Counting to Twelve and Telling Time in Gaeilge (Irish Language)

Counting to Twelve and Telling Time in Gaeilge (Irish Language)

Mastering Irish Numerals: How to Count to Twelve and Tell Time an Gaeilge!

Dia dhuit (Hello)! If you’re an aspiring Irish Language enthusiast or planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, understanding the basics of counting and telling time in Gaeilge will undoubtedly enhance your experience. Fear not, for we’re here to guide you through the enchanting world of Irish numerals and the art of telling time with a sprinkle of wit and charm. So, let’s embark on this delightful journey together!

Counting to Twelve in Gaeilge

1. A haon (A hayn) – One: Let’s start at the beginning, where all good things do! A haon is the foundation of Irish numerals, and you’ll find it’s as warm and inviting as a cosy pub in Dublin.

2. A dó (A doh) – Two: Just like that, we’re a pair! A dó stands strong beside a haon, ready to take on the world with its playful nature.

3. A trí (A tree) – Three: Ah, the magic number three! A trí brings a touch of charm to the counting party.

4. A ceathair (A kah-her) – Four: Steady and reliable, a ceathair is the solid cornerstone of Irish counting, like the ancient stone walls that dot the countryside.

5. A cúig (A koo-ig) – Five: We’ve reached the halfway point! A cúig adds a touch of fun to the mix, akin to the lively spirit of traditional Irish folk music.

6. A sé (A shay) – Six: Now, we’re on a roll! A sé brings a sense of balance and harmony to the count, much like the breathtaking cliffs of Moher.

7. A seacht (A shakht) – Seven: With a little luck of the Irish on our side, we’ve made it to seven! A seacht carries a mysterious air, much like the ancient ruins scattered throughout the land.

8. A hocht (A hukht) – Eight: The number eight marches on with a sense of determination and purpose, akin to the resilient spirit of the Irish people.

9. A naoi (A nee) – Nine: A naoi’s charm lies in its simplicity, like the humble beauty of a thatched-roof cottage.

10. A deich (A deh) – Ten: Double digits, here we come! A deich stands tall and proud, much like the majestic peaks of the Irish mountains.

11. A h-aon déag (A hayn yayg) – Eleven: A h-aon déag adds a dash of whimsy to the count, much like the playful folklore creatures that roam the countryside.

12. A dó dhéag (A doh yayg) – Twelve: And finally, we’ve reached the pinnacle of Irish numerals! A dó dhéag embraces the beauty of completion, like the satisfying feeling of a perfectly poured pint of Guinness.

Telling Time in Gaeilge

Now that you’ve mastered the art of counting to twelve, let’s dive into the poetic realm of telling time in Gaeilge.

1. AM and PM: In Irish, we use “r.n.” (rishníocht) for AM (before noon) and “i.n.” (iarnóin) for PM (after noon).

2. The Hour: To express the hour in Irish, you would say “uair” (oor). For example, 1 o’clock is “a haon a chlog” (a hayn a khlog), and 6 o’clock is “a sé a chlog” (a shay a khlog).

3. Minutes Past the Hour: When telling minutes past the hour, we use the word “tar éis” (tar aysh) before the number of minutes. For instance, 3:15 is “a trí tar éis a dó” (a tree tar aysh a doh).

4. Minutes To the Hour: To express minutes to the hour, we use “chun” (khun) before the number of minutes. For example, 4:40 is “chun a ceathair déag a chlog” (khun a kah-her yayg a khlog).

5. Half-Past the Hour: Half-past the hour is represented by “leathuair” (lah-oor), which translates to “half-hour.” For example, 7:30 is “leathuair tar éis a seacht” (lah-oor tar aysh a shakht).

6. Quarter Past and Quarter To: To denote quarter past and quarter to the hour, we use “ceathrú fiche tar éis” (kah-roo fikhe tar aysh) and “ceathrú fiche chun” (kah-roo fikhe khun), respectively. So, 9:15 is “ceathrú fiche tar éis a naoi” (kah-roo fikhe tar aysh a nee), and 2:45 is “ceathrú fiche chun a dó” (kah-roo fikhe khun a doh).


Congratulations! You’ve now embraced the whimsical world of counting to twelve and telling time in Gaeilge. As you immerse yourself in the melodic cadence of the language, remember to savor each pronunciation and revel in the rich cultural heritage that accompanies it. The Irish language is a treasure trove of history, folklore, and enchantment, and by mastering these fundamental aspects, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the true magic of the Emerald Isle. Slán go fóill (Goodbye for now)!

