How many people in Ireland speak Gaelic?

I am currently taking Gaelic at my university and am wondering how many Irish people actually speak the language? Just curious and absolutely love the language.
Update: Alright...but if the Irish are taught to knowGaelic from early childhood to "high school" then why do only little Irish actually know/speak Gaelic? Is a little confusing.
Update 2: Wow...sorry to offend by saying Gaelic instead of Irish. Perhaps you do not realize that to some other countries it is referred to as Gaelic and not simply Irish. Don't think I will be asking questions in this section anymore...some of you are really rude.
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