Irish Language and the Gaeltacht

The Gaeltacht Experience

The Dingle Peninsula / Corca Dhuibhne is a unique storehouse of our Irish cultural heritage. Until recently, the peninsula was remote from the influences of the modern world, and this meant that the language and traditions of the area have survived intact to a greater degree than in most of Ireland.

Much of the peninsula of Corca Dhuibhne is a Gaeltacht or an area where the Irish language (Gaeilge, Gaelainn or Gaelic) is widely spoken in the home, workplace or school. In summer, many school students from other parts of Ireland stay for three week-long Colaistí Samhraidh or Summer Language Colleges, staying in the homes of local people. Adult programmes are available all year round, popular with both home and overseas visitors, all participating in a rich programme of local events and activities.

 The Irish language runs through so many experiences across the Dingle Peninsula. Road signs and place names, business descriptions and menu items, music and literature, festivals and events - even the rhythm of speech when speaking English come from the native Irish language. Learning a few words and phrases while you are here will open you to a deeper understanding of this unique place and people.

The Gaeltacht Symbol

Gaeltacht LogoBW400x400

The Gaeltacht symbol is derived from the letter ‘G’ in the old Irish script with the ‘scenic journey’ symbol interwoven within its tail.The symbol depicts the Gaeltacht areas in Ireland, those areas where the Irish Language is still a vibrant community language among its people, connecting with a unique culture and heritage stretching back some 2000 years. 

Follow the Gaeltacht symbol to immerse yourself in the Irish language. Villages, businesses and services displaying the “G” offer a fully immersive experience to Irish speakers and also, operate bilingually introducing the language to those visiting the Gaeltacht for the first time.

adult group at feile beag filiochta

Learning - Foghlaim

learning irish language,gaeilge,courses in irish language,heritage,activities through irish

Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, based in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh (Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry) is in existence since 1980 and through its various activities, publications and projects, including a regional museum, helps celebrate, promote and maintain the very rich linguistic, archaeological and cultural heritage of Corca Dhuibhne.They run a range of Irish Language, Heritage & Activity Courses for adults throughout the year in Ballyferriter.

An Blascaod Mór

The Blasket Island Writers and the Irish language, the Blasket Island Centre Dunquin

An Blascaod Mór  - The Great Blasket Island, it's people and literature have served as a unique storehouse for the Irish Language. The Island was evacuated in 1953 but can still be visited by Ferry from Dunquin,Ventry and Dingle during the summer months.The cultural and linguistic history of the island has been preserved and honoured in the Blasket Island Interpretive Centre in Dunquin.

Read more..

Dingle Peninsula calendar of events in irish

Entertainment- Siamsaíocht

Activities - gníomhaíochtaí, Events and Activities where you can hear Irish

Dingle Peninsula has a year round calendar of events and festivals. Traditional Regattas with naomhóg boat racing, Poetry, Music and Art festivals are all open occasions for the visitor to sample spoken Irish. There is even a 'Spud Mór' summer festival where local potato growing skills are judged in a fun competition. Look for the Gaeltacht symbol which shows festivals and events where the Irish Language is given priority.

Féilte  link to main festivals and events page

adult group at feile beag filiochta

Ceol - Music

Ceoltoirí, Irish traditional music and dance

Both instrumental music and song have a long tradition on the Dingle Peninsula. In recent times, with the increasing international interest in Irish traditional music, the area has become a mecca for traditional music lovers to the extent that many roving musicians have come to settle in the area and have blended their talents with those of the local native musicians. There are numerous opportunities through not only pubs but An Siopa Ceoil, St. James’ Church and Tinteán Ceoil for visitors to view traditional music and dancing in both formal and informal performances, or to attend classes. For updates on fortnightly music sessions, please see local publication West Kerry Live. Click here to learn more about the music and dance traditions of Corca Dhuibhne. (link)

Ealaíontoirí - Art crafts

artists, crafts producers

Timeless traditions and enduring skills are part of the fabric of the Dingle Peninsula. Explore the Dingle Peninsula Arts & Crafts Trail to find numerous workshops, galleries and craft outlets where visitors can experience and buy locally made pottery, ceramics, crystal, jewellery, leather goods, sweaters, woven textiles, tapestries, linen, millinery, paintings, photography, and traditional Irish musical instruments, gifts, crafts and furniture.

Dingle Peninsula calendar of events in irish

museums cultural centres


Although there are not many museums on the peninsula, those that are here are of very high standard. The Blasket Island Interpretive Centre in Dún Chaoin explores all aspects of the literature, life and nature of these now uninhabited islands. Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne, in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, has displays about the archaeology and history of the peninsula, with a special exhibition about life under the ocean, and in An Díseart, in Dingle, the six, two-light stained glass windows by renowned artist Harry Clarke are the jewel in an interesting art collection in that historic former convent building.

There are many small artists’ workshops, galleries and studios around the Peninsula, as can be found in our Arts and Crafts Trail and many restaurants and pubs also display original artwork on their walls. Local societies run talks and events open to the public, and concerts take place from time to time in churches and other venues.

Irish Language Providers