Irish Language – Gaelic
The main spoken language of Ireland is English, while more and more people would like this to change. The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs estimated in
2007 that 17,000 people lived in areas where Irish was the community
language, and a further 10,000 in areas where it is partly the
community language. But since Irish is an obligatory subject in schools, many more are reasonably fluent second-language speakers. Where Irish is spoken as a native language they are called Gaeltacht regions. These regions are known collectively as the Gaeltachtaí. These are in County Galway (Contae na Gaillimhe), including Connemara (Conamara), the Aran Islands (na hOileáin Árann), Carraroe (An Cheathrú Rua) and Spiddal (An Spidéal); on the west coast of County Donegal (Contae Dhún na nGall); in the part which is known as Tyrconnell (Tír Chonaill); and Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne) in County Kerry (Contae Chiarraí). Smaller ones also exist in Mayo (Contae Mhaigh Eo), Meath (Contae na Mí), Waterford (Contae Phort Láirge), and Cork (Contae Chorcaí).