Gaeltacht or Gaedhealtacht (/ ɡ eɪ lt ə xt /; Irish pronunciation: [ɡeːl̪ˠt̪ˠəxt̪ˠ] or [ɡeːl̪ˠhəxt̪ˠ], plural Gaeltachtaí or Gaedhealtachtaí ) is an Irish-language word used to denote any particular Irish speaking region. In Ireland, the term Gaeltacht refers individually to any, or collectively all, of the district where the government recognizes that detirländska language is the dominant vernacular, or language in the home. [1] The boundaries of the Gaeltacht have included a high proportion of residents speaking since British colonization .

Gaeltacht districts first officially recognized in the 1920s, in the early years of the Irish Free State, after the Gaelic Revival, as part of a state policy aimed at restoring the Irish language. [2]

It is now recognized that the Gaeltacht is threatened with serious language decline. [3] The research published in 2015 showed that of the 155 electoral divisions in the Gaeltacht, only 21 are communities where Irish is spoken daily by 67% or more of the population. [4] [5] 67% is considered by some researchers as a trigger point for language survival. [4]


1926 the official Gaeltacht about after the first report of the Gaeltacht Commission Coimisiún na Gaeltachta . The exact boundaries are not defined. The ratio at the time was 25% + Irish-speaking, but in many cases the Gaeltacht status granted to areas that were linguistically weaker than this. The Irish Free State recognized that there were Irish-speaking or semi Irish-speaking districts in 15 of its 26 counties.

In the 1950s, entered another Gaeltacht Commission to the Gaeltacht boundaries were poorly defined. It is recommended to access the status of an area Gaeltacht based purely on the strength of the language there. Gaeltacht districts initially defined precisely in the 1950s, with the exception of many areas which had witnessed a decline in the language. This left Gaeltacht areas in seven of the state’s 26 counties (nominally Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Kerry, Cork, Meath and Waterford). Gaeltacht boundaries have not officially changed since then, apart from minor changes:

  • The introduction of a Clochán ( Cloghane ) and CE Bhréanainn (Brandon ) in County Kerry in 1974;
  • The introduction of part of West Muskerry in County Cork (although the Irish-speaking population had been severely reduced from what it had been before 1950); and
  • The introduction of Baile Ghib ( Gibstown) and Ráth Chairn (Rathcarran ) in Meath in 1967.

Gaeltacht today

A study in 2005 by an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (Education Council for Gaeltacht and Irish-medium schools was established in 2002 under the Education Act 1998) said that Gaeltacht schools were facing a crisis and that without support some of them would be teaching through Irish in 20 year. This would threaten the future of the Gaeltacht. The parents believed that education interrupted their efforts to pass on the Irish as a living language to their children. The study added that a large number of Gaeltacht schools had switched to teaching through English, and others were wavering. [6]

In 2002 the third Coimisiún na Gaeltachta stated in its report [7] to the erosion of Irish in the Gaeltacht was now so it was only a matter of time before the Gaeltacht disappeared. In some areas, the Irish had already ceased to be a community language. Even in the strongest Gaeltacht areas, current patterns of bilingualism leads to the dominance of English. Policies of the state and voluntary groups had no effect. A new language enhancement strategy was required, one that had the confidence of the Community itself.The Commission recommended, among other things, that the boundaries of the official Gaeltacht should be redrawn. It also recommended a comprehensive linguistic study to assess the viability of the Irish language in the remaining Gaeltacht districts.

The study was conducted by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge (part of the National University of Ireland, Galway), and November 1, 2007 Staidéar Cuimsitheach Teangeolaíoch s USAID na Gaeilge said Ghaeltacht ( “a comprehensive linguistic study of the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht”) appeared. [ 8] As for the Gaeltacht boundaries, it suggested creating three linguistic regions within the Gaeltacht region:

  • A – 67% / + daily Irish language – Irish as the dominant language of the EU
  • B – 44% -66% daily Irish language – Swedish dominant, with large Irish-speaking minority
  • C – 43% / – daily Irish speaking – English dominant, but with Irish-speaking minority much higher than the national average of Irish language

The report proposes that Category A districts should be the state’s priority to provide services through Irish and development activities and the category C areas show a further decline in the use of Irish should lose their Gaeltacht status.