Journey Through Time and Magic: Exploring the Enchanting Landscapes of Ireland through Irish Language

Journey Through Time and Magic: Exploring the Enchanting Landscapes of Ireland through Irish Language

Journey Through Time and Magic: Exploring the Enchanting Landscapes of Ireland through Irish Language

For me, there is no greater sense of profound tranquility and serenity than embarking on a leisurely, immersive nature walk in the emerald landscapes of Ireland, going where the wind takes me. With each step, I am enveloped in a profound connection to the rich tapestry of history that resides in these ancient paths, where my mind vividly conjures images of those who once traversed these very footprints, evoking a deep contemplation of their identities and the battles that echoed through time. In the embrace of Ireland’s bountiful natural wonders, one can traverse through time, from the primeval depths of enchanting forests to the regal peaks of majestic mountains, and from the ethereal cascade of whimsical waterfalls to the tranquil shores that exude a profound sense of serenity. Amidst this captivating tableau, the land is generously adorned with the poignant remnants of the past, as nature gracefully reclaims and intertwines with ancient ruins, invoking a sense of both reverence and humility. Truly, Ireland stands as a mystical and hallowed sanctuary, beckoning one to embark upon a transformative pilgrimage through its sacred realms.

An important note: If you come across a wee house or offerings in an Irish forest these are faerie forts and it is generally advisable to be respectful and cautious. Some people choose to leave small gifts or offerings, such as flowers, coins, or food, near the fairy fort as a gesture of respect. However, make sure the offerings are biodegradable and do not harm the environment.

Cúpla focal Gaeilge faoin dúlra (A few Irish words about nature).

1. Draíocht (DREE-ukht) – Magic:

Prepare to be bewitched by the untamed beauty of Irish nature. As you wander through its verdant landscapes, you’ll feel the palpable sense of draíocht in the air.

2. Tuar Ceatha (TOO-ahr KYA-hah) – Waterfall:

Behold the tumbling cascades that dot the Irish countryside, their glistening waters dancing in perfect harmony with nature’s symphony.

3. Fál (FAWL) – Cliff:

Perched on the rugged coastlines, the fál stands tall, defying the crashing waves below. Take a moment to let the salty breeze awaken your senses.

4. Gort (GOHRT) – Field:

The gort stretches as far as the eye can see, adorned with vibrant wildflowers, grazing livestock, and the tales of centuries gone by.

5. Caor (KEER) – Berry:

In the midst of lush woodlands, you’ll stumble upon sweet treasures, like the caor, waiting to be plucked and savored.

6. Teach Solais (TYAHKH SOH-lis) – Lighthouse:

Guiding weary souls through treacherous waters, the teach solais stands as a steadfast sentinel, illuminating the path to safety.

7. Crann (KRAWN) – Tree:

Amidst ancient forests, towering cranns reach towards the heavens, their gnarled branches whispering secrets of forgotten times.

8. Inis (IN-ish) – Island:

The ethereal allure of the inis beckons, an oasis of tranquility surrounded by the shimmering waters of the Atlantic or Irish Sea.

9. Sliabh (SHLEE-uv) – Mountain:

Venture into the heart of Ireland, where sliabh looms majestically, challenging even the most intrepid adventurers to conquer their peaks.

10. Portach (POHR-takh) – Bog:

Sink your feet into the squelchy portach, an otherworldly terrain that hides tales of ancient rituals and preserved artifacts.

11. Rabharta (RAWR-tha) – Rapids:

Follow the rhythmic melody of the rabharta as it cascades over rocks, inviting you to embrace the exhilaration of untamed waters.

12. Cuan (KOO-ahn) – Harbor:

The cuan is a sanctuary for fishermen and dreamers alike, its tranquil waters sheltering boats and stories of the sea.

13. Dúiche (DOO-ikh-eh) – Homeland:

As you traverse the Irish countryside, you’ll find that every inch of this magical land is etched with a sense of dúiche, a deep connection to the ancestral soil.

14. Machaire (MAH-khuh-ruh) – Meadow:

Lush and expansive, the machaire is a carpet of emerald green, where wildflowers sway to the rhythm of the wind.

15. Réalta (RAYL-tah) – Star:

Gaze upon the vast Irish skies, studded with réalta, and let their celestial glow ignite your imagination.

16. Sruth (stroo) – Stream:

The gentle babbling of the sruth meandering through the countryside is the perfect soundtrack for moments of reflection and serenity.

17. Cuan Beag (KOO-ahn BYAHG) – Bay:

Discover the sheltered embrace of the cuan beag, where picturesque villages nestle against the backdrop of sweeping coastal vistas.

18. Carraig (KAR-ig) – Rock:

Carved by the relentless forces of nature, the carraig holds stories of ancient landscapes and enduring resilience.

19. Port (PORT) – Harbor:

As the sun sets on the horizon, find solace in the tranquil port, where boats rest and the melodies of Irish music fill the air.

20. Slí (slee) – Path:

Follow the slí, winding through picturesque landscapes and hidden valleys, as it leads you to sacred sites where history and spirituality converge.

In the realm of Irish nature and pilgrimage sites, time stands still, allowing us to reconnect with the untamed spirit of the land. Let us embrace the draíocht and embark on a journey that will rejuvenate our souls and ignite our sense of adventure. Remember, in the words of the old Irish saying, “Tóg go bog é” – take it easy, and let the magic of Irish nature unfold before you.

