Hear our native language spoken every day in Achill, Tourmakeady, and Ceathrú Thaigh/Erris
Only six out of Ireland’s 32 counties have a Gaeltacht (official Irish-speaking areas), where the language that has been spoken here for the last 4,000 years is still used as the main daily language. These places have an integrity that is evident; in everyday communication. 4,000 years ago their ancestors picked up a stone and called it a ‘cloch’, and they still do so today.
It is as though these Gaeltacht areas of Iorras (Erris), Acaill (Achill), Inis Bigil (Inishbiggle) and Tuar Mhic Éadaigh (Tourmakeady) are sanctuaries of old lore, rich in folklore, writing, music, historical and archaeological sites.
The population of the Mayo Gaeltacht is 11,000, although some claim that only 2,500 still speak Irish fluently. For a last vestige of pure, rich, melodious spoken Irish head north-west to Ceathrú Thaidhg, Ros Dubhach, and Eachléim in Erris and Fionnaithe in southern Mayo.
Irish language courses are available in most towns and at the traditional music summer schools held around the county.
The most fun way of learning Irish for young people is at Coláiste Acla, an Irish language outdoor adventure college on the Erris Peninsula. They mix Gaeilge lessons with canoeing, sailing, raft-building, coasteering, stand-up paddle-boarding, abseiling, archery and bog snorkelling.
Bain sult astu, as we say: Enjoy them!