irish in their everyday lives.
Some people have strong negative opinions about the language being called "Gaelic". Generally, speakers of the language call it "Irish" when speaking about it in English, and "Gaeilge" when speaking about it in Irish.
I'ts an absurd thing for us to take offense at really, especially given that half the time those who make the distinction would struggle to form a sentence as Gaeilge between them
In fairness, I don't think that Irish people are unique in bristling a bit when an outsider who knows even less than they do says "you're doing it wrong!".
Nobody in Ireland reaches for an "English-Gaelic" dictionary when they want to look up the translation of a word.
I think it is sad, also. I can understand how learning Irish in their school years could turn kids away from it, but it would be a tragedy, I think, if the language dies out. I am American, with a bit of Irish heritage, and I love the language. Though I also find it incredibly difficult.
Funnily enough, learning Maths, English, Geography, History and Science in their school years doesn't generally have the same effect.
Some people have a lot of emotional baggage wrapped up in their attitude to the language. For some people that is positive, for some it is negative, but for the people who have a negative attitude, their poor experience with the language at school can in part be explained by the bad attitude that they started with, often from their parents or older siblings, or other kids in their peer group. That creates a vicious circle that can affect a whole class. You tend not to see this effect with English, Geography and History, but you can see some elements of it among some girls attitudes to Maths and Science, where they pick on social cues that set lower expectations for girls in these subjects.
I feel so sad too. I found Irish is now one language that is in danger of disappear. But I love Irish, it's really beautiful... I hope more and more people will learn this.