Go dté sibh slán agus beannacht (May you go safely and be blessed)!

Surprising Irish Gems: Common First Names with Irish Roots and Traditional Irish Names for Your Little One or Furry Friend!

Surprising Irish Gems: Common First Names with Irish Roots and Traditional Irish Names for Your Little One or Furry Friend!

When it comes to naming traditions, Ireland boasts a rich and diverse heritage. While certain Irish names like Liam, Sean, and Siobhan have gained international recognition, there are numerous other first names with fascinating Irish origins that may not be as well-known. These hidden gems, rooted in Irish mythology, folklore, and the language itself, carry a sense of enchantment and history. Join us on a journey as we uncover some of the lesser-known Irish names that may surprise you with their beauty and cultural significance. Whether you have Irish ancestry, a passion for unique names, or simply a curiosity for exploring different cultures, this exploration of Irish-inspired names will certainly captivate your imagination. Prepare to discover a world of distinctive names that carry the spirit of the Emerald Isle.


  1. Kevin – Derived from the Irish name Caoimhín, meaning “handsome” or “gentle birth”. Pronounced: KEE-vin.
  2. Neil – Derived from the Irish name Niall, meaning “champion” or “cloud”. Pronounced: NEEL.
  3. Owen – Derived from the Irish name Eoghan, meaning “youth” or “born of yew”. Pronounced: OH-en.
  4. Liam – Derived from the Irish name Uilliam, which is the Irish equivalent of William, meaning “resolute protector”. Pronounced: LEE-uhm.
  5. Declan – Originating from the Irish name Deaglán, meaning “full of goodness”. Pronounced: DECK-lan.
  6. Shannon – Derived from the Irish River Shannon, meaning “old river” or “wise river”. Pronounced: SHAN-uhn.
  7. Megan – Derived from the Irish name Meaghan, meaning “pearl” or “strong and mighty”. Pronounced: MEG-an.
  8. Ryan – Derived from the Irish surname Ó Riain, meaning “descendant of Rían”, where Rían means “little king” or “illustrious”. Pronounced: RYE-an.
  9. Erin – Derived from the poetic name for Ireland, Éirinn, meaning “Ireland” or “peace”. Pronounced: AIR-in.
  10. Colleen – Derived from the Irish word cailín, meaning “girl” or “maiden”. Pronounced: KAH-leen.
  11. Sean – Derived from the Irish name Seán, which is the Irish equivalent of John, meaning “God is gracious”. Pronounced: SHAWN.
  12. Bridget – Derived from the Irish name Bríd, meaning “strength” or “exalted one”. Pronounced: BRIH-jet.
  13. Kelly – Derived from the Irish surname Ó Ceallaigh, meaning “bright-headed”. Pronounced: KEL-ee.
  14. Connor – Derived from the Irish name Conchobhar, meaning “lover of hounds” or “wolf lover”. Pronounced: KAH-nor.
  15. Molly – Derived from the Irish name Maolmhuire, meaning “servant of Mary”. Pronounced: MAH-lee.
  16. Aidan – Derived from the Irish name Aodhán, meaning “little fire” or “fiery one”. Pronounced: AY-dan.
  17. Casey – Derived from the Irish surname Ó Cathasaigh, meaning “vigilant” or “brave in battle”. Pronounced: KAY-see.
  18. Shannon – Derived from the Irish River Shannon, meaning “old river” or “wise river”. Pronounced: SHAN-uhn.
  19. Megan – Derived from the Irish name Meaghan, meaning “pearl” or “strong and mighty”. Pronounced: MEG-an.
  20. Riley – Derived from the Irish surname Ó Raghallaigh, meaning “valiant” or “courageous”. Pronounced: RYE-lee.


Uniquely Irish Names and Their Meanings


When it comes to naming a baby or even a pet, many individuals seek out names that hold cultural significance and unique charm. For those drawn to the rich heritage of Ireland, traditional Irish names offer a delightful array of options. Whether you have Irish ancestry or simply appreciate the lyrical beauty of Gaelic names, here are 20 uniquely Irish names along with their meanings and pronunciations to inspire your naming journey.


  1. Aisling (ASH-ling)

Meaning “dream” or “vision,” Aisling embodies the poetic nature of Irish folklore. This name is often associated with a genre of Irish poetry featuring a woman who symbolizes Ireland.


  1. Cillian (KIL-ee-an)

Cillian is a strong name meaning “church,” derived from the Gaelic word “ceall.” It is a popular choice in Ireland and has gained popularity internationally.


  1. Saoirse (SEER-sha)

With a captivating meaning of “freedom” or “liberty,” Saoirse is a name that carries an air of independence and resilience. It gained prominence with the rise of acclaimed Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.


  1. Finnian (FINN-ee-an)

Derived from the Irish word for “white,” Finnian has ancient origins. It is a popular choice for those seeking a name associated with wisdom and purity.


  1. Niamh (NEEV)

With its graceful pronunciation, Niamh means “bright” or “radiant.” In Irish mythology, Niamh was a goddess who rode on horseback across the sea.


  1. Oisín (USH-een)

A name rich in mythology, Oisín is derived from the Irish word “os” meaning “deer.” In legends, Oisín was the son of the mythical warrior Fionn Mac Cumhaill.


  1. Fiadh (FEE-a)

Fiadh is a nature-inspired name meaning “wild” or “untamed.” It is a popular choice for parents seeking a connection to Ireland’s rugged landscapes and wildlife.


  1. Caoimhe (KEE-va)

This elegant name holds the meaning “gentle” or “beautiful.” Caoimhe is a popular choice in Ireland and has gained international recognition as well.


  1. Eamon (AY-mon)

Derived from the ancient Irish name Éamonn, meaning “wealthy guardian,” Eamon carries a regal and dignified aura. It is often associated with strong leaders and noble character.


  1. Síofra (SHEE-fra)

Síofra means “elf” or “sprite” in Irish, evoking a sense of enchantment and whimsy. It is an uncommon choice but carries a touch of magic.


  1. Orlaith (OR-la)

With a meaning of “golden princess,” Orlaith exudes elegance and royalty. It is a name rooted in Irish history and mythology.


  1. Padraig (PAH-drig)

Padraig is the Irish form of Patrick and holds the same meaning, “noble” or “patrician.” It is a classic name with deep cultural significance.


  1. Aine (AWN-ya)

Derived from the Irish word for “radiance” or “splendor,” Aine is a name associated with the sun and beauty. In Irish mythology, Aine was a goddess of love and fertility.


  1. Cormac (KOR-mak)

Meaning “charioteer” or “son of defilement,” Cormac is a name associated with power and leadership. It has ancient roots and a strong presence in Irish history.


  1. Siobhan (shi-VAWN)

Siobhan is the Irish form of Joan and carries the meaning “God is gracious.” It is a widely recognized and beloved name in Ireland.


  1. Eabha (AY-va)

Eabha is the Irish form of Eve and signifies “life” or “breath.” This name has a timeless appeal and a simplicity that makes it an enduring choice.


  1. Ronan (RO-nan)

Ronan is a name with multiple meanings, including “little seal” or “oath.” It carries a sense of strength and resilience.


  1. Aoife (EE-fa)

Meaning “beautiful” or “radiant,” Aoife is a name rooted in Irish legend and mythology. It was the name of a powerful warrior princess in Irish folklore.


  1. Darragh (DAH-rah)

Derived from the Irish word for “oak tree,” Darragh symbolizes strength, stability, and endurance. It is a unisex name that works well for both boys and girls.


  1. Eilis (AY-lish)

Eilis is the Irish form of Elizabeth and carries the same meaning, “God is my oath.” It is a name with a timeless appeal and a touch of Irish heritage.


Choosing a name for your child or pet is a deeply personal and meaningful decision. By exploring the world of traditional Irish names, you can embrace the unique beauty and cultural heritage of Ireland while bestowing upon your loved one a name that will be cherished for years to come.

The Soulful Melodies of Traditional Irish Music: A Journey through History, Culture, and Celebrations

The Soulful Melodies of Traditional Irish Music: A Journey through History, Culture, and Celebrations

The Soulful Melodies of Traditional Irish Music: A Journey through History, Culture, and Celebrations

Irish music has long been regarded as the beating heart of our beloved Emerald Isle. It’s more than just melodies and rhythms; it’s a vibrant, living testament to our history, culture, and the resilience of our people. For centuries, our ancestors have used music as a powerful means of storytelling, passing down tales of triumph and tragedy from generation to generation.

Imagine, if you will, the haunting melodies echoing through the hills as warriors prepared for battle or as families gathered around the hearth, seeking solace during times of famine and hardship. Music became the soul’s refuge, a vessel through which our emotions could be expressed when words alone failed us.

Irish Diaspora

Emigration also played a significant role in shaping the Irish musical tradition. As waves of our people were forced to leave their homeland, they carried with them the songs of their ancestors. These melodies became a cherished link to their roots, a reminder of the land they left behind. Even in distant lands, Irish communities would gather, sharing stories and songs that held them together, providing comfort in their new homes.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann

Now, let’s fast forward to the present day, where the spirit of Traditional Irish music thrives with unwavering vitality. One of the crown jewels in Ireland’s musical calendar is the legendary Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the Music Festival of Ireland. This world-renowned celebration still draws over 400,000 attendees annually, with people from countless nationalities flocking to our shores to revel in our more than 2,000-year-old traditions. It’s a true testament to the enduring appeal of Irish music.


