Irish language (Gaeilge), also referred to as the Gaelic or the
Irish Gaelic language, is a
Goidelic language (Gaelic) of the
Indo-European language family originating in
Ireland and historically
spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language by a
small minority of Irish people, and as a second language by a larger
group of non-native speakers.
Irish has been the predominant language of the
Irish people for most
of their recorded history, and they have brought it with them to other
Scotland and the Isle of Man, where
Middle Irish gave
Scottish Gaelic and Manx respectively. It has the oldest
vernacular literature in Western Europe.
Irish enjoys constitutional status as the national and first official
language of the Republic of Ireland, and is an officially recognised
minority language in Northern Ireland. It is also among the official
languages of the European Union. The public body
Foras na Gaeilge
Foras na Gaeilge is
responsible for the promotion of the language throughout the island of
3 Current status
3.1 Republic of Ireland
3.2 Northern Ireland
3.3 European Parliament
3.4 Outside Ireland
5.1.1 The Pale
5.1.2 General decline
5.5 Urban aspect
5.6 An Caighdeán Oifigiúil
5.7 An Caighdeán Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe
7 Syntax and morphology
7.1 Initial mutations
9 See also
11 External links
11.2 Grammar and pronunciation
An Caighdeán Oifigiúil (the official written standard) the name
of the language is Gaeilge (Irish
pronunciation: [ˈɡeːlʲɟə]). Before the spelling reform of
1948, this form was spelled Gaedhilge; originally this was the
genitive of Gaedhealg, the form used in Classical Irish. Older
spellings of this include Gaoidhealg in Classical Irish
[ˈɡeːʝəlˠɡ] and Goídelc [ˈɡoiðelˠɡ] in Old Irish. The
modern spelling results from the deletion of the silent dh in the
middle of Gaedhilge, whereas Goidelic, used to refer to the language
family including Irish, is derived from the
Old Irish term.
Other forms of the name found in the various modern Irish dialects (in
addition to south
Connacht Gaeilge above) include
Gaedhilic/Gaeilic/Gaeilig ([ˈɡeːlʲɪc]) or Gaedhlag
Ulster Irish and northern
Connacht Irish and
In Europe the language is usually referred to as Irish, with Gaelic or
Irish Gaelic used in some instances elsewhere. The term Irish
Gaelic is often used when English speakers discuss the relationship
between the three
Goidelic languages (Irish,
Scottish Gaelic and
Main article: History of the Irish language
Written Irish is first attested in
Ogham inscriptions from the 4th
century AD; this stage of the language is known as Primitive Irish.
These writings have been found throughout
Ireland and the west coast
of Great Britain.
Primitive Irish transitioned into
Old Irish through
the 5th century. Old Irish, dating from the 6th century, used the
Latin alphabet and is attested primarily in marginalia to Latin
manuscripts. During this time, the
Irish language absorbed some Latin
words, some via Old Welsh, including ecclesiastical terms: examples
are easpag (bishop) from episcopus, and Domhnach (Sunday, from
By the 10th century,
Old Irish had evolved into Middle Irish, which
was spoken throughout
Ireland and in
Scotland and the Isle of Man. It
is the language of a large corpus of literature, including the Ulster
Cycle. From the 12th century,
Middle Irish began to evolve into modern
Irish in Ireland, into
Scottish Gaelic in Scotland, and into the Manx
language in the Isle of Man. Early Modern Irish, dating from the 13th
century, was the basis of the literary language of both
Gaelic-speaking Scotland. Modern Irish, as attested in the work of
such writers as Geoffrey Keating, may be said to date from the 17th
century, and was the medium of popular literature from that time on.
From the 18th century on, the language lost ground in the east of the
country. The reasons behind this shift were complex but came down to a
number of factors:
discouragement of its use by Anglo-British administrations
the Catholic church supporting the use of English over Irish
the spread of bilingualism from the 1750s, resulting in language
It was a change characterised by diglossia (two languages being used
by the same community in different social and economic situations) and
transitional bilingualism (monoglot Irish-speaking grandparents with
bilingual children and monoglot English-speaking grandchildren). By
the mid-18th century, English was becoming a language of the Catholic
middle class, the Catholic Church and public intellectuals, especially
in the east of the country. Increasingly, as the value of English
became apparent, the prohibition on Irish in schools had the sanction
of parents. Once it became apparent that immigration to the United
States and Canada was likely for a large portion of the population,
the importance of learning English became relevant. This allowed the
new immigrants to get jobs in areas other than farming. It has been
estimated that, due to the immigration to the United States because of
the Famine, anywhere from a quarter to a third of the immigrants were
Irish was not marginal to Ireland's modernisation in the 19th century,
as often assumed. In the first half of the century there were still
around three million people for whom Irish was the primary language,
and their numbers alone made them a cultural and social force. Irish
speakers often insisted on using the language in law courts (even when
they knew English), and Irish was also common in commercial
transactions. The language was heavily implicated in the "devotional
revolution" which marked the standardisation of Catholic religious
practice and was also widely used in a political context. Down to the
time of the Great Famine and even afterwards, the language was in use
by all classes, Irish being an urban as well as a rural language.
This linguistic dynamism was reflected in the efforts of certain
public intellectuals to counter the decline of the language. At the
end of the 19th century, they launched the
Gaelic revival in an
attempt to encourage the learning and use of Irish, although few adult
learners mastered the language. The vehicle of the revival was the
Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge), and particular emphasis was placed
on the folk tradition, which in Irish is particularly rich. Efforts
were also made to develop journalism and a modern literature.
Although it has been noted that the Catholic Church played a role in
the decline of the
Irish language before the Gaelic Revival, the
Protestant Church of
Ireland also made only minor efforts to encourage
use of Irish in a religious context. An Irish translation of the Old
Testament, commissioned by Bishop Bedell, was published after 1685
along with a translation of the New Testament. Otherwise,
Anglicisation was seen as synonymous with 'civilising'" of the native
Irish. Currently, modern day Irish speakers in the church are pushing
for language revival.
Main article: Status of the Irish language
Republic of Ireland
Irish is given recognition by the Constitution of
Ireland as the
national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland
(English is the other official language). Despite this, almost all
government debates and business are conducted in English. In 1938,
the founder of
Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge (Gaelic League), Douglas Hyde, was
inaugurated as the first President of Ireland. The record of his
delivering his inaugural Declaration of Office in
remains almost the only surviving remnant of anyone speaking in that
From the foundation of the
Irish Free State
Irish Free State in 1922 (see also History
of the Republic of Ireland), a degree of proficiency in Irish was
required of all those newly appointed to the Civil Service of the
Republic of Ireland, including postal workers, tax collectors,
Garda Síochána etc. By law if a Garda was
stopped and addressed in Irish he had to respond in Irish as well.
Proficiency in just one official language for entrance to the public
service was introduced in 1974, in part through the actions of protest
organisations like the Language Freedom Movement.
Although the Irish requirement was also dropped for wider public
service jobs, Irish remains a required subject of study in all schools
within the Republic which receive public money (see also Education in
the Republic of Ireland). Those wishing to teach in primary schools in
the State must also pass a compulsory examination called Scrúdú
Cáilíochta sa Ghaeilge. The need for a pass in Leaving Certificate
Irish or English for entry to the
Garda Síochána (police) was
introduced in September 2005, and recruits are given lessons in the
language during their two years of training. The most important
official documents of the Irish government must be published in both
Irish and English or Irish alone (in accordance with the Official
Languages Act 2003, enforced by An Coimisinéir Teanga, the Irish
The National University of
Ireland requires all students wishing to
embark on a degree course in the NUI federal system to pass the
subject of Irish in the Leaving Certificate or GCE/GCSE
examinations. Exemptions are made from this requirement for
students born outside of the Republic of Ireland, those who were born
in the Republic but completed primary education outside it, and
students diagnosed with dyslexia.
NUI Galway is required to appoint
people who are competent in the Irish language, as long as they are
also competent in all other aspects of the vacancy to which they are
appointed. This requirement is laid down by the University College
Galway Act, 1929 (Section 3). The University faced controversy,
however, in 2016 when it was announced that the next president of the
University would not have any Irish. Misneach staged a number of
protests against this decision. It was announced in September 2017
that Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, a fluent Irish speaker, will be NUIG's
For a number of years there has been vigorous debate in political,
academic and other circles about the failure of most students in the
mainstream (English-medium) schools to achieve competence in the
language, even after fourteen years. The concomitant
decline in the number of traditional native speakers has also been a
cause of great concern. In 2007, filmmaker Manchán
Magan found few speakers and some incredulity while speaking only
Irish in Dublin. He was unable to accomplish some everyday tasks, as
portrayed in his documentary No Béarla.
There is, however, a growing body of Irish speakers in urban areas.
Most of these are products of an independent education system in which
Irish is the sole language of instruction. Such schools are known as
Gaelscoileanna. These Irish-medium schools send a much higher
proportion of pupils on to tertiary level than do the mainstream
schools, and it seems increasingly likely that, within a generation,
habitual users of Irish will typically be members of an urban, middle
class and highly educated minority. Parliamentary legislation is
supposed to be available in both Irish and English but is frequently
only available in English. This is notwithstanding that Article 25.4
of the Constitution of
Ireland requires that an "official translation"
of any law in one official language be provided immediately in the
other official language, if not already passed in both official
In November 2016, it was reported that many people worldwide were
learning Irish through the
Duolingo app. Irish president Michael
Higgins officially honoured several volunteer translators for
developing the Irish edition, and said the push for Irish language
rights remains an "unfinished project".
In the 2016 census, around 10% of respondents stated that they spoke
Irish, either daily or weekly. 
Main article: Gaeltacht
There are rural areas of
Ireland where Irish is still spoken daily to
some extent as a first language. These regions are known individually
and collectively as the Gaeltacht, or in the plural as Gaeltachtaí.
While the Gaeltacht's fluent Irish speakers, whose numbers have been
estimated at twenty or thirty thousand, are a minority of the
total number of fluent Irish speakers, they represent a higher
concentration of Irish speakers than other parts of the country and it
is only in
Gaeltacht areas that Irish continues, to some extent, to be
spoken as a community vernacular.
The percentage of respondents who said they spoke Irish daily outside
the education system in the 2011 census in the State.
According to data compiled by the Department of Community, Equality
Gaeltacht Affairs, only one quarter of households in officially
Gaeltacht areas are fluent in Irish. The author of a detailed analysis
of the survey, Donncha Ó hÉallaithe of the Galway-Mayo Institute of
Technology, described the
Irish language policy followed by Irish
governments as a "complete and absolute disaster". The Irish Times,
referring to his analysis published in the
Irish language newspaper
Foinse, quoted him as follows: "It is an absolute indictment of
successive Irish Governments that at the foundation of the Irish State
there were 250,000 fluent Irish speakers living in Irish-speaking or
semi Irish-speaking areas, but the number now is between 20,000 and
In the 1920s, when the
Irish Free State
Irish Free State was founded, Irish was still a
vernacular in some western coastal areas. In the 1930s, areas
where more than 25% of the population spoke Irish were classified as
Gaeltacht. Today, the strongest
Gaeltacht areas, numerically and
socially, are those of South Connemara, the west of the Dingle
Peninsula and northwest Donegal, where many residents still use Irish
as their primary language. These areas are often referred to as the
Fíor-Ghaeltacht ("true Gaeltacht"), a term originally officially
applied to areas where over 50% of the population spoke Irish.
There are larger
Gaeltacht regions in
County Galway (Contae na
Connemara (Conamara), the
Aran Islands (Oileáin
Carraroe (An Cheathrú Rua) and
Spiddal (An Spidéal), on the
west coast of
County Donegal (Contae Dhún na nGall), and on the
Dingle (Corca Dhuibhne) and Iveragh Peninsulas (Uibh Rathach) in
County Kerry (Contae Chiarraí).
Smaller ones also exist in Counties Mayo (Contae Mhaigh Eo), Meath
(Contae na Mí), Waterford (An Rinn, Contae Phort Láirge), and Cork
Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), County Donegal, is the
Gaeltacht parish in Ireland.
A sign reads, Caution, Children
Irish language summer colleges in the
Gaeltacht are attended by tens
of thousands of teenagers annually. Students live with Gaeltacht
families, attend classes, participate in sports, go to céilithe and
are obliged to speak Irish. All aspects of Irish culture and tradition
are encouraged. The most popular summertime
Gaeltacht is Coláiste
Lurgan in Galway. Its main aim is to promote Irish speaking among
young people in an enjoyable and stimulating way.
Irish language in Northern Ireland
A sign for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern
Ireland, in English, Irish and
Before the partition of
Ireland in 1921, Irish was recognised as a
school subject and as "Celtic" in some third level institutions.
Between 1921 and 1972, Northern
Ireland had devolved government.
During those years the political party holding power in the Stormont
Ulster Unionist Party
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), was hostile to the
language. The context of this hostility was the use of the language by
nationalists. In broadcasting, there was an exclusion on the
reporting of minority cultural issues, and Irish was excluded from
radio and television for almost the first fifty years of the previous
devolved government. The language received a degree of formal
recognition in Northern
Ireland from the United Kingdom, under the
1998 Good Friday Agreement, and then, in 2003, by the British
government's ratification in respect of the language of the European
Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. While the British
government promised to create legislation encouraging the language as
part of the 2006 St Andrews Agreement, it has yet to do so.
The Irish Language is often used as a bargaining chip during
government formation in Northern Ireland, something which is often
protested by organisations and groups such as An Dream Dearg. There is
currently an ongoing debate in relation to the status of the language
in the form of an Irish Language Act. "An Dream Dearg" have launched a
campaign in favour of such an Act notably called "Acht na Gaeilge
Irish became an official language of the EU on 1 January 2007, meaning
that MEPs with Irish fluency can now speak the language in the
European Parliament and at committees, although in the case of the
latter they have to give prior notice to a simultaneous interpreter in
order to ensure that what they say can be interpreted into other
languages. While an official language of the European Union, only
co-decision regulations must be available in Irish for the moment, due
to a renewable five-year derogation on what has to be translated,
requested by the Irish Government when negotiating the language's new
official status. Any expansion in the range of documents to be
translated will depend on the results of the first five-year review
and on whether the Irish authorities decide to seek an extension. The
Irish government has committed itself to train the necessary number of
translators and interpreters and to bear the related costs.
Derogation is expected to end completely by 2022.
Before Irish became an official language it was afforded the status of
treaty language and only the highest-level documents of the EU were
made available in Irish.
