July 22, 2013 at 8:00 am #36573
I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be able to afford to do this, but I’ve started thinking about the possibility of going to Ireland. I was there once about 15 years ago for two weeks and just did a bit of a roundabout tour. This time I want to basically rent a house or some other lodging in a place with the highest concentration of actual Irish speakers and stay there for a while. So I’m trying to figure out the ideal place to do this, but it’s hard for me to know without going there where you can still actually find such towns. So I’m turning to people here for suggestions (obviously the folks who live in Ireland will probably be most qualified for this, but people who have made similar visits in the past may also know). Be as specific as possible, down to the town, not the county. I’m mostly interested in Connacht Irish, somewhat Munster, but I’m open to other suggestions as well. One other consideration is that I live in a forested area and I love trees. I know that Ireland is one of the most deforested countries in Europe, but I know there are some really nice forests there too, so if possible one that is located near a known wooded area. I know there are supposed to be some forests in Cork county but not sure how these correspond to the Gaeltacht locations. I also found that there’s a nice wooded area in Tuar Mhic Éadaidh which I believe is in the heart of an Irish speaking area. The problem with that is that it looks very small, and I guess the bigger the town, the easier it will be to find places to rent. I look forward to hearing suggestions!July 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm #44116DáithíParticipant
Take a break from the trees – there are so many other things to look at when in Ireland.
Consider Glen Colmcille – they speak Irish up there. And it’s so beautiful.July 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm #44117
Oh I’ve been there. I am really aiming more for any of the other dialects though. If I started trying to learn Ulster Irish now, I’d be set back quite a bit. And it’s not to say I need to be surrounded by trees, but it would be nice if it wasn’t totally barren. It seems in County Cork there are a bunch of wooded areas. A piece I watched about Abhainn Mhór looked beautiful and definitely the kind of place I could hunker down.July 24, 2013 at 2:12 am #44119Bríd MhórParticipant
There are LOADS of trees in Connemara.
There is a small wood near Spideál village.
And in more remote areas there are thousands of acres of Coilte forests and national parks.
But possibly generally speaking the more trees the less Irish. 🙂July 24, 2013 at 2:46 am #44120
Connemara is definitely a candidate. Baile Bhúirne is also looking quite appealing the more I look into it. The Blackwater River areas in general look amazing, but only a couple of Gaeltachts, it seems.
I love all these suggestions though, so keep them coming! 🙂August 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm #44166Daithi CarrParticipant
the Múscraí area in cork has lots of trees, but no where near as much Irish as corca dhuibhne, which is itself a bit shy of trees.
corca dhuibhne has the benefit of the town of Dingle, which while Irish is the second language there, you will hear it regularly and most will understand it.
What time of the year are you planning on going? as in the summer there will be more tourists , so houses cost a lot more and the proportion of Irish speakers greatly reduced.August 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm #44167aonghusParticipant
Tá an Ghaeilge láidir go maith i gCúil Aodha i Múscraí
Níl cúrsaí i mbaile Bhúirne chomh folláin sin ó thaobh na Gaeilge, bheadh ort í a lorg ann.
Is beag mo chuir amach ar an Iarthar.
Tá cuid mhaith Gaeilge laistiar den Daingean, ach is ceantar láidir turasóireachta ata ann freisin. Lasmuigh den séasúir is mó seans go gcloisfeá í.August 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm #44177
Yeah, I guess to be clear, the priority is of course the Irish prevalence in the area. Trees are something I love, but it doesn’t have to be a gigantic forest or anything. I just prefer it’s not totally barren, but even that is not something I’m completely against, I just figured I feel more at home if there are a few trees breaking up the landscape.
Cuil Aodha is a good candidate. I guess the other criteria would be places where you can casually use Irish without either going to an organized class or without having to trespass on someone’s sheep farm just to find someone who even speaks it and probably doesn’t want to talk to you because they’re busy with work.August 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm #44179Daithi CarrParticipant
corca dhubhine would probably be the best area in Munster as its the largest area and fairly easy to find Irish speakers. just step out the door and talk to someone and odds are they will have Irish.August 20, 2013 at 7:33 am #44215
If you’re looking for the highest concentration of Irish speakers, you should probably head to Oileán Thoraigh. As for a larger area, it must be the Gaeltacht of Conamara Theas. Virtually everybody speaks Irish in Ros Muc, Camas, Leitir Móir, Cill Chiaráin, Garmna, Béal an Daingin etc.