Trad Sessions

Traditional Irish music isn’t confined to grand festivals alone. Impromptu trad sessions can spring up anywhere, from the cozy corners of local pubs to sunlit fields on a summer’s day. These gatherings are like musical alchemy, where talented musicians conjure pure magic, their instruments breathing life into ancient melodies. The atmosphere crackles with excitement as fiddles, bodhráns, tin whistles, harps, squeezeboxes (accordions), concertinas, banjos, Uilleann pipes, mandolins, and mouth organs (harmnonicas) come together in perfect harmony.

Traditionally, Irish music was passed down orally from generation to generation, with musicians learning tunes and techniques by ear. While sheet music is now widely available, the oral tradition remains strong, with sessions and gatherings serving as important forums for musicians to share and learn from one another.

Most common instruments in Traditional Irish Music

Instruments play a vital role in Irish music, providing the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic foundations for the tunes. Here are some of the most common instruments found in Irish trad sessions:

  1. Fiddle: The fiddle is perhaps the most iconic instrument in Irish music. It is a versatile instrument that can carry both melody and accompaniment. Fiddle players often employ bowing techniques and ornamentation to bring out the nuances of the tunes.


  1. Tin Whistle: The tin whistle, also known as the penny whistle, is a small wind instrument with a distinct, haunting sound. It is relatively easy to learn and is a popular choice among beginners and advanced musicians alike.


  1. Flute: The flute, typically made of wood or metal, produces a bright and agile sound. It requires skillful breath control and finger work to execute the ornamentation and intricate melodies of Irish music.


  1. Uilleann Pipes: The uilleann pipes are the national bagpipe of Ireland. Unlike the Scottish Highland bagpipes, they are quieter and more melodious, often described as the “gentle” or “sweet” pipes. Playing the uilleann pipes is a complex task, requiring a combination of blowing air into the bag, finger placement on the chanter, and manipulation of the bellows.


  1. Bodhrán: The bodhrán is a traditional Irish drum made from a circular wooden frame with a goatskin stretched across one side. Played with a beater or the player’s hand, the bodhrán provides the rhythmic heartbeat of Irish music, adding a lively percussive element to sessions.


  1. Concertina: The concertina is a small, bellows-driven accordion-like instrument. It is known for its rich, expressive sound and is particularly popular in County Clare, renowned for its concertina players.


  1. Accordion (Squeezebox): The accordion, with its keyboard and bellows, brings a full and vibrant sound to Irish music. It is commonly used in both traditional and contemporary arrangements.

Traditional Irish Music by Region

Styles of Irish music can vary by region, reflecting the unique local influences and musical traditions. Here are some notable regional styles:


  1. County Clare: County Clare in the west of Ireland is renowned for its vibrant music scene. The Clare style is characterized by its strong emphasis on rhythm, intricate ornamentation, and a preference for sets of tunes played for dancing.


  1. Sliabh Luachra: Sliabh Luachra, a region encompassing parts of County Kerry and County Cork, is known for its distinctive fiddle and accordion playing. The style is marked by its fast-paced, energetic rhythms and lively polkas and slides.


  1. Donegal: The Donegal style, from County Donegal in the northwest, is often associated with fiddle playing. It is characterized by its unique bowing techniques, use of double stops (playing two strings at once), and a strong rhythmic drive.


  1. East Galway: East Galway has a rich tradition of music, particularly featuring the flute and whistle. The style is characterized by its ornamentation, breathy flute playing, and lively jigs and reels.


  1. Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland has its own distinct style of Irish music, influenced by Scottish and Ulster-Scots traditions. It features instruments such as the fiddle, accordion, and flute, and is known for its fiery and driving rhythms.


These regional styles, along with countless individual variations, contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Irish music. Whether in a pub session, a concert hall, or a festival, experiencing the rich melodies and infectious rhythms of Irish music is a captivating journey into the heart and soul of Ireland.

Ten essential Gaeilge words about Irish Music:


  1. Seisiún (sheh-shoon) – Session
  2. Ceol (kyohl) – Music
  3. Craic (krak) – Fun, good times
  4. Fidil (fid-il) – Fiddle
  5. Bosca ceoil (bos-ka kyohl) – Squeezebox (Accordion)
  6. Bodhrán (bow-rawn) – Irish drum
  7. Uilleann pipes (ill-in pipes) – Irish bagpipes
  8. Giotár (gee-o-tar) – Guitar
  9. Consairtín (kon-sar-teen) – Concertinasa (small squeezebox, accordion)
  10. Cruit (kroot) – Harp
  11. Bainséad (ban-shaid) – Banjo
  12. Céilí (kay-lee) – Traditional Irish social gathering with music and dancing
  13. Amhránaí (ow-rawn-ee) – Singer
  14. Píobaire (pee-bur-eh) – Piper
  15. Sean-nós (shan-nos) – Traditional style of singing or dancing

*Please note that Irish pronunciation can be quite challenging, and these pronunciations are only approximate. The actual pronunciation may vary depending on the dialect.

