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Irish Language

Irish, or Irish Gaelic was the language historically spoken by the people of Ireland. Between the 17th and early 20th centuries, the Irish language gradually declined. However, in recent times there has been a revival of the Irish language. In West Belfast, Belfast’s Gaeltacht Quarter, Irish speakers preserve and promote the language through traditional Irish music, dance, song and festivals like the Féile An Phobail.

Dedicated venues such as the Cultúrlann McAdam O’Fiaich and An Droichead in Belfast and the Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin in Derry~Londonderry celebrate the Irish language and culture.

Evidence of the Irish language is found across Northern Ireland’s place names. Creag or Carraig is gaelic for ‘rock’ and gives Carrickfergus its name today (Carraig Fhearghais meaning ‘rock of Fergus’). The Irish word dún meaning ‘fort or stronghold’ is found in the names of Dundrum (Dún Droma, meaning ‘fort of the ridge’) and Dungannon (Dún Geanainn, meaning ‘Geanann's stronghold’).

To find out about the Ulster Scots Language click here.

Did You Know?

Ancestry Links

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland