Irish Language: The Clare Dialect

 

Irish Language In County Clare đŸ—Łïž: What dialect did those who lived in County Clare speak? Are they similar or quite different from its neighbouring places? Discover more by reading this blog.

 

It is always quite a blast exploring every single detail – no matter how big or small – in learning the Irish language. I, in particular, love studying and talking about various Irish language dialects. I never get bored whenever I talk about Irish, after all!

 

Of course, we have already discussed three of the most common and primary Irish dialects today, which I will enumerate below:

Ar ndĂłigh, phlĂ©amar cheana fĂ©in trĂ­ cinn de na canĂșintĂ­ Gaeilge is coitianta agus bunscoile inniu, a ĂĄiritheoidh mĂ© thĂ­os:

 

 

In this blog, we will first talk about interesting facts and information we should know about County Clare. We will also talk about spoken Irish in County Clare. And finally, in particular, we will cover which of the dialect above County Clare mostly resembles. Read on to learn more below.

 

 


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Irish language in County Clare: everything you need to know

 

First, let us talk about the place they call County Clare before delving deeper and discovering its spoken Irish language dialect.

Ar dtĂșs, dĂ©anaimis labhairt faoin ĂĄit a dtugaimid Contae an ChlĂĄir sula ndĂ©anaimid iniĂșchadh nĂ­os doimhne agus a chanĂșint labhartha Gaeilge a fhĂĄil amach.

 

Of course, County Clare is one of the numerous counties found in Ireland. This county is located in the Mid-West region and the province of Munster, surrounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. In the 2016 census. County Clare had a population of 118, 817 at the time. There, Ennis (the county town) has the most amount of people.  Additionally, we can call the local authority there as Clare County Council. That is a lot of Cs!

 

An interesting fact you need to know about Co. Clare

 

Did you know that County Clare (or Co. Clare – both referring to the same county) houses the earliest evidence of human activity recorded in Ireland? There, historians and researchers found the patella of a bear subjected to butchering around the time of its death a very long time ago in the Alic and Gwendoline Cave near the Edenvale House, Clarecastle.

 

“How old is it?” you ask? Well, the answer: very! The features of the bones and cuts were dated to around 10,500 BC, from the Paleolithic era.

 

Now, back to the main discussion: talking about Irish language in County Clare, more specifically its dialect.

Anois, ar ais go dtĂ­ an prĂ­omhphlĂ©: ag caint faoi Ghaeilge i gContae an ChlĂĄir, go sonrach a chanĂșint.

 

Irish language in County Clare: dialect resemblance

 

Which dialect resembles Count Clare Irish language dialect the most?

CĂ©n chanĂșint atĂĄ cosĂșil le canĂșint Gaeilge Count Clare is mĂł?

 

Some argued that it is a mix between Kerry And Conamara Irish. Others, however, says that dialect spoken in Clare closely resembled Munster dialect. Irish was especially common there back then. It was widely spoken in West Clare, which, of course, includes areas such as Doolin that were close to the Aran Islands.

 

In Northwest Clare, we can find two of the last native Irish speakers and discover their dialect as reported by poet, playwright and accomplished broadcaster Liam Ó Muirthile. He went to the Burren where, as mentioned already, talked to the two remaining native Irish speakers.

 

By that time, there were only a handful of speakers of that particular dialect left and by recording two of them Liam Ó Muirthile preserved for us a little piece of socio-linguistic history.

 

The speakers he recorded lived along the coast between Murroogh (MuiriĂșch) and Fanore (FĂĄnĂłir), the terminus of the dialect continuum of the Gaelic language, which once covered all of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.

 

Liam spoke first to Tomås Irwin from Gleninagh (Gleann Eidhneach), who told him that there were three people in his immediate area with whom he still spoke Irish.

 

He then went to visit Maggie Howley (MairĂ©ad NĂ­ Uallaigh) who was living in Fanore, in a tin-roofed house with no electricity or running water –  a desolate place as Liam called it.

 

The dialect?

 

Other excerpts from the report/documentary mentioned the dialect:

Luaigh sleachta eile Ăłn tuarascĂĄil / clĂĄr faisnĂ©ise an chanĂșint:

 

Dialectologist Prof Brian Ó Curnáin of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies says that the Irish of northwest Clare is a north Munster variety. He says it belongs to the dialect belt ranging from Tipperary at its centre,  eastwards into Kilkenny and Waterford and westwards into Clare.

 

Prof Ó Curnáin says that although northwest Clare is geographically very close to south and east Galway and the Aran Islands, due to historical socio-political circumstances the Irish dialect there resembled more the Irish of Waterford.

 

Liam Ó Muirthile had hoped to record more of the Clare Irish speakers but the batteries in television cameras in those days had a short lifespan. Nonetheless, he left us a very valuable snapshot of the linguistic variety and diversity that once existed in Ireland.

 

Learn Irish through FluentIrish

 

Now that we have shared with you everything you need to know about the County Irish and its own Irish language dialect, we also want to discuss with you how we can help you in everything Irish-related.

 

ba mhaith linn plĂ© leat freisin conas is fĂ©idir linn cabhrĂș leat i ngach rud a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge.

 

If you can understand simple Irish, you will want to improve. FluentIrish is here for you. Listen every day to get on with Irish.

MĂĄ tĂĄ tĂș ĂĄbalta Gaeilge shimplĂ­ a thuiscint – beidh tĂș ag iarraidh biseach a dhĂ©anamh. TĂĄ Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. BĂ­ ag Ă©isteacht gach aon lĂĄ chun a bheith ag gabhĂĄil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.

We provide informative blogs and helpful podcasts that can help in your quest to learn the Irish language.

 


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