So, my fellow music enthusiasts, let us unite under the banner of Traditional Irish music, where ceol, caint, agus craic (music, chat, and fun) are abundant. Let these enchanting melodies transport you to a time long past, a time when our ancestors found solace in the power of music. Embrace the spirit of Ireland, where celebrations are fueled by the timeless rhythms that have echoed through the ages.

As we celebrate our ancient musical heritage, let us remember that Traditional Irish music is more than just notes on a page. It’s a living, breathing entity that connects us to our ancestors, embraces us in times of joy, and consoles us in times of sorrow. So, whether you find yourself at a spirited trad session or dancing in the vibrant streets of Ireland during Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, let the soulful melodies of Traditional Irish music guide your steps and warm your heart.

Slán go fóill (Bye for now!)

Lost in Translation? Navigating Irish Directions with a Little Craic

Lost in Translation? Navigating Irish Directions with a Little Craic

“Bandon in county Cork. It is on road from Cork to Killarney through wee detour. A right angled triangle has hypotenuse as shorter distance. But if going to Bandon down shorter side of triangle, and then heading back up to hypotenuse again on the third side of triangle, you pass the site where Michael Collins was ambushed and killed.” – These are the directions my cousin gave me to get to his house. 

If you’re visiting Ireland for the first time, you’re in for a treat when it comes to navigating the winding roads and charming countryside. However, you might also find yourself lost in translation when it comes to understanding the directions. Fear not, as we Irish have a unique way of giving directions that involves a little bit of humor and a lot of craic (fun). Here’s a guide to help you navigate Irish directions with ease and a side of laughter.

Irish Directions: Navigating Ireland with Ease!

Gaeilge, or Irish Gaelic, is the language spoken by many people in Ireland. While English is widely spoken, learning a few phrases in Gaeilge can come in handy when navigating the country. Here are some common phrases to help you get around:

– Ar aghaidh: This means “go straight ahead.” Perfect for when you’re on a road that seems to wind endlessly.
– Ar dheis: This means “on the right.” Use it to find the right turn when approaching an intersection.
– Ar chlé: This means “on the left.” Use it when you need to turn left at an intersection.
– Gar: This means “close.” Use it when you’re trying to find a specific location. You might hear someone say “Tá sé gar don teach” which means “It is close to the house.”

Don’t Get Lost in Ireland: Follow These Gaeilge Directions!

Now that you know some basic Gaeilge phrases, here are some more specific directions to help you get around Ireland:

– “Tá sé ansin” means “it’s there.” Use it when someone is trying to direct you to a particular location.
– “Tóg ar chúl” means “take a left.” Use it when you need to take a left turn.
– “Tóg ar dheis” means “take a right.” Use it when you need to take a right turn.
– “Tá sé ar do chlé” means “it’s on your left.” Use it when you’re looking for a location that’s on the left-hand side of the road.

With these phrases, you’ll be able to navigate the beautiful country of Ireland with ease. Don’t be afraid to try out your Gaeilge skills – the locals will appreciate your effort!

Getting Lost in Ireland? Not with these Gaeilge Directions!

Navigating Ireland’s winding roads and charming towns can be a challenge, but with these Gaeilge directions, you’ll be able to get around with ease. From “ar aghaidh” to “Tá sé ar do chlé,” these phrases will help you find your way and impress the locals. So, don’t get lost in Ireland – follow these Gaeilge directions and enjoy all that the country has to offer!

A Guide to Irish Directions

First things first, forget about your GPS and Google Maps. The Irish prefer to give directions based on landmarks and local attractions rather than street names. Directions might include things like “turn left at the big rock” or “keep going until you see the pub with the green door.” It might seem confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it more charming and memorable than just following a route on a screen.

Deciphering the Lingo

Irish directions also come with their own unique lingo that might take a little while to decipher. For example, “just down the road” could mean anything from a few meters to a few miles away. “Around the corner” might actually mean you need to go straight for a while before you reach the corner. And “over yonder” is a vague indication of a direction that could lead you anywhere. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification, and don’t take the directions too literally.

Getting Lost? You Might be Close

It’s not uncommon to get lost while trying to follow Irish directions. However, sometimes getting lost can lead you to an unexpected adventure or a hidden gem. The Irish countryside is full of surprises, and you might stumble upon a stunning view or a friendly local who can give you better directions than your initial source. Embrace the detours and enjoy the journey.

Follow the Pub Trail

If you’re really lost and can’t seem to find your way, follow the pub trail. It’s a common joke in Ireland that every road leads to a pub, and it’s not entirely untrue. Pubs are the heart of Irish communities, and chances are you’ll find someone there who can point you in the right direction. Plus, you can enjoy a pint of Guinness while you wait for your bearings.