Census data in 2006 show that of the 95,000 people living within the official Gaeltacht, about 17,000 belonged to Category A areas, 10,000 of category B and 17,000 in category C, which means that about 50,000 in Gaeltacht areas that do not meet the minimum criteria. [9 ] in response to this situation, the Government introduced the Gaeltacht Bill 2012. Its stated purpose was to introduce a new definition of limits based on language criteria, but it has been criticized for doing the opposite of this. Critics acclaimed Section 7 of the bill, which stated that all areas “currently in the Gaeltacht” would maintain their current Gaeltacht status, regardless of whether the Irish actually used. This status can only be revoked if the area failed to prepare a language plan (with no necessary relation to the actual number of speakers).[10] The bill was also criticized for placing all responsibility for the maintenance of the Irish on NGOs, with no increase in resources. [11]

The annual report 2012 of the Language Commissioner for Irish reinforced this criticism by emphasizing the failure of the state to provide Irish language services to Irish speakers in Gaeltacht and elsewhere. The report said that the Irish in the Gaeltacht was now the most fragile and that the State could not expect that the Irish would survive as a community language if the state itself is kept forcing English Gaeltacht communities. [12]

Publicerades en rapport som in 2015, Update en Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht: 2006-2011 , att the nuvarande indikatorer Sade, kommer att irländska upphör användas gemenskap en som inom tio språk in Gaeltacht on. [13] Detta konstaterande har inte funnit allmän acceptans.


Road sign, which means “give way” or “Yield”, in County Waterford

The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, chaired by Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, is responsible for the overall Irish Government policy in relation to the Gaeltacht, and supervises the work of Údarás na Gaeltachta and other agencies. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta is Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) radio station serving the Gaeltacht and Irish speakers in general. TG4 is the television station that focuses on promoting the Irish language and is based in GalwayGaeltacht.

In March 2005, the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó CUÍV announced that the government of Ireland would begin listing only irländskaspråkversionerna of place names in Gaeltachtaí as the official name, stripping official Ordnance Survey of their English counterparts, bringing them up to date with the signs in Gaeltacht, which has been in Irish only since 1970. This occurred during a placental orders made under the law on official languages. [14]

Gaeltacht in Irland


At the time of the 2006 census in Ireland, the population of the Gaeltacht was 91,862, [15] about 2.1% of the state’s 4,239,848 people, with large concentrations of Irish speakers located in the western counties of Donegal, Mayo, Galway and Kerry. [16] it were smaller concentrations in the counties of Cork and Waterford in the south and Meath in the east.

The percentage of respondents who said they spoke Irish daily outside the education census 2011.

Gaeltacht districts have historically suffered from mass emigration. [17] to be at the edge of the island they always had fewer railways and roads, and less land to farm. Other influences have been the arrival of families speaking non-Irish, the marginal role of the Irish language in the education system and the general pressure from the English-speaking community. [18] There is no evidence that periods of relative prosperity has considerably improved the situation of the language.

Donegal Gaeltacht

Of Donegal (eller Tyrconnell) Gaeltacht (irländsk: Gaeltacht [County] Donegal eller Donegal Gaeltacht ) [19] [20] har en befolkning på 24.744 [21](Census 2011) och representerar 25% av of totala Gaeltacht befolkningen.Donegal Gaeltacht geografiskt omfattar ETT område av 1502 km 2 (580 sq mi). Detta motsvarar av 26% of totala landyta Gaeltacht. De tre församlingarna in the Rosses, Gweedore Cloughaneely utgör of viktigaste och av centrum befolkningen in Donegal Gaeltacht. Det finns irländska talare over 17.132, 14.500 in områden our 30-100% av det Talas befolkningen av 2500 och in områden our mindre av det Talas 30%. 2.436 on 2006 fanns det en heltid anställda in kapacitet in Gaeltachtakundföretag Authority in Donegal Gaeltacht. Denna är särskilt populärt region in Ulster dialekt studenter bland; varje on tusentals studenter besöka från området Wales.Donegal Gaeltacht regionerna är som Unik in that accent och är dialekt omisskännligt karaktär Norra. Manga har med Språket likheter skotska, som inte är uppenbara in andra irländska dialekter.

Gweedore in County Donegal is the largest Gaeltacht parish in Ireland, which is home to the regional studios RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta . It has produced well-known traditional musicians, including bands Altan and Clannad, as well as the artist Enya.

Galway Gaeltacht

Of County Galway (Irish: Gaeltacht Galway ) och Galway City (Irish:Gaeltacht Galway City ) Gaeltacht [22] har på en sammanlagd befolkning 48.907 [23] och av representerar 47% of totala befolkning Gaeltacht. Galway Gaeltacht geografiskt omfattar ETT område av 1225 km 2 (473 sq mi). Detta motsvarar av 26% of Gaeltacht totala landyta.De flesta högtalare är Regionen belägna in Connemara. By största bostadsområden och är Spiddal Carraroe.Carraroe 48 km (30 mi) vaster om Galway City, medan Spiddal 19 km (12 mi) vaster om Galway City. [ Behövd stämning ] Det finns 30,978 irländska talare in Gaeltacht, 11.000 irländska högtalare in Gaeltacht Connemara och South Connemara området inklusive deAranöarna sträcker Carna sig från och Annan Gap till 5000-7000 in North Connemara (inklusive gränsområdet med County Mayo) cirka 4000 och som bor irländska talare in our språket Talas områden av 30% av mindre befolkningen.

There is also a third level constituent College of NUIG called Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in a Cheathrú Rua and Carna. The national Irish-language radiostationenRaidió na Gaeltachta is situated in Casla, Foinsenewspaper in Carraroe and the national television station TG4 in Baile na hAbhann. Galway is home to the Irish theater Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe.

Kerry Gaeltacht

The Kerry Gaeltacht (Irish: Gaeltacht [Chontae] Chiarraí ) [24] consists of two areas – the western half of the Gaeltacht Corca Dhuibhne ( Dingle ) and the central and western parts avIveragh Peninsula ( Uibh Ráthach ). The largest settlement in Corca Dhuibhne is Dingle and the largest in the Iveragh Peninsula is Ballinskelligs. Kerry Gaeltacht has a population of 8.729 (6185 Irish speakers) [25] and represents 9% of the total Gaeltacht population. Kerry Gaeltacht encompasses a geographical area of 642 km 2 (248 sq mi). This represented 9% of the total Gaeltacht area. [26]

Mayo Gaeltacht

The Mayo Gaeltacht (Irish: Gaeltacht [Chontae] Mhaigh Eo ) [27] in 2011, has a total population of 10,886 [28] and represents 11.5% of total Gaeltacht befolkningen.Mayo Gaeltacht encompasses a geographical area of 905 km 2(349 sq mi). This represents 19% of total Gaeltacht land area and consists of three different areas – Erris, Achill Island and Toormakeady. Béal an Mhuirthead (Belmullet) is the largest city in the Mayo Gaeltacht and is 72 kilometers (45 mi) from Ballina, 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Castlebar, 110 kilometers (68 mi) from Ireland West Airport Knock. [ Citation needed ] it is 6.667[28] Irish speakers, with 4,000 living in areas where the language is spoken by 30-100% of the population in 2500 and live in areas where it is spoken by less than 30%.