Then again, concentration of Irish speakers alone should hardly decide it, as there are luckily enough quite a few places where Irish is spoken by most people. Goes for the whole NW of Donegal (Mín an Chladaigh, Gort a’ Choirce, Gaoth Dobhair, Bun Beag, Cnoc Fola, Rann na Féirste, Dún Lúiche…) Lughaidh will know more about that. In Northern Mayo, I’m afraid you’re restricted to Ceathrú Thaidhg, though that’s a gorgeous area. In addition to the locations in Conamara Theas mentioned above, the whole coast of Cois Fharraige is mainly Irish speaking from An Spidéal (least) to Ros a’ Mhíl (most). And outside Cill Rónáin, the Aran Islands are entirely Irish speaking. Same thing goes in Munster. The coast between Ceann Sléibhe and Pointe an Choma Dhóite is completely Irish speaking, including the villages of Dún Chaoin, Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, An Mhuiríoch, Baile na nGall, An Fheothanach, Baile an Chnocáin etc. Besides, Ceann Trá and the hamlets around are also mainly Irish speaking. Absolutely stunning area, and a number of courses for adults throughout the year. Or if you want to head inland, Cúil Aodha is great place to speak Irish, and you’d have no problem finding Irish speakers in Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh or Baile Bhúirne, though the latter two are not quite as strongly Irish as all the other places I’ve mentioned.
The only place mentioned here where you should not go, if speaking Irish is your intetion, is Tuar Mhic Éadaigh. I’m afraid very little Irish is spoken there these days, but if you head 10km south of Tuar Mhic Éadaigh to Fionnaithe, you’ll hear South Mayo Irish all around you.August 21, 2013 at 8:37 am #44220
Wow, thanks for all that information, Jonas! 🙂 Have you visited all those areas? Lucky you.August 21, 2013 at 9:43 am #44222
There was a time when I spent most of my holidays sna Gaeltachtaí. But no, I haven’t visited all of those above (though I have visited quite a few not mentioned there), but almost. I’ve never been to Mayo, and I’ve never been to Oiléain Thoraigh. As for the Donegal Gaeltacht, I’ve only spent some days there, mainly in Cnoc Fola and Gaoth Dobhair though I visited all of the places I’ve listed there except Dún Lúiche. I lived and worked in the Galway Gaeltacht so I’ve visited all places I mention there. I’ve visited Corca Dhuibhne many times, so I know the villages there quite well, but my experience of Cúil Aodha, Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh and Baile Bhúirne is also limited to a visit of three days.August 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm #44228
Mhanam, tá mé in éad leat anois! 🙂 Casadh fear as Gaeltacht Thuar Mhic Éadaigh orm le gairid agus togha na Gaeilge aige siúd, ach níl a fhios ‘am cérbh as é go díreach. Ar an taobh eile, bhí mé ag rothaíocht i gCiarraí blianta ó shin agus scannán nua uaim le haghaidh an cheamara, ach ní raibh freagra ar bith ag cailín an tsiopa, nuair a chuir mé ceist uirthi. Seans go raibh blas aisteach ar mo chuid Gaeilge nó gur cheap sí gur cigire a bhí ionam.August 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm #44229
Ar an taobh eile, bhí mé ag rothaíocht i gCiarraí blianta ó shin agus scannán nua uaim le haghaidh an cheamara, ach ní raibh freagra ar bith ag cailín an tsiopa, nuair a chuir mé ceist uirthi. Seans go raibh blas aisteach ar mo chuid Gaeilge nó gur cheap sí gur cigire a bhí ionam.
Mhuise, is ait é sin – cá rabhais? Bím ag labhairt na Gaelainne i gcónaí i gCorca Dhuibhne, agus níor bhuaileas riamh le éinne ná raibh an teanga aige.August 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm #44230
Sa bhFeothanach a bhí mé, creidim. Ach mar a deirim, is dócha gur ormsa agus ar mo chuid droch-Ghaeilge a bhí an locht.
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