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The Irish End Games, Books 1-3

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Old Irish byname meaning "armoured head" or "misshapen head"

Irish (), also referred to as Gaelic or Irish Gaelic, is a of the originating in and historically spoken by the . Irish is spoken as a by a small minority of Irish people, and as a by a rather larger group of non-native speakers. Irish enjoys status as the of the , and is an officially recognised . It is also among the official . The public body is responsible for the promotion of the language throughout the island of Ireland.

Irish was the predominant language of the Irish people for most of their recorded history, and they brought it with them to other regions, notably and the , where gave rise to and respectively. It has in Western Europe.

Derived from Irish meaning "black".

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From the Irish surname which means "son of Flannchadh"

Irish was the predominant language of the Irish people for most of their recorded history, and they brought it with them to other regions, notably and the , where gave rise to and respectively. It has in Western Europe.

The fate of the language was influenced by the increasing power of the English state in Ireland. Elizabethan officials viewed the use of Irish unfavourably, as being a threat to all things English in Ireland. Its decline began under English rule in the 17th century. In the latter part of the 19th century, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of speakers, beginning after the of 1845–52 (when Ireland lost 20–25% of its population either to emigration or death). Irish-speaking areas were hit especially hard. By the end of British rule, the language was spoken by less than 15% of the national population. Since then, Irish speakers have been in the minority. This is now the case even in some areas officially designated as part of the . Efforts have been made by the state, individuals and organisations to preserve, promote and revive the language, but with mixed results.