Language in Ireland
Southern Irish Road Sign
The main language spoken on the island of Ireland is English although in parts of the country particularly the western coast Irish is still in use. These areas collectively known as the "Galetacht" comprise mainly of parts of counties Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo and Donegal. The survival of the language is encouraged and promoted by the Gaeltacht ministry formed in 1956. within the Galetacht area approximately 75% of the population are Irish speaking.
Irish is a Celtic language with Indo-European roots sometimes referred to as Gaelic it should be correctly defined as Irish Gaelic as Gaelic is also used to refer to the Scottish language. The name Gaelic is derived from the word Gale the name given to the Celts. The Irish word for the language is "Gaelige"
All of the above aside there is no problem for an "English" speaking visitor to Ireland and should you be fortunate enough to encounter an Irish Gaelic speaker you should take the opportunity to listen to the conversation
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