Irish language outside
Irish language in
Irish language was carried abroad in the modern period by a vast
diaspora, chiefly to Britain and North America, but also to Australia,
New Zealand and Argentina. The first large movements began in the 17th
century, largely as a result of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland,
which saw many Irish sent to the West Indies. Irish emigration to the
United States was well established by the 18th century, and was
reinforced in the 1840s by thousands fleeing from the Famine. This
flight also affected Britain. Up until that time most emigrants spoke
Irish as their first language, though English was steadily
establishing itself as the primary language. Irish speakers had first
arrived in Australia in the late 18th century as convicts and
soldiers, and many Irish-speaking settlers followed, particularly in
the 1860s. New Zealand also received some of this influx. Argentina
was the only non-English-speaking country to receive large numbers of
Irish emigrants, and there were few Irish speakers among them.
Relatively few of the emigrants were literate in Irish, but
manuscripts in the language were brought to both Australia and the
United States, and it was in the United States that the first
newspaper to make significant use of Irish was established.[citation
needed] In Australia, too, the language found its way into print. The
Gaelic revival, which started in
Ireland in the 1890s, found a
response abroad, with branches of
Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge being established
in all the countries to which Irish speakers had emigrated.
The decline of Irish in
Ireland and a slowing of emigration helped to
ensure a decline in the language abroad, along with natural attrition
in the host countries. Despite this, a handful of enthusiasts
continued to learn and cultivate Irish in diaspora countries and
elsewhere, a trend which strengthened in the second half of the 20th
century. Today the language is taught at tertiary level in North
America, Australia and Europe, and Irish speakers outside Ireland
contribute to journalism and literature in the language. There are
significant Irish-speaking networks in the United States and
Canada; figures released for the period 2006–2008 show that
22,279 Americans claimed to speak Irish at home.
Irish language is also one of the languages of the Celtic League,
a non-governmental organisation that promotes self-determination and
Celtic identity and culture in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany,
Cornwall and the Isle of Man, known as the Celtic nations. It places
particular emphasis on the indigenous Celtic languages. It is
recognised by the United Nations as a non-governmental organisation
with "Roster Status" and is part of the UN's Economic and Social
Council. The organisation has branches in all the
Celtic nations and
in Patagonia, Argentina, New York City, US, and London, UK.
Irish was spoken as a community language until the early 20th century
on the island of Newfoundland, in a form known as Newfoundland Irish.
The following 2016 census data shows:
The total number of people who answered ‘yes’ to being able to
speak Irish in April 2016 was 1,761,420, a slight decrease (0.7 per
cent) on the 2011 figure of 1,774,437. This represents 39.8 per cent
of respondents compared with 41.4 in 2011... Of the 73,803 daily Irish
speakers (outside the education system), 20,586 (27.9%) lived in
Daily Irish Speakers in
Gaeltacht area, 2011-2016
Actual Change 2011-2016
Irish is represented by several traditional dialects and by various
varieties of "urban" Irish. The latter, though sometimes referred to
as "modern Irish," has acquired a life of its own and a growing number
of native speakers. Differences between the dialects make themselves
felt in stress, intonation, vocabulary and structural features.
Roughly speaking, the three major dialect areas which survive coincide
with the provinces of
Munster (Cúige Mumhan),
Ulster (Cúige Uladh). Records of some dialects of
Leinster were made by the
Irish Folklore Commission and others prior
to their extinction. Newfoundland, in eastern Canada, had a form of
Irish derived from the
Munster Irish of the later 18th century (see
Down to the early 19th century and even later, Irish was spoken in all
the counties of Leinster: Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois,
Longford, Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Offaly,
Wexford and Wicklow. The
evidence furnished by placenames, literary sources and recorded speech
indicates that there were three dialects spoken in Leinster: one main
dialect and two of lesser significance. The minor dialects were
represented by the
Ulster speech of counties Meath and Louth, which
extended as far south as the Boyne valley, and a
Munster dialect found
in Kilkenny and south Laois. The main dialect was represented by a
broad central belt stretching from west
Connacht eastwards to the
Liffey estuary and southwards to Wexford, though with many local
The main dialect had characteristics which survive today only in the
Irish of Connacht. It typically placed the stress on the first
syllable of a word, and showed a preference (found in placenames) for
the pronunciation cr where the standard spelling is cn. The word cnoc
(hill) would therefore be pronounced croc. Examples are the placenames
Crooksling (Cnoc Slinne) in
County Dublin and Crukeen (Cnoicín) in
Leinster showed the same diphthongisation or vowel
lengthening as in
Connacht Irish in words like poll
(hole), cill (monastery), coill (wood), ceann (head), cam (crooked)
and dream (crowd). A feature of the dialect was the pronunciation of
the vowel ao, which generally became ae in east
Leinster (as in
Munster), and í in the west (as in Connacht).
Early evidence regarding colloquial Irish in east
Leinster is found in
The Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge (1547), by the English
physician and traveller Andrew Borde. The illustrative phrases he
uses include the following (with regularised Irish spelling in
How are you?
[Conas atá tú?]
I am well, thank you
Tam agoomawh gramahogood.
[Tá mé go maith, go raibh maith agat.]
Syr, can you speak Iryshe?
Sor, woll galow oket?
[Sor, 'bhfuil Gaeilge [Gaela'] agat?]
Wyfe, gyve me bread!
Benytee, toor haran!
[A bhean a' tí, tabhair dhomh arán.]
How far is it to Waterford?
Gath haad o showh go port laarg.
[Cá fhad as seo go Port Láirge?]
It is one an twenty myle.
[Míle ar fhichid.]
Whan shal I go to slepe, wyfe?
Gah hon rah moyd holow?
[Cá huain rach' muid a chodladh?]
The Pale – According to Statute of 1488
The Pale (An Pháil) was an area around late medieval
Dublin under the
control of the English government. By the late 15th century it
consisted of an area along the coast from Dalkey, south of Dublin, to
the garrison town of Dundalk, with an inland boundary encompassing
Leixlip in the
Earldom of Kildare
Earldom of Kildare and Trim and Kells in
County Meath to the north. Into this area of "Englyshe tunge" the
Irish language steadily advanced. An English official remarked of the
Pale in 1515 that "all the common people of the said half counties
that obeyeth the King's laws, for the most part be of Irish birth, of
Irish habit and of Irish language".
With the strengthening of English cultural and political control,
language reversal began to occur, but this did not become clearly
evident until the 18th century. Even then, in the decennial period
1771–81, the percentage of Irish speakers in Meath was at least 41%.
By 1851 this had fallen to less than 3%.
English expanded strongly in
Leinster in the 18th century, but Irish
speakers were still numerous. In the decennial period 1771–81
certain counties had estimated percentages of Irish speakers as
follows (though the estimates are likely to be too low):
The language saw its most rapid initial decline in Laois, Wexford,
County Dublin and perhaps Kildare. The proportion of
Irish-speaking children in
Leinster went down as follows: 17% in the
1700s, 11% in the 1800s, 3% in the 1830s and virtually none in the
The Irish census of 1851 showed that there were still a number of
older speakers in County Dublin. Sound recordings were made
between 1928 and 1931 of some of the last speakers in Omeath, County
Louth (now available in digital form). The last known traditional
native speaker in Omeath, and in
Leinster as a whole, was Annie
O'Hanlon (née Dobbin), who died in 1960.