When in Doubt, Ask the Cows

Cows might not have the best sense of direction, but they are a common sight in the Irish countryside. If you’re really lost and can’t find anyone to ask for directions, try asking a cow. It might sound silly, but it’s not unheard of in Ireland. Cows are known for being friendly and curious, and they might just lead you to where you need to go.

Directions and a Side of Craic

Irish directions might seem confusing and vague at first, but they come with a side of craic that’s hard to resist. The Irish are known for their humor and hospitality, and we’ll go out of our way to make sure you find your way. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger or ask for help. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have while trying to navigate the Irish roads.

Navigating Irish directions might seem daunting at first, but it’s a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Embrace the humor and the hospitality, and enjoy the journey. Who knows, you might end up discovering a hidden gem or making a new friend along the way. Sláinte! (Cheers!)

Deck the Halls and Stock the Cupboard: An Irish Christmas Celebration!

Deck the Halls and Stock the Cupboard: An Irish Christmas Celebration!

Christmas is a time of wonder and joy, and nowhere is this more true than in Ireland. The Emerald Isle is steeped in Christmas traditions, from the lighting of the Christmas candle to the display of the crib.

Tis the Season: Irish Christmas Traditions

Ireland is a country rich in Christmas traditions. One of the most important is the lighting of the Christmas candle. This is done on Christmas Eve, and it is said to symbolize the light of Christ coming into the world. Another tradition is the display of the crib, which is a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. Children in Ireland also believe in the “Little People,” or fairies, who are said to come out at Christmas time and leave gifts for children who are good.

Another Irish Christmas tradition is the “Wren Boys.” On St. Stephen’s Day, December 26th, groups of boys go from house to house carrying a wren on a stick. They sing and dance in exchange for donations of food or money. This tradition dates back to the time when the wren was hunted and killed on St. Stephen’s Day and was carried from house to house as a symbol of victory.


A Culinary Journey: Delicious Irish Christmas Foods

No Irish Christmas celebration would be complete without food. One of the most popular dishes is roast turkey and ham, served with stuffing, potatoes, and vegetables. Another traditional Christmas food is mince pies, made with sweet mincemeat and pastry. Christmas pudding is also a must-have, made with dried fruits and spices and served with brandy butter or custard. And of course, there’s the famous Irish whiskey, which is enjoyed in many forms during the holiday season.


Joy to the World: Celebrating Christmas the Irish Way

The Irish are known for their love of music and storytelling, and Christmas is no exception. Traditional Irish music can be heard in pubs and homes throughout the holiday season, and there are often Christmas concerts and carol services. Another popular activity is the “12 Pubs of Christmas,” where groups of friends dress up in festive outfits and visit 12 different pubs, having a drink in each one.

But perhaps the most important aspect of celebrating Christmas the Irish way is spending time with family and friends. Whether it’s attending Mass together, sharing a meal, or gathering around the fire, the Irish know how to make the most of the holiday season.

So there you have it, a glimpse into the world of Irish Christmas traditions. From the lighting of the Christmas candle to the music and food, the Irish know how to celebrate in style.


Cúpla focal Gaeilge faoin Nollaig (A few Irish Christmas words)


A toast to us all: Go mbeirimid beo ag an am seo arís! May we all be alive this time next year!

(pronounced guh meh-rim-eed be-o egg un am shuh ar-eesh)


Nollaig shona duit (Happy Christmas to you (singular) Null-ig hunna gwitch

Nollaig shona daoibh (Happy Christmas to all)  Null-ig hunna jeev

Crann Nollaig (Christmas Tree) Crown null-ig

Daidí na Nollag (Father Christmas/Santy!)  Daddy nah null-ig

Bronntanas (Gifts) Brunn-tah-niss

Maisigh (Decorate)  Moshee 

Sneachta (Snow)  Shnock-tah

Fear Sneachta (Snowman) Far shnock-tah 

Teaghlach (Family) Ty-lock 

Geansaí na Nollaig (Christmas jumper/sweater) Gan-zee na null-ig 

Sweets/ Candy – Milseáin – Mil-shawn 

Turcaí (Turkey) Turkey

Cóisir na Nollag (Christmas party) Kosher nah null-ig


Oíche Shamhna (Halloween)

Oíche Shamhna (Halloween)

Halloween is just around the corner and it’s time to get spooky! But have you ever wondered about the origins of this holiday? Well, you’re in luck, because we’re taking a trip back to the Emerald Isle to uncover the ancient roots of Halloween in Ireland. From faeries to food, we’ll explore the magic and mischief behind this spooky holiday.

The Magic of Halloween in Ireland

Halloween, also known as Samhain, has been celebrated in Ireland for over 2,000 years. It marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. It was believed that on this night, the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to cross over and mingle with the living. This made for some spooky encounters, but also provided an opportunity for divination and communication with the dead.

