Like galaxyrocker said.
In Scotland, they call their variety of the same language Gaelic, but in Ireland it's tired up with Irish nationalism, so to emphasize that it is they language of the people (as the French speak French...), the English version of the name has sort of been "branded" in a sense as Irish
They call it Gaidhlig in Scotland because "Scottish" is already spoken for.
Scholars study "Primitive Irish", "Old Irish" and "Middle Irish", which gave rise to "Early Modern Irish" which gave rise to Modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx. The use of the term "Irish" to describe the language is not tied up with nationalism.
Sorry, I really oversimplified. I didn't mean so much the particulars of Irish politics as the tendency to prefer names that reflect people's identity
Much how Norwegian/Swedish and Serbian/Croatian are (arguably) varieties of a single language, but because they are part of the national identities of their speakers, they prefer to have their own label (especially in other languages, like English)
Wouldn't this more commonly be "Tá Gaeilge againn"?
EDIT: If I recall the explanation I saw elsewhere, "Tá Gaeilge againn" would indicate that we have the ability to speak Irish, which is more common to use, and "Labhraímid Gaeilge" would indicate, for example, that Irish is the language that is spoken at the office (but when they're off duty, they go back to English).
That left me completely flummoxed. I wish there were more mic buttons that worked so I could hear letter combinations and get a feel for that. They are very non intuitive for me. Is there somewhere I could hear letter sounds together or learn their rules? Is that somewhere on this site and I missed it? Like what an "l" sounds like at the beginning of a word or what sound "bh" together makes? Thanks.
Relatively few Irish speakers refer to the language as "Gaelic", unless they are speaking to people who don't know much about the Irish language, or are they are speaking in a technical or historical context. In Ireland, "Gaelic" is a somewhat archaic term.
So in Ireland, where the vast majority of the worlds Irish speakers live, Gaeilge means "Irish", (ie the language).
This is a sad fact of many people, but it is not based linguistically on truth. Not because Gaeilge no longer means Gaelic (it always has meant Gaelic) but because of the politics of Ireland. A lot of people are reluctant to say that Gaeilge is Gaelic because they don't want the language accused of not belonging to Ireland which gives a reason for anti-Irish language sentiment (because some people want to see the language become extinct or put out of common use and replaced entirely by English), so out of fear they call it Irish instead of Gaelic, but in reality it is Gaelic. Proof is that the English word Gaelic etymological comes from Gaedhlic, a spelling found in Northern Ireland and having the same pronunciation as the English word "Gaelic". Some people claim the English word is derived from Scottish Gaelic but this is not true, as it is spelled Gàidhlig in Scotland which is pronounced different than the English word Gaelic. Ask any one with good knowledge and they will show that the 'ae' cluster in the word 'Gaeilge' in Ireland gives it the 'ay' sound, the same as the English word 'Gaelic' but the Scottish word Gàidhlig give the 'ài' cluster a 'aw' sound like in the English word 'saw'.
It's a sad fact that some people insist that when Irish people do something that they don't agree with, it can be explained by some weakness in the psychological make up of Irish people. (When the same types of arguments are made about other people, it sometimes labelled racism).
The simple fact of the matter is that Irish people have been calling the Irish language "Irish" for generations. On the other hand, the use of "Gaelic" was most prominent among people for whom promoting the Irish language was an explicitly political action - that most political of Irish language organizations, Conradh na Gaeilge was called "The Gaelic League" in English, founded by Douglas Hyde after he gave a talk entitled "The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland".
The use of "Gaelic" to describe the Irish language is now considered archaic in Ireland. That's not a political statement, and it didn't come about because of fear, it's a simple empirical fact that the vast majority of English speakers in Ireland referred to the two languages as "English" and "Irish".
Irish people generally don't give a rat's arse about what English people or Americans have to say on such matters. We publish English-Irish dictionaries, not English-Gaelic, we sit the Irish exam in our Junior and Leaving Certificate exams, not the Gaelic exam, we refer to Irish in our laws, in our newspapers and in our day to day conversations. As fluent English speakers, we don't take kindly to being told that we're doing it wrong.
Yes, there is an English word "Gaelic" that is a transcription of the Irish word Gaeilge (or one of it's dialect forms). You'll find it in dictionaries and it's primary use in Ireland today is to describe the type of football played by the GAA (there are 3 popular forms of football in Ireland, and they are commonly referred to as Rugby, Soccer and Gaelic). It is not used to describe the Irish language (a quick check of the Irish Times archive for March 2019, which includes the Seachtain na Gaeilge event, shows over a hundred mentions of "Gaelic", but only two that are even slightly related to the language - a reference to "the Gaelic League" and a reference to "the Gaelic American Club" running an Irish class (not a Gaelic class).
The reason why the language is called Gaelic/Gaedhlic/Gàidhlig in the language itself and not Irish/Éireannach/Éirinnis is because the people and language of the Gaels originally came to Ireland from the Iberian Peninsula, proof being shown in the names of Galicia (meaning Gaelic land) and Portugal (meaning 'Port of the Gael'). In fact all Celtic people used a similar word, proof is in the words Gaul in France and Galatia in Turkey. At one time (before the time of Christ) they covered most of Europe. This is why I contend that Gaeilge is actually the same as Gaelic linguistically and also formerly historically as well.
In Ireland, the term "Gaelic" is considered more or less archaic. Like "phonograph", people know what you're talking about, but "Gaelic" is just a word that's mainly used to refer to Gaelic football these days. Being a fluent Irish speaker is not a requirement for joining the Gaelic Players Association.