To be fair, the official standard is a handy catch-all for State Exams and third level exams. And the French comparison might not be a great one, considering how they've damaged their regional dialects and langues d"oïl over the years as well! But I do disagree with learners getting punished for using their canúint of choice in written exams.
Some of it, I suppose, can be justified by critique of the register of language. Something can be perfectly acceptable in colloquial conversation, or on social media, or in prose, but may still be considered crude or vulgar or inappropriate in other scenarios.
No, Insect Overlord, a handy catch-all for exams could have picked a real Gaelthacht dialect. In fact Cork Irish was regarded as prestige dialect until the CO was brought in - and James Dillon leader of FG protested in the Dáil at the idea of the devising of a so-called standard by a handful of people that wasn't linked to what was considered good Irish in the Gaelthacht. Right from the beginning this was viewed as wrong.
It is certainly not that an teanga bheó is crude and vulgar - and some made-up thing made up by LEARNERS in DUBLIN is "high-style Irish". The CO is just plain wrong. Read the words of Peadar Ua Laoghaire and point to me the crudity and the vulgarity. Right from the beginning an arrogant bunch of learners have sought to take control of the language and they brutally kicked the language's native speakers to one side.
As Peadar Ua Laoghaire wrote in 1915:
At this point, the Irish language movement should be seen for what they are - anti-Irish.
Why should Cork Irish have been imposed on learners in Waterford or Conamara or Donegal, any more than the Caighdeán Oifigiúil? We'd still be having the same arguments today, but maybe with one or two happier counties.
Cork Irish is closer than any other Irish to the Irish of the poetry of the 17th and 18th centuries, but now, with few speakers in Cork, it would be hard to install as a standard. They ought to pick Conemara Irish, exactly as it is spoken, as the standard and as the largest dialect, and write that.
The hatred of the Gaelthacht is pronounced in the Irish learning community - because they resent the greater proficiency of the Gaelthacht. I was told on the Acmhainn mailing list (ultimately part of Foras na G) by one person:
These guys are openly contemptuous of the Gaelthacht natives - not even disguising their view that they are just "boggers" and so they won't accept their Irish.
Aontaím go huile is go hiomlán leat. Tá Gaeilge dhúchasach na Gaeltachta níos saibhre, níos deise agus i bhfad níos fearr ná Gaeilge nua na caithrach. Ach, cén fáth gur tháinig an caighdeán ar an saol? Mar bhí lucht na gaeilge taobh amuigh des na gaeltachtaí mí-shásta leis an éagsúlacht go léir i dtaobh na gaeilge de ar fud na tíre.
Tá an ceart agat, a DS -- nílid na canúintí beó róchóngarach dá chéile, agus b'fhéidir go raibh a lán diospóireachta i gcónaí i measc na n-aistritheóirí i dtaobh cad iad na fuirmeacha is cirte agus cad ab iad na haistriúcháin is feárr le húsáid go mór mór in obair aistriúcháin an Oireachtais. Agus nuair a thugas freagra don phostaer bunaidh (the OP) do thugas fé ndeara ná raibh aon tsuím aige in sna canúintíbh agus gur dóichí gur scoláire é agus ceist aige a chur anso ar an gCaighdéan, agus mar sin do sheólas é chun Teanglann (suíomh go bhfuil na fuirmeacha 'caighdeanacha' mar dhea ann, agus mar sin na fuirmeacha is oiriúnaí dho).