Trick or Treating with Fairies

While trick or treating may be a modern tradition, the idea of going door-to-door on Halloween has roots in Irish folklore. It was believed that faeries and spirits would come out on Halloween night, and people would leave offerings of food and drink on their doorstep to appease them. In return, the faeries would grant good luck and fortune. Eventually, this practice evolved into children dressing up as spirits and going door-to-door asking for treats.

Food and Drink Traditions of Halloween

Food and drink played a big role in the festivities of Halloween in Ireland. One traditional dish was barmbrack, a spiced bread that often contained small objects such as a ring, a coin, or a pea. These items were said to predict the future of the person who found them in their slice. Another popular food was colcannon, a dish made from mashed potatoes, cabbage, and onions. It was believed that hiding a ring or a coin in the colcannon would bring good fortune to the person who found it.

Uncovering the Pagan Roots of Halloween

While Halloween has become a mainstream holiday, it has roots in pagan traditions that date back to pre-Christian times. Samhain was a time to honor the ancestors, and it was believed that the spirits of the dead would return to visit their living relatives. Bonfires were lit to guide the spirits, and offerings of food and drink were left for them.

The Evolution of Halloween in Ireland

As Christianity spread throughout Ireland, Samhain was incorporated into the Christian calendar as All Saints’ Day on November 1st, with the night before becoming known as All Hallows’ Eve. Over time, the religious aspect of the holiday faded and Halloween became more about costumes, candy, and spooky fun.

Celebrating the Spookiest Night of the Year

Today, Halloween is celebrated all over the world, but its origins can be traced back to the ancient traditions of Ireland. From trick or treating with faeries to divining the future with barmbrack, the customs of Halloween in Ireland are steeped in magic and mischief. So grab your favorite spooky costume and celebrate the spookiest night of the year in style!

Now that you know the ancient origins of Halloween in Ireland, you can impress your friends with your knowledge of faeries, food, and fun. So go forth and enjoy the holiday, and remember to leave a little something out for the faeries!

Whether you celebrate the ancient tradition or it’s all about candy and costumes – Halloween is all about great craic!

Halloween – Oíche Shamhna – Ee-ha How-nah

October – Deireadh Fómhair – Derra For

01 November – Samhain – Sow-win

Witch – Cailleach – Ky-lock

Ghost – Púca – Pookah (A very popular name for black cats in Ireland)

Skeleton – Cnámharlach – Knawv-arlak

Devil – Diabhal – Dia-vol

Pumpkin – Puimpcín – Pump-keen

Trick or Treat – Bob nó bia – Bob noo bee-a

Sweets/ Candy – Milseáin – Mil-shawn

Scary movie – Scannán Scanrúil – Skan-awn skan-rool

Halloween party – Cóisir Oíche Shamhna – Kosher Ee-ha how-nah

Games – Cluichí – Kli-hee

Apples – Úlla – Oo-la

Nuts – Cnónna – Kuh-no-nah

Ring – Fáinne – Faw-nyah

Haunted – Cráite – Kraw-ta

Aimsir (Weather)

Aimsir (Weather)

We love to talk about the weather, it’s the most common conversation in Ireland! With the hottest summer on record in much of the world “Tá an ghrian ag scoilteach na gloch – The sun is spitting stones” comes to mind! I am personally looking forward to the weather changing soon and expanding my conversations to the many, many ways we have of complaining about the weather. I’ve included a video for pronunciations by the Learn Irish channel on YouTube. Please give him a like and a follow!

Tá go leor focail agam faoin aimsir – I have many words about weather!

Gaeilge English
aimsir weather
aimsir bhreá fine weather
Lá breá gréine fine sunny day
Tá lá breá ann It’s a fine day
te hot, warm
aimsir the warm weather
Tá sé te It’s hot
grian sun
lá gréine a sunny day
grianmhar sunny
lá bréa grianmhar a fine sunny day
Tá an ghrian ag scoilteach na gloch

It’s very hot

(lit. “The sun is splitting the stones”)

fuar cold
Tá sé fuar It’s cold
lá fuar atá ann It’s a cold day
Tá sé fuar fliuch It’s cold and wet
tirim dry
aimsir thirim dry weather
drochaimsir bad weather

aimsir aimlithe

aimsir bhocht

aimsir chéasta

miserable weather
lá beag brónach miserable kind of day
fliuch wet
Tá sé fliuch It’s wet
aimsir fhliuch wet, rainy weather
scamall cloud
scamallach cloudy
aimsir scamallach cloudy weather
Tá sé scamallach inniu It’s cloudy today
ceo fog, mist, haze
ceo dlúth / doiléir thick fog
ceo trom dense fog
lá bog braonach soft misty day
Tá ceo ann It’s foggy
Tá an ceo ag druidim isteach orainn The mist is closing in upon us
bogha báistí rainbow
sneachta snow
Tá sé ag cur sneachta It’s snowing
flichshneachta sleet
casairneach hail, hailstorm
gaoth wind
gaofar windy
lá gaofar windy day
stoirm storