Irish Speaking Islands 🏝️: A number of islands in Ireland have their local folks primarily speaking Gaelic, making them Gaeltacht areas. We talk about some of the Gaeltacht speaking islands in this blog. Read on to learn more.


Fancy a vacation in the islands whilst simultaneously experiencing the Gaelic traditions you have only ever read or watched about a few times? Then, you should definitely do a lot more research first so you know what you are in for the moment you book your holidays!


There are quite a few world-renowned islands in Ireland, with the Skellig Islands probably being the most famous of all thanks to the franchise Star Wars. As plenty might already know, the seven-time Academy Award winner used the Skelligs as a filming location. I mean, who can really blame them? This island, when you see it in person, will take your breath away. I promise you that!


However, that is not the only beautiful island that we have here in Ireland. There are lots of beautiful islands here, a number of which are speaking the Irish language. This, of course, makes them Gaeltacht areas. Below, we share some examples of Irish speaking islands that you should definitely know about. We specifically share some useful information about them, along with a bit of history. Make sure to read this blog so you can learn more.


Also, make sure you memorise your best Irish language phrases, future tourists!



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Islands of Ireland speaking Irish Gaelic


Before we move further into the main topic, some of our fairly newer readers might not have heard of the term Gaeltacht. Simply put, a Gaeltacht means a dominantly, and primarily, Irish-speaking area. When you see or hear the world Gaeltacht, an area in Ireland that has a majority of people speaking Irish should be what comes first to your mind. With that explained, let us continue.


Aran Islands of Co Galway


Maybe second to the Skellig Islands mentioned, another famous group of islands in Ireland are the Aran Islands of County Galway. The group of islands are known as Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. Specifically at the mouth of Galway Bay, off the west coast of Ireland, the Aran Islands has a little over 1,200 inhabitants, making them very populated islands in Ireland. And, as you already expect, they are a strong Gaeltacht area, housing some of the oldest archeological remains in Ireland.


The islands feature some of the most breathtaking areas known to man, which includes places such as Dun Aengus fort, Fort of Conchobar, Teampull Bheanáin (one of the smallest churches you will ever see in this world) and a lot more where that came from.


If you have ever been to Ireland before, you might see that it has already changed over the years, sporting a more modern look nowadays as with any other countries in the world. However, things are quite different in the Aran Islands. They have mostly remained unchanged by modernisation over the years. The culture there is the same as of old, with many of the Aran Islands inhabitants primarily speaking the Irish language. But, the people there can also speak fluent English, so you do not need to feel intimidated at the thought of going there!



Irish speaking islands: Donegal Islands


Donegal Islands is next on our list of islands in Ireland that speak Irish Gaelic.


The Donegal Gaeltacht, in particular, is an area in Donegal that many claims is “one of the purest forms of the Irish language” that has survived the tests of time and where the “traditions of Irish song, dance and folklore prevail”. You can find the Donegal Gaeltacht, the largest geographical Gaeltacht area in Ireland, along the Gleann Cholm Cille region down south up along the western coast and through Donegal’s Gaeltacht Láir (central) region of the Derryveagh range and the scenic Poisoned Glen; and north through the Rosses, Gaoth Dobhair, Cloich CHeann Fhaola and on to Fanad Head. But, amongst the plenty of areas mentioned, none stand out better than the jewels of Donegal’s Gaeltacht: the Donegal Islands.


In these islands, you can truly experience Gaelic island traditions whilst exploring some of the most rugged and beautiful islands the world has ever seen. You will find plenty of rare canary wildlife and wildflowers sheltering on the Donegal Islands. Whatever you want to do – should you want to cycle, swim or walk recreationally – you have the luxury to do so in the Donegal Islands.


Not only that, you can immerse yourself in the Irish language experience whilst doing all the fun activities whenever and wherever in the islands. You can easily discover the culture of the Gaeltacht through everything – music, arts, song, dance and more!


Tory Island


The Tory Island, for example, is one of the most well-known island of Donegal Islands and should be at the top of priority places to go if you are a diving enthusiast. In the Tory Island, you can find a rarely seen view of the underwater in a crystal-clear way, full of marine life to discover.


Huge granite boulders are found strewn over cobble seabed with sheer cliffsarches and whirlpools cut by the tide. The wreck of the HMS Wasp is situated just off Tory Island with a dive depth of about 15 meters on a sandy seabed. The wreck lies mainly in gullies near the shore where two nice cannons can be seen. Choose from sheltered, shallow coves through to wall dives and wreak dives and enjoy the company of seals and dolphins, often seen on these dives. 


tory island cliff


Learn Irish through Fluent Irish


Now that we have shared with you some examples of Irish speaking islands that you should definitely know, we also want to discuss with you how we can help you in everything Irish-related.


ba mhaith linn plé leat freisin conas is féidir linn cabhrú 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.

Má tá tú ábalta Gaeilge shimplí a thuiscint – beidh tú ag iarraidh biseach a dhéanamh. Tá Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. Bí ag éisteacht gach aon lá chun a bheith ag gabháil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.

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


>>Which level?: Find out which level of spoken Irish you understand!