Cork Gaeltacht

The Cork Gaeltacht (Irish: Gaeltacht [Chontae] Chorcaí ) [29] consists of two areas – Muskerry and Cape Clear Island. The Muskerry Gaeltacht has a population of 3,895 people (2,951 Irish speakers) [30] and represents 4% of the total Gaeltacht population. Cork Gaeltacht encompasses a geographical area of 262 km 2 (101 sq mi). This corresponds to 6% of the total Gaeltacht area. Muskerry The largest settlements are the villages of Baile Mhic IRE (Ballymakeera), Baile Bhuirne (Ballyvourney) and Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh (Ballingeary) .Cill na Martra (Kilnamartyra)

Waterford Gaeltacht

The Waterford Gaeltacht ( Waterford Gaeltacht , Irish: Gaeltacht [County] Waterford ) [31] [32] [33] är tio Kilometer (sex miles) om vaster Dungarvan. Det omfattar församlingarna in gCuanach Ui Rinn (Ring) och The Old People (Old Parish). The Waterford Gaeltacht har på en befolkning personer 1,784 (1,271 irländska högtalare) [34] och av representerar 2% of totala befolkning Gaeltacht. The Waterford Gaeltacht geografiskt omfattar ETT område av 62 km 2 (24 sq mi). Detta motsvarar 1% of totala av område Gaeltacht. [ Behövd stämning ]

All education in Gaeltacht na nDéise performed via an Irish. There are two kindergartens, two primary schools national level, a gymnasium, Meánscoil San Nioclás and Coláiste na Rinne, a private boarding school and summer college.Gaeltacht na nDéise was one of the few Gaeltacht areas where the proportion of daily Irish speakers rose in the latest updated comprehensive linguistinc examination of the Gaeltacht.

Meath Gaeltacht

The Meath Gaeltacht (Irish: Gaeltacht [Chontae] na Mi ) [35] is the smallest Gaeltacht area and consists of the two villages Ráth Cairn and Baile Ghib.Navan, 8 km (5 mi) from Baile Ghib, the main urban center in the region, with a population of more than 20,000. The Meath Gaeltacht has a population of 1771 [36] , representing 2% of the total Gaeltacht population.Meath Gaeltacht encompasses a geographical area of 44 km 2 (17 sq mi). This represents a% of the total land area Gaeltacht.

The Meath Gaeltacht has a story quite different than the country’s other Irish speaking regions. The two Gaeltachtaí Baile Ghib and Ráth Cairn is resettlement communities. Rath Cairn Gaeltacht was founded in 1935 when 41 families from Connemara in West Galway resettled on land previously acquired by the Irish Land Commission. Each received 9 hectares (22 acres) of the estate. Baile Ghib (formerly Gibbstown) was determined in the same way in 1937, along with Baile Ailin (formerly Allentown). During the first years a large proportion of the population returned to Galway or emigrated, but enough Irish speakers remained to Ráth Cairn and Baile Ghib awarded Gaeltacht status in 1967. The original purpose of spreading the Irish language in the local community met with no success, and the colony must be bilingual. [37]

Northern Ireland

See also: Irish division

There were areas in Northern Ireland which would have qualified as Gaeltacht districts (in four of its six municipalities) at the time of partition in 1921, but the government in Northern Ireland passed no legislation to ensure this. The language was banned in state schools within a decade of the partition, and public signs in Irish were effectively banned under laws that Northern Ireland Assembly, which stated that only English could be used. [Citation needed ]

In 2001, however, ratified the British Government European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Irish (Northern Ireland) stated under Part III of the Charter, which provides a status comparable to the Welsh language or Scottish. This included the company in relation to education, the translation of the Constitution, dealing with the authorities, the use of placenta, access to the media, support for cultural activities and other issues. Compliance with the State’s obligations are assessed regularly by an expert committee of the Council of Europe. [38]


The Gaeltacht Quarter, Belfast ( Chart Cheathrú Ghaeltachta ) is an area of Belfast where the Irish language is actively promoted. It is generally along the Falls Road and has Gaelscoileanna (Irish-medium primary schools), a Gaelcholáiste (Irish medium school) and Naíonraí (kindergartens), along with a restaurant and a body in which Irish is used and Culturlann , a cultural center that also houses Raidió Fáilte ( Northern Ireland’s only full-time Irish-language broadcast station). This has increased from Shaws Road Gaeltacht in urban southwest of Belfast. St. Mary’s University Belfast, also located on the Falls Road, is the only teaching college with a dedicated Irish Medium Unit. It is also home to a t-Aisionad (resource) that translates literature in Irish and publish it for use in schools and other organizations in Ireland.

County Londonderry

An area in the south of the county Derry centered on Slaghtneill ( Sleacht Neill ) and Carntogher ( Carn Tóchair ), who had gone from being 50% Irish speaking in 1901 to have only a few speakers at the end of the century has seen a language revival since the establishment of a naíscoil 1993, and a Gaelscoil in 1994. in 2008, two local organizations launched a “strategy for the rebirth of the Gaeltacht,” based on Irish medium primary and secondary schools. Speaking at the launch, Éamon Ó CUÍV, Republic Minister for the Gaeltacht, said the area was “an example for other areas throughout Ireland working to reestablish Irish as a community language.” [39]



Dublin and its suburbs reported to be the site of the largest number of daily Irish speakers, with 14.229 people speak Irish daily, which represents 18 percent of all daily speakers. [40] In a survey of a small sample of adults who grew up in Dublin and had completed full-time study, 54% of respondents reported no fluency in Irish, from being able to make small talk to complete fluency. Only 19% of Irish speakers spoke three or more times per week, with numerous (43%) speak Irish less than once every two weeks. [41]

It was reported by Nuacht TG4 January 13, 2009 as a group in the Dublin suburb of Ballymun, in conjunction with the local branch of Glor na Gaelhad received planning permission to build 38 homes for an Irish-speaking community, or “urban Gaeltacht”. [ Citation needed ] This project was based on the significant local support for language, because there are 4 Gaelscoileanna and Naíonra in (nursery) in the area. There have been no reports of further progress with this project.

West Clare

Parts of County Clare recognized as Gaeltacht areas following the recommendations of Coimisiún na Gaeltachta 1925. This was adopted by law under the Gaeltacht (Housing) appears to 1929-2001. There were Irish speakers iKilmihil west of Ennis, Kilrush, Doonbeg, Doolin, Ennistimon, Carrigaholt, Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan. [42]

In West Clare called a group Coiste Forbartha Gaeltachta Chontae a Chlair (Clare Gaeltacht Development Committee) seeks to have the area recognized once more as a Gaeltacht. It has been argued that native speakers received grants under Scéim Labhairt na Gaeilge, a system first established by the state in 1933 to promote the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht regions, still live in the county and speak the language daily. It has also been argued that it is up to 170 people in County Clare who daily speak Irish. [43] The committee aims to develop local networks among Irish speakers in County Clare and elsewhere until recognition is obtained. [44]

“In Ard a Tráthnóna Siar” [2012-2015] is a Kilmihil-based Irish language magazine devoted to the restoration of traditional Irish in West Clare.

North America

The independent North American Gaeltacht is an area near Erinsville, Ontario, Canada. It has no permanent residents but serves as a resource center for Irish speakers throughout North America. It was inaugurated in 2007. [45]

colleges Irish

Irish colleges are residential Irish language summer courses that give students the opportunity to be completely immersed in the language, usually for periods of three weeks during the summer months. During these courses students attend classes and participate in a variety of activities, games, music, art and sports.

As with conventional schools, Ministry of Education sets out the requirements for class sizes and qualifications required of teachers. Some courses are college-based and provide for the housing with host families in Gaeltacht areas such as Ros Muc in Galway and Ráth Cairn in County Meath, Teileann and Rann na Feirste in County Donegal receives instructions from abean An Ti , or Irish-speaking landlady. [46 ]

See also

  • Irish
  • ulster Irish
  • Connacht Irish
  • Munster Irish
  • Údarás na Gaeltachta – Regional government agency responsible for the development of the Gaeltacht regions.
  • Gaeltarra Ireland – ersätts 1980 av Údarás na Gaeltachta
  • Gàidhealtachd – equivalent region for Scottish
  • Y Fro Gymraeg – the corresponding region for Welsh


  1. Jump up ^ Webster’s Dictionary – the definition of the Gaeltacht
  2. Jump up ^ Maguire, Peter A. (Fall 2002). “Language and Landscape in the Connemara Gaeltacht.” Journal of Modern literature. 26 (1) :. 99-107 doi: 10.2979 / JML.2002.26.1.99.
  3. Jump up ^ Mac Donnacha, Joe, “The death of a language,” Dublin Review of Books , Issue 58, June 16, 2014: http: //
  4. ^ Jump up to: ab RTÉ News report Friday, May 29, 2015
  5. Hoppa upp ^ UPDATE ON COMPREHENSIVE LINGUISTIC STUDY Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht: 2006-2011
  6. Jump up ^ Walshe, John (11 June 2005). “Number Gaeltacht schools using Irish” steep decline “.” Irish Independent.
  7. Jump up ^ “Report of the Gaeltacht Commission” (PDF). 2002. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  8. Jump up ^
  9. Jump up ^ “Census 2006 – Volume 9 – Irish Language”. CSO. In 2007.
  10. Jump up ^ “flawed Gaeltacht Bill in need of brave audit”. The Irish Times. July 3, 2012.
  11. Hoppa upp ^ From hÉallaithe, Denis (juli 2012). “Borders Gaeltacht under New Bill”. Live.
  12. Hoppa upp ^ “Annual Report 2012 Annual Report” (PDF). En Language Commissioner. 2012.
  13. Hoppa upp ^ “Update en Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht: 2006-2011” (PDF) .Údarás Gaeltacht. 2015.
  14. Jump up ^ Irish Statute Book
  15. Jump up ^ Census 2006 Principal Demographic Results; table 33
  16. Jump up ^ Map of An Ghaeltacht , Údarás na Gaeltachta
  17. Jump up ^ Kearns, Kevin C. “resuscitation of the Irish Gaeltacht” (PDF).pp. 88-89.
  18. Jump up ^ For a description of this in a local area and the measures taken to counter it, .
  19. Jump up ^
  20. Jump up ^
  21. Jump up ^ “Gaeltacht area of Donegal”. Central Bureau of Statistics .2011.
  22. Jump up ^
  23. Jump up ^ “Galway Gaeltacht area”. Central Bureau of Statistics . 2011.
  24. Jump up ^
  25. Jump up ^ “Kerry Gaeltacht area”. Central Bureau of Statistics . 2011.
  26. Jump up ^
  27. Jump up ^
  28. ^ Jump up to: ab “Mayo Gaeltacht area”. Central Bureau of Statistics.2011.
  29. Jump up ^
  30. Jump up ^ “Cork Gaeltacht area”. Central Bureau of Statistics. 2011.
  31. Jump up ^
  32. Jump up ^
  33. Jump up ^
  34. Jump up ^ “Gaeltacht area of Waterford.” Central Bureau of Statistics .2011.
  35. Jump up ^
  36. Jump up ^ “Meath Gaeltacht area”. Central Bureau of Statistics . 2011.
  37. Jump up ^ Stenson, Nancy (spring 1986). “Language Report: Rath Cairn, the youngest Gaeltacht”. Éire-Ireland: 107-118.
  38. Jump up ^ Statute of the Council Monitoring Report 2010
  39. Jump up ^ Irish-medium Education backbone of the strategy for the new Gaeltacht in south Derry, Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta, January 2008. Accessed 5 April 2011
  40. Jump up ^ “Profile 9 What We Know – Education, skills and Irish”. CSO.22 November 2012.
  41. Jump up ^ Carty, Nicola. “The first official language? Status of Irish in Dublin “(PDF).
  42. Hoppa upp ^ Se dialekterna in County Clare , del 1 och del 2, Talk en Clare , Part en och Part 2, neighbors Listen And Other Songs som en Clare County och Book Stephen O Ealaoire . (ISBN 978-0-906426-07-4).
  43. Jump up ^ “public meeting at Clare Gaeltacht Revival”. 27 January 2012.
  44. Jump up ^ “Gaeltacht peer pressure politicians”. Clare Champion.February 16, 2012.
  45. Jump up ^ “Gaeltacht Cheanada – Canada’s Gaeltacht”. Fora na Gaeilge. 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  46. Hoppa upp ^ “Son Bhricne Magee College celebrates 60 years”. Other mood. 2015. Hämtad 12 Augusti skrevs of 2015.