Munster Irish is mainly spoken in the
Gaeltacht areas of Kerry (Contae
Chiarraí), Ring (An Rinn) near
Dungarvan (Dún Garbháin) in
Waterford (Contae Phort Láirge) and Muskerry (Múscraí) and Cape
Clear Island (Oileán Chléire) in the western part of Cork (Contae
Chorcaí). The most important subdivision in
Munster is that between
Decies Irish (Na Déise) (spoken in Waterford) and the rest of Munster
Some typical features of
Munster Irish are:
The use of endings to show person on verbs in parallel with a
pronominal subject system, thus "I must" is in
Munster caithfead as
well as caithfidh mé, while other dialects prefer caithfidh mé (mé
means "I"). "I was and you were" is Bhíos agus bhís as well as Bhí
mé agus bhí tú in Munster, but more commonly Bhí mé agus bhí tú
in other dialects. Note that these are strong tendencies, and the
personal forms Bhíos etc. are used in the West and North,
particularly when the words are last in the clause.
Use of independent/dependent forms of verbs that are not included in
the Standard. For example, "I see" in
Munster is chím, which is the
independent form – Northern Irish also uses a similar form, tchím),
whereas "I do not see" is ní fheicim, feicim being the dependent
form, which is used after particles such as ní "not"). Chím is
replaced by feicim in the Standard. Similarly, the traditional form
Munster bheirim I give/ní thugaim is tugaim/ní thugaim
in the Standard; gheibhim I get/ní bhfaighim is faighim/ní
When before -nn, -m, -rr, -rd, -ll and so on, in monosyllabic words
and in the stressed syllable of multisyllabic words where the syllable
is followed by a consonant, some short vowels are lengthened while
others are diphthongised, thus ceann [caun] "head", cam [kɑum]
"crooked", gearr [ɟaːr] "short", ord [oːrd] "sledgehammer", gall
[ɡɑul] "foreigner, non-Gael", iontas [uːntəs] "a wonder, a
marvel", compánach [kəumˈpɑːnəx] "companion, mate", etc.
A copular construction involving ea "it" is frequently used. Thus "I
am an Irish person" can be said is Éireannach mé and Éireannach is
ea mé in Munster; there is a subtle difference in meaning, however,
the first choice being a simple statement of fact, while the second
brings emphasis onto the word Éireannach. In effect the construction
is a type of "fronting".
Both masculine and feminine words are subject to lenition after insan
(sa/san) "in the", den "of the" and don "to/for the" : sa tsiopa,
"in the shop", compared to the Standard sa siopa (the Standard lenites
only feminine nouns in the dative in these cases).
Eclipsis of f after sa: sa bhfeirm, "in the farm", instead of san
Eclipsis of t and d after preposition + singular article, with all
prepositions except after insan, den and don: ar an dtigh "on the
house", ag an ndoras "at the door".
Stress falls in general found on the second syllable of a word when
the first syllable contains a short vowel, and the second syllable
contains a long vowel, diphthong, or is -(e)ach, e.g. biorán ("pin"),
as opposed to biorán in
Connacht and Ulster.
Connacht Irish represents the westernmost remnant of a
dialect area which stretched across the centre of
Ireland to the east
coast. The strongest dialect of
Connacht Irish is to be found in
Connemara and the Aran Islands. Much closer to the larger Connacht
Gaeltacht is the dialect spoken in the smaller region on the border
between Galway (Gaillimh) and Mayo (Maigh Eo). The northern Mayo
Erris (Iorras) and
Achill (Acaill) is in grammar and
morphology essentially a
Connacht dialect, but shows some similarities
Ulster Irish due to large-scale immigration of dispossessed people
following the Plantation of
Ulster though it is this form of Irish
which is closest to the true original
Connacht dialect which would
have been spoken in Counties Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim and East
Connacht Irish differing from the official standard
include a preference for verbal nouns ending in -achan, e.g. lagachan
instead of lagú, "weakening". The non-standard pronunciation of the
Gaeltacht Cois Fharraige area with lengthened vowels and heavily
reduced endings gives it a distinct sound. Distinguishing features of
Ulster dialect include the pronunciation of word final
broad bh and mh as [w], rather than as [vˠ] in Munster. For example,
sliabh ("mountain") is pronounced [ʃlʲiəw] in
Connacht and Ulster
as opposed to [ʃlʲiəβ] in the south. In addition
Ulster speakers tend to include the "we" pronoun rather than use the
standard compound form used in
Munster e.g. bhí muid is used for "we
were" instead of bhíomar.
Munster Irish, some short vowels are lengthened and others
diphthongised before -nn, -m, -rr, -rd, -ll, in monosyllabic words and
in the stressed syllable of multisyllabic words where the syllable is
followed by a consonant. This can be seen in ceann [cɑ:n] "head", cam
[kɑ:m] "crooked", gearr [gʲɑ:r] "short", ord [ourd] "sledgehammer",
gall [gɑ:l] "foreigner, non-Gael", iontas [i:ntəs] "a wonder, a
marvel", etc. The form '-aibh', when occurring at the end of words
like 'agaibh', tends to be pronounced as an 'ee' sound.
There are a number of differences between the popular South Connemara
form of Irish, the Mid-Connacht/
Joyce Country form (on the border
between Mayo and Galway) and the
Erris forms in the north
of the province.
In South Connemara, for example, there is an tendency to substitute a
"b" sound at the end of words ending in "bh" [β], such as sibh, libh
and dóibh, something not found in the rest of
Connacht (these words
would be pronounced respectively as "shiv," "liv" and "dófa" in the
other areas). This placing of the B-sound is also present at the end
of words ending in vowels, such as acu (pronounced as "acub") and leo
(pronounced as "lyohab"). There is also a tendency to omit the "g"
sound in words such as agam, agat and againn, a characteristic also of
Connacht dialects. All these pronunciations are distinctively
The pronunciation prevalent in the
Joyce Country (the area around
Lough Corrib and Lough Mask) is quite similar to that of South
Connemara, with a similar approach to the words agam, agat and againn
and a similar approach to pronunciation of vowels and consonants. But
there are noticeable differences in vocabulary, with certain words
such as doiligh (difficult) and foscailte being preferred to the more
usual deacair and oscailte. Another interesting aspect of this
sub-dialect is that almost all vowels at the end of words tend to be
pronounced as í: eile (other), cosa (feet) and déanta (done) tend to
be pronounced as eilí, cosaí and déantaí respectively.
The Irish of
Erris tends to differ from that of South
Connacht in many aspects of vocabulary and, in some instances, of
pronunciation. It is often stated that the Irish of these regions has
much in common with
Ulster Irish, with words ending -mh and -bh having
a much softer sound, with a tendency to terminate words such as leo
and dóibh with "f", giving leofa and dófa respectively. In addition
to a vocabulary typical of other area of Connacht, one also finds
words like amharc (meaning "to look" and pronounced "onk"), nimhneach
(painful or sore), druid (close), mothaigh (hear), doiligh
(difficult), úr (new), and tig le (to be able to – i.e. a form
similar to féidir).
Douglas Hyde was possibly one of the last speakers of
Roscommon dialect of Irish.
Linguistically the most important of the
Ulster dialects today is that
of the Rosses (na Rossa), which has been used extensively in
literature by such authors as the brothers Séamus Ó Grianna and
Seosamh Mac Grianna, locally known as Jimí Fheilimí and Joe
Fheilimí. This dialect is essentially the same as that in Gweedore
(Gaoth Dobhair = Inlet of Streaming Water), and used by native singers
Enya (Eithne) and
Moya Brennan and their siblings in
Clannad (Clann as
Dobhar = Family from the Dobhar [a section of Gweedore]) Na Casaidigh,
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh from another local band Altan.
Ulster Irish sounds very different and shares several features with
southern dialects of
Scottish Gaelic and Manx, as well as having lots
of characteristic words and shades of meanings. However, since the
demise of those Irish dialects spoken natively in what is today
Northern Ireland, it is probably an exaggeration to see present-day
Ulster Irish as an intermediary form between
Scottish Gaelic and the
southern and western dialects of Irish. Northern
Scottish Gaelic has
Ulster features in common with
One noticeable trait of
Ulster Irish, Manx Gaelic and Scots Gaelic is
the use of the negative particle cha(n) in place of the
Connacht ní. Though southern
Ulster Irish tends to use ní more than
cha(n), cha(n) has almost ousted ní in northernmost dialects (e.g.
Rosguill and Tory Island), though even in these areas níl "is not" is
more common than chan fhuil or cha bhfuil.
Another noticeable trait is the pronunciation of the first person
singular verb ending -im as -am, also common to Ulster, Man and
Leinster siúlaim "I walk", Ulster
Irish was spoken as a community language in Irish towns and cities
down to the 19th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was
widespread even in
Dublin and the Pale.
The Irish of Dublin, situated as it was between the east Ulster
dialect of Meath and Louth to the north and the Leinster-Connacht
dialect further south, may have reflected the characteristics of both
in phonology and grammar. In
County Dublin itself the general rule was
to place the stress on the initial vowel of words. With time it
appears that the forms of the dative case took over the other case
endings in the plural (a tendency found to a lesser extent in other
dialects). In a letter written in
Dublin in 1691 we find such examples
as the following: gnóthuimh (accusative case, the standard form being
gnóthaí), tíorthuibh (accusative case, the standard form being
tíortha) and leithscéalaibh (genitive case, the standard form being
English authorities of the Cromwellian period, aware that Irish was
widely spoken in Dublin, arranged for its official use. In 1655
several local dignitaries were ordered to oversee a lecture in Irish
to be given in Dublin. In March 1656 a converted Catholic priest,
Séamas Corcy, was appointed to preach in Irish at Bride’s parish
every Sunday, and was also ordered to preach at
Drogheda and Athy.
In 1657 the English colonists in
Dublin presented a petition to the
Municipal Council complaining that in
Dublin itself "there is Irish
commonly and usually spoken".
There is contemporary evidence of the use of Irish in other urban
areas at the time. In 1657 it was found necessary to have an Oath of
Abjuration (rejecting the authority of the Pope) read in Irish in Cork
so that people could understand it.
Irish was sufficiently strong in early 18th century
Dublin to be the
language of a coterie of poets and scribes led by Seán and Tadhg Ó
Neachtain, both poets of note. Scribal activity in Irish persisted
Dublin right through the 18th century. An outstanding example was
Muiris Ó Gormáin (Maurice Gorman), a prolific producer of
manuscripts who advertised his services (in English) in Faulkner's
In other urban centres the descendants of medieval Anglo-Norman
settlers, the so-called Old English, were Irish-speaking or bilingual
by the 16th century. The English administrator and traveller Fynes
Moryson, writing in the last years of the 16th century, said that "the
English Irish and the very citizens (excepting those of
the lord deputy resides) though they could speak English as well as
we, yet commonly speak Irish among themselves, and were hardly induced
by our familiar conversation to speak English with us". The demise
of native cultural institutions in the seventeenth century saw the
social prestige of Irish diminish, and the gradual Anglicisation of
the middle classes followed.
The census of 1851 showed that the towns and cities of
had significant Irish-speaking populations. In 1819 James McQuige, a
veteran Methodist lay preacher in Irish, wrote: "In some of the
largest southern towns, Cork, Kinsale and even the Protestant town of
Bandon, provisions are sold in the markets, and cried in the streets,
in Irish". Irish speakers constituted over 40% of the population
of Cork even in 1851.
The 19th century saw a reduction in the number of Dublin’s Irish
speakers, in keeping with the trend elsewhere. This continued until
the end of the century, when the
Gaelic revival saw the creation of a
strong Irish–speaking network, typically united by various branches
of the Conradh na Gaeilge, and accompanied by renewed literary
activity. By the 1930s
Dublin had a lively literary life in
Urban Irish has been the beneficiary, over the last few decades, of a
rapidly expanding independent school system, known generally as
Gaelscoileanna. These schools teach entirely through Irish, and there
are over thirty in
It is likely that the number of urban native speakers (i.e. people who
were born into Irish-speaking households and educated through Irish)
is on the increase. It has been suggested that Ireland's towns and
cities are acquiring a critical mass of Irish speakers, reflected in
the expansion of
Irish language media. Colloquial urban Irish is
changing in unforeseen ways, with attention being drawn to the rapid
loss of consonantal mutations (which are intrinsic to the language).
It is presently uncertain whether the urban Irish of non-native
speakers will become a dialect in its own right or grow further apart
Gaeltacht Irish and become a creole (i.e. a new
An Caighdeán Oifigiúil
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Main article: An Caighdeán Oifigiúil
An Caighdeán Oifigiúil ("The Official Standard"), often shortened to
An Caighdeán, is the standard language, which is taught in most
schools in Ireland, though with strong influences from local dialects.
It was published by the translators in
Dáil Éireann in the
Its development in the 1950s and 1960s had two purposes. One was to
simplify Irish spelling, which had retained its Classical spelling, by
removing many silent letters, and to give a standard written form that
was mutually intelligible by speakers with different dialects.
Many aspects of the Caighdeán are essentially those of Connacht
Irish; this is because this is the "central" dialect which forms a
"bridge", as it were, between the North and South. In practice,
dialect speakers pronounce words as in their own dialect; the spelling
reflects the pronunciation of Classical Irish. For example, ceann
"head" in early modern Irish was pronounced [cenːˠ]. The spelling
has been retained, but the word is variously pronounced [caunˠ] in
the South, [cɑːnˠ] in Connacht, and [cænːˠ] in the North. Beag
"small" was [bʲɛɡ] in early modern Irish, and is now [bʲɛɡ] in
Waterford Irish; [bʲɔɡ] in Cork-Kerry Irish; varies between
[bʲɔɡ] and [bʲæɡ] in the West; and is [bʲœɡ] in the North.
The simplification was weighted in favour of the Western dialect. For
example, the early modern Irish leaba, dative case leabaidh
[lʲebˠɨʝ] "bed" is pronounced [lʲabˠə] as well as [lʲabˠɨɟ]
in Waterford Irish, [lʲabˠɨɟ] in Cork-Kerry Irish, [lʲæbˠə] in
Connacht Irish ([lʲæːbˠə] in Cois Fharraige Irish) and
[lʲæbˠi] in the North.[Not clear whether these pronunciations are
for the nominative or the dative case.] Native speakers from the North
and South may consider that leabaidh should be the representation in
the Caighdeán rather than the actual leaba. However, leaba is the
historically correct nominative form and arguably preferable to the
historically incorrect yet common use of the dative form for the
On the other hand, in some cases the Caighdeán retained classical
spellings even though none of the dialects had retained the
corresponding pronunciation. For example, it has retained the
Classical Irish spelling of ar ("on", "for", etc.) and ag ("at", "by",
"of", etc.). The first is pronounced [ɛɾʲ] throughout the
Goidelic-speaking world (and is written er in Manx, and air in
Scottish Gaelic), and should[clarification needed] be written either
eir or oir in Irish. The second is pronounced [iɟ] in the South, and
[eɟ] in the North and West. Again, Manx and
Scottish Gaelic reflect
this pronunciation much more clearly than Irish does (Manx ec,
In many cases, however, the Caighdeán can only refer to the Classical
language, in that every dialect is different, as for example in the
personal forms of ag.
Munster : agùm [əˈɡumˠ], agùt [əˈɡut̪ˠ], igè
[ɨˈɟe], icì [ɨˈci], agùing [əˈɡuŋʲ] / aguìng
[əˈɡiŋʲ] (West Cork/Kerry agùin [əˈɡunʲ] / aguìn
[əˈɡinʲ]), agùibh/aguìbh [əˈɡuβʲ] / [əˈɡiβʲ], acù
Connacht : am [amˠ] (agam [ˈaɡəmˠ]), ad [ˈad̪ˠ] (agad
[ˈaɡəd̪ˠ]), aige [ˈeɟɨ], aici [ˈecɨ], ainn [aɲʲ] (againn
[ˈaɡɨɲʲ]), aguí [ˈaɡi], acab [ˈakəbˠ]
Ulster : aigheam [ɛimˠ], aighead [ɛid̪ˠ], aige [ˈeɟɨ],
aicí [ˈeci], aighinn [ɛiɲʲ], aighif [ɛiɸʲ], acú [ˈakˠu]
Caighdeán : agam [ˈaɡəmˠ], agat [ˈaɡət̪ˠ], aige
[ˈeɟɨ], aici [ˈecɨ], againn [ˈaɡɨɲʲ], agaibh [ˈaɡɨβʲ],
acu [ˈaku] / [ˈakə]
The second purpose was to create a grammatically regularised or
"simplified" standard which would make the language more accessible
for the majority English-speaking school population. In part this is
why the Caighdeán is not universally respected by native speakers.
Native speakers traditionally spoke their own dialect (or the
Classical dialect if they had knowledge of that). Of course, the
simplification of Irish was not the original aim of the developers,
who rather saw the Caighdeán as a means of easing second-language
learners into the task of learning "full" Irish. The Caighdeán verb
system is a prime example, with the reduction in irregular verb forms
and personal forms of the verb – except for the first person.
The Caighdeán, in general, is used by non-native speakers, frequently
from the capital, and is sometimes also called "
Dublin Irish" or
"Urban Irish". As it is taught in many Irish-language schools (where
Irish is the main, or sometimes only, medium of instruction), it is
also sometimes called "
Gaelscoil Irish". The so-called "Belfast
Irish", spoken in that city's
Gaeltacht Quarter, is the Caighdeán
heavily influenced by
Ulster Irish and Belfast English.
The differences between dialects are considerable, and have led to
recurrent difficulties in defining standard Irish. In recent decades
contacts between speakers of different dialects have become more
frequent and the differences between the dialects are less
An Caighdeán Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe
As of August 2012, the first major revision of the Caighdeán
Oifigiúil is available, both onlineand in print. Among
the changes to be found in the revised version are, for example,
various attempts to bring the recommendations of the Caighdeán closer
to the spoken dialect of
Gaeltacht speakers, including allowing
further use of the nominative case where the genitive would
historically have been found.
Main article: Irish phonology
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering
support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead
Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see
In pronunciation, Irish most closely resembles its nearest relatives,
Scottish Gaelic and Manx. One notable feature is that consonants
(except /h/) come in pairs, one "broad" (velarised, pronounced with
the back of the tongue pulled back towards the soft palate) and one
"slender" (palatalised, pronounced with the middle of the tongue
pushed up towards the hard palate). While broad–slender pairs are
not unique to Irish (being found, for example, in Russian), in Irish
they have a grammatical function.
Diphthongs: iə, uə, əi, əu.
Syntax and morphology
Main articles: Irish grammar, Irish declension, Irish conjugation, and
Irish is a fusional, VSO, nominative-accusative language. Irish is
neither verb nor satellite framed, and makes liberal use of deictic
Nouns decline for 3 numbers: singular, dual, plural; 2 genders:
masculine, feminine; and 4 cases: ainmneach (nominative and
accusative), gairmeach (vocative), ginideach (genitive), and
tabharthach (prepositional). Adjectives agree with nouns in number,
gender, and case. Adjectives generally follow nouns, though some
precede or prefix nouns.
Demonstrative adjectives have proximal,
medial, and distal forms. The prepositional case is called the dative
Verbs conjugate for 3 tenses: past, present, future; 2 aspects:
simple, habitual; 2 numbers: singular, plural; 4 moods: indicative,
subjunctive, conditional, imperative; relative forms; and in some
verbs, independent and dependent forms. Verbs conjugate for 3 persons
and an impersonal form in which no agent can be determined. There are
two verbs for "to be", one for inherent qualities, and one for
transient qualities. The passive voice and many other forms are
periphrastic. There are a number of preverbal particles marking the
negative, interrogative, subjunctive, relative clauses, etc. There is
a verbal noun, and verbal adjective. Verb forms are highly regular,
many grammars recognise only 11 irregular verbs.
Prepositions inflect for person and number. Different prepositions
govern different cases. Some prepositions govern different cases
depending on intended semantics. The word ag (at), becomes agam (at
me) in the first person singular. When used with the verb bí (to be),
ag indicates possession. Irish shares this attribute with Russian.
Tá leabhar agam. "I have a book." (Literally, "there is a book at
(on) me," cf. Russian "У меня есть книга")
Tá leabhar agat. "You have a book."
Tá leabhar aige. "He has a book."
Tá leabhar aici. "She has a book."
Tá leabhar againn. "We have a book."
Tá leabhar agaibh. "Ye have a book."
Tá leabhar acu. "They have a book."
Numerals have 4 forms: abstract, impersonal, personal, and ordinal.
"a dó" Two.
"dhá leabhar" Two books.
"beirt" Two people.
Main article: Irish initial mutations
In Irish, there are two classes of initial consonant mutations, which
express grammatical relationship and meaning in verbs, nouns and
Lenition (séimhiú) describes the change of stops into fricatives.
Indicated in Gaelic script by a sí buailte (a dot) written above the
consonant, it is shown in
Latin script by adding a h.
caith! "throw!" – chaith mé "I threw" (lenition as a past-tense
marker, caused by the particle do, now generally omitted)
gá "requirement" – easpa an ghá "lack of the requirement"
(lenition marking the genitive case of a masculine noun)
Seán "John" – a Sheáin! "John!" (lenition as part of the vocative
case, the vocative lenition being triggered by a, the vocative marker
Eclipsis (urú) covers the voicing of voiceless stops, and
nasalisation of voiced stops.
athair "father" – ár n-Athair "our Father"
tús "start", ar dtús "at the start"
Gaillimh "Galway" – i nGaillimh "in Galway"
Mutations are often the only way to distinguish grammatical forms. For
example, the only non-contextual way to distinguish possessive
pronouns "her," "his" and "their", is through initial mutations since
all meanings are represented by the same word a.
their shoe – a mbróg (eclipsis)
his shoe – a bhróg (lenition)
her shoe – a bróg (unchanged)
Due to initial mutation, prefixes, clitics, suffixes, root inflection,
ending morphology, elision, sandhi, epinthesis, and assimilation; the
beginning, core, and end of words can each change radically and even
simultaneously depending on context.
Main article: Irish orthography
Modern Irish traditionally used the ISO basic
Latin alphabet without
the letters j, k, q, w, x, y and z, but with the addition of one
diacritic sign, the acute accent (á é í ó ú), known in Irish as
the síneadh fada ("long mark"; plural: sínte fada). However, some
gaelicised words use those letters: for instance, 'Jeep' is written as
'Jíp' (the letter v has been naturalised into the language, although
it is not part of the traditional alphabet, and has the same
pronunciation as "bh"). In idiomatic English usage, this diacritic is
frequently referred to simply as the fada, where the adjective is used
as a noun. The fada serves to lengthen the sound of the vowels and in
some cases also changes their quality. For example, in
(Kerry), a is /a/ or /ɑ/ and á is /ɑː/ in "father" but in Ulster
Irish (Donegal), á tends to be /æː/.
Traditional orthography had an additional diacritic – a dot
over some consonants to indicate lenition. In modern Irish, the letter
h suffixed to a consonant indicates that the consonant is lenited.
Thus, for example, 'Gaelaċ' has become 'Gaelach'.
Around the time of the Second World War, Séamas Daltún, in charge of
Rannóg an Aistriúcháin (the official translations department of the
Irish government), issued his own guidelines about how to standardise
Irish spelling and grammar. This de facto standard was subsequently
approved by the State and called the Official Standard or Caighdeán
Oifigiúil. It simplified and standardised the orthography. Many words
had silent letters removed and vowel combination brought closer to the
spoken language. Where multiple versions existed in different dialects
for the same word, one or more were selected.
Gaedhealg / Gaedhilg(e) / Gaedhealaing / Gaeilic / Gaelainn /
Gaoidhealg / Gaolainn → Gaeilge, "Irish language"
Lughbhaidh → Lú, "Louth" (see
County Louth Historic Names)
biadh → bia, "food"
The standard spelling does not necessarily reflect the pronunciation
used in particular dialects. For example, in standard Irish, bia,
"food", has the genitive bia. In
Munster Irish, however, the genitive
is pronounced /bʲiːɟ/. For this reason, the spelling biadh is
still used by the speakers of some dialects, in particular those that
show a meaningful and audible difference between biadh (nominative
case) and bídh (genitive case) "of food, food's". In
latter spelling regularly produces the pronunciation /bʲiːɟ/
because final -idh, -igh regularly delenites to -ig in Munster
pronunciation. Another example would be the word crua, meaning "hard".
This pronounced /kruəɟ/ in Munster, in line with the
pre-Caighdeán spelling, cruaidh. In Munster, ao is pronounced /eː/
and aoi pronounced /iː/, but the new spellings of saoghal, "life,
world", genitive: saoghail, have become saol, genitive saoil. This
produces irregularities in the match-up between the spelling and
pronunciation in Munster, because the word is pronounced
/sˠeːl̪ˠ/, genitive /sˠeːlʲ/.
The dot-above diacritic, called a ponc séimhithe or sí buailte
(often shortened to buailte), derives from the punctum delens used in
medieval manuscripts to indicate deletion, similar to crossing out
unwanted words in handwriting today. From this usage it was used to
indicate the lenition of s (from /s/ to /h/) and f (from /f/ to zero)
Old Irish texts.
Lenition of c, p, and t was indicated by placing the letter h after
the affected consonant; lenition of other sounds was left unmarked.
Later both methods were extended to be indicators of lenition of any
sound except l and n, and two competing systems were used: lenition
could be marked by a buailte or by a postposed h. Eventually, use of
the buailte predominated when texts were written using Gaelic letters,
while the h predominated when writing using Roman letters.
Gaelic type and the buailte are rarely used except where a
"traditional" style is required, e.g. the motto on the University
Dublin coat of arms or the symbol of the
Irish Defence Forces, The
Irish Defence Forces cap badge
Irish Defence Forces cap badge (Óglaiġ na
h-Éireann). Letters with the buailte are available in
Latin-8 character sets (see
Latin Extended Additional chart).
Béarlachas, Anglicisms in Irish
Buntús Cainte, a course in basic spoken Irish
Irish language Society
Dictionary of the Irish Language
Scottish Gaelic and Irish
Goidelic substrate hypothesis
Hiberno-Latin, a variety of Medieval
Latin used in Irish monasteries.
It included Greek, Hebrew and Celtic neologisms.
Irish name and Place names in Ireland
Irish words used in the English language
Irish, a subject of the Junior Cycle examination in Secondary schools
in the Republic of Ireland
Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge
List of Irish-language media
List of artists who have released Irish-language songs
List of English words of Irish origin
List of Ireland-related topics
List of Irish-language given names
Modern literature in Irish
Status of the Irish language
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^ a b "7. The Irish language" (PDF). Cso.ie. Retrieved 24 September
^ a b "2011 Census, Key Statistics for Northern Ireland" (PDF).
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^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds.
Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute
for the Science of Human History.
^ "Definition : Gaelic". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 5
^ Dinneen, Patrick S. (1927). Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla (2d
ed.). Dublin: Irish Texts Society. pp. 507 s.v. Gaedhealg.
^ Doyle, Aidan; Edmund Gussmann (2005). An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik
Języka Irlandzkiego. pp. 423k.
^ Dillon, Myles; Donncha Ó Cróinín (1961). Teach Yourself Irish.
pp. 227. ISBN 0-340-27841-2.
Ireland speaks up loudly for Gaelic". New York Times. 29 March
2005. An example of the use of the word "Gaelic" to describe the
language, seen throughout the text of the article.
^ De Fréine, Seán (1978). The Great Silence: The Study of a
Relationship Between Language and Nationality. Irish Books &
Media. ISBN 978-0-85342-516-8.
^ a b Ó Gráda 2013.
^ ""The unadulterated Irish language": Irish Speakers in Nineteenth
Century New York New-York Historical Society". New-York Historical
Society. 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
^ See the discussion in Wolf, Nicholas M. (25 November 2014). An
Irish-Speaking Island: State, Religion, Community, and the Linguistic
Landscape in Ireland, 1770–1870. University of Wisconsin Press.
^ McMahon 2008, pp. 130–131.
Irish language and the Church of Ireland". Church of Ireland.
Ireland speaks up loudly for Gaelic". The New York Times. 29 March
^ Ó Murchú, Máirtín (1993). "Aspects of the societal status of
Modern Irish". In Martin J. Ball and James Fife (eds.). The Celtic
Languages. London: Routledge. pp. 471–90.
ISBN 0-415-01035-7. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list
^ "NUI Entry Requirements – Ollscoil na hÉireann – National
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^  Archived 30 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
^ 'Academic claims the forced learning of Irish "has failed",' Irish
Independent, Thursday 19 January 2006: Independent.ie
^ 'End compulsory Irish, says FG, as 14,000 drop subject,' Irish
Examiner, 4 May 2010: Irishexaminer.ie[permanent dead link] Retrieved
2 June 2010.
^ Donncha Ó hÉallaithe: "Litir oscailte chuig Enda Kenny": BEO.ie
^ Lorna Siggins, 'Study sees decline of Irish in Gaeltacht,' The Irish
Times, 16 July 2007: Highbeam.com
^ Nollaig Ó Gadhra, 'The
Gaeltacht and the Future of Irish, Studies,
Volume 90, Number 360
^ Welsh Robert and Stewart, Bruce (1996). 'Gaeltacht,' The Oxford
Companion to Irish Literature. Oxford University Press.
^ Hindley, Reg (1991). The Death of the Irish Language: A Qualified
Obituary. Taylor & Francis.
^ Magan, Manchán (9 January 2007). "Cá Bhfuil Na Gaeilg eoirí? *".
The Guardian. London.
^ See the discussion and the conclusions reached in 'Language and
Occupational Status: Linguistic Elitism in the Irish Labour Market,’
The Economic and Social Review, Vol. 40, No. 4, Winter, 2009, pp.
^ "Constitution of Ireland". Government of Ireland. 1 July 1937.
Archived from the original on 17 July 2009. Retrieved 19 June
^ "Over 2.3m people using language app to learn Irish". Rte.ie. 25
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^ "Ar fheabhas! President praises volunteer
Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
^ "Census of Population 2016 – Profile 10 Education, Skills and the
Irish Language - CSO - Central Statistics Office". Retrieved
^ a b Siggins, Lorna (6 January 2003). "Only 25% of Gaeltacht
households fluent in Irish – survey". The Irish Times.
^ Hindley 1991, Map 7: Irish speakers by towns and distinct electoral
divisions, census 1926.
^ "Coláiste Lurgan". Lurgan.biz. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
^ "CAIN: Issues: Language: O'Reilly, C. (1997) Nationalists and the
Irish Language in Northern Ireland: Competing Perspectives".
Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
^ GPPAC.net Archived 13 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Belfast Agreement – Full text – Section 6 (Equality) –
"Economic, Social and Cultural issues"". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 7
Irish language future is raised".
BBC News. 13 December 2006.
Retrieved 19 June 2007.
^ "'We will continue to campaign until we achieve equality for the
Connemara Journal. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 23
^ "Thousands call for Irish Language Act during Belfast rally".
Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
^ "Is í an Ghaeilge an 21ú teanga oifigiúil den Aontas Eorpach".
Archived from the original on 18 March 2008. Retrieved 14 June
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Retrieved 23 September 2017.
^ O Broin, Brian. "An Analysis of the Irish-Speaking Communities of
North America: Who are they, what are their opinions, and what are
their needs?". Academia. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
^ "1. Detailed Languages Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English
for the Population 5 Years and Over for the United States:
2006–2008", Language (table), Census, 2010
^ "Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 1 - CSO - Central Statistics
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^ Williams 1994, pp. 467–478.
^ Borde, Andrew (1870). F.J. Furnivall, ed. "The Fyrst Boke of the
Introduction of Knowledge". N. Trubner & Co.
^ "State of
Ireland & Plan for its Reformation" in State Papers
Ireland, Henry VIII, ii, 8.
^ a b c d See Fitzgerald 1984.
^ Cited in Ó Gráda 2013.
^ "The Doegen Records Web Project DHO". Dho.ie. 5 September 1928.
Retrieved 19 March 2016.
Douglas Hyde Opens 2RN 1 January 1926". RTÉ News. 15 February
^ Hamilton, John Noel (1974). A Phonetic Study of the Irish of Tory
Island, County Donegal. Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's
University of Belfast.
^ Lucas, Leslie W. (1979). Grammar of Ros Goill Irish, County Donegal.
Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast.
William Gerard commented as follows: "All Englishe, and the most
part with delight, even in Dublin, speak Irishe", while Richard
Stanihurst lamented that "When their posteritie became not altogither
so warie in keeping, as their ancestors were valiant in conquering,
Irish language was free dennized in the English Pale: this canker
tooke such deep root, as the bodie that before was whole and sound,
was by little and little festered, and in manner wholly putrified."
See "Tony Crowley, "The Politics of Language in
Ireland 1366–1922: A
Sourcebook" and Leerssen, Joep, Mere Irish and Fior-Ghael: Studies in
the Idea of Irish Nationality, Its Development and Literary Expression
Prior to the Nineteenth Century, University of Notre Dame Press 1997,
p. 51. ISBN 978-0268014278. There were still an appreciable
number of Irish speakers in
County Dublin at the time of the 1851
census: see Fitzgerald 1984.
^ See Ó hÓgáin 2011.
^ Berresford Ellis 1975, p. 156.
^ Quoted in Berresford Ellis, p. 193.
^ Berresford Ellis 1975, p. 190.
^ Caerwyn Williams & Uí Mhuiríosa 1979, p. 279 and 284.
^ Ní Mhunghaile 2010, pp. 239–276.
^ McCabe, p.31
^ Cited in Graham Kew (ed.), The Irish Sections of Fynes Moryson's
unpublished itinerary (IMC, Dublin, 1998), p. 50.
^ Ó Laoire 2007, p. 164.
^ Quoted in de Brún 2009, pp. 11–12.
^ Ó Conluain & Ó Céileachair 1976, pp. 148–153, 163–169,
^ Uí Mhuiríosa 1981, pp. 168–181.
^ a b Ó Broin, Brian (16 January 2010). "Schism fears for
Gaeilgeoirí". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
^ a b "Beginners' Blas". BBC. June 2005. Retrieved 18 March
^ "Irish Dialects". Irishlanguage.net. Retrieved 31 October
^ Niamh Ní Shúilleabháin (2 August 2012). "Caighdeán
Athbhreithnithe don Ghaeilge". Gaelport.com (in Irish). Retrieved 2
^ "An Caighdeán Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe" (PDF) (in
Irish). Seirbhís Thithe an Oireachtais. January 2012. Retrieved 2
August 2012. [dead link]
^ "An Caighdeán Oifigiúil" (PDF) (in Irish). January 2012. Retrieved
26 February 2018.
^ "Foilseacháin Rialtais / Government Publications—Don tSeachtain
dar críoch 25 Iúil 2012 / For the week ended 25 July 2012" (PDF) (in
Irish and English). Rialtas na hÉireann. 27 July 2012. p. 2.
Retrieved 2 August 2012. M67B Gramadach na Gaeilge 9781406425766 390
10.00 [permanent dead link]
^ Vivian Uíbh Eachach, ed. (January 2012). An Caighdeán
Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe (PDF) (in Irish). Seirbhís
Thithe an Oireachtais. p. 7. Rinneadh iarracht ar leith san
athbhreithniú seo foirmeacha agus leaganacha atá ar fáil go tréan
sa chaint sna mórchanúintí a áireamh sa Chaighdeán Oifigiúil
Athbhreithnithe sa tslí is go mbraithfeadh an gnáthchainteoir
mórchanúna go bhfuil na príomhghnéithe den chanúint sin aitheanta
sa Chaighdeán Oifigiúil agus, mar sin, gur gaire don ghnáthchaint
an Caighdeán Oifigiúil anois ná mar a bhíodh.
^ Vivian Uíbh Eachach, ed. (January 2012). An Caighdeán
Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe (PDF) (in Irish). Seirbhís
Thithe an Oireachtais. p. 7. Retrieved 2 August 2012. Triaileadh,
mar shampla, aitheantas a thabhairt don leathnú atá ag teacht ar
úsáid fhoirm an ainmnigh in ionad an ghinidigh sa chaint.
^ Doyle, Aidan; Gussmann, Edmund (2005). An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik
Języka Irlandzkiego. p. 412. ISBN 83-7363-275-1.
^ Doyle, Aidan; Gussmann, Edmund (2005). An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik
Języka Irlandzkiego. p. 417. ISBN 83-7363-275-1.
^ Dillon, Myles; Ó Cróinín, Donncha (1961). Teach Yourself Irish.
p. 6. ISBN 0-340-27841-2.
^ Doyle, Aidan; Gussmann, Edmund (2005). An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik
Języka Irlandzkiego. p. 432. ISBN 83-7363-275-1.
Unicode 5.0, "
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^ "CÉ FADA LE FÁN". Drb.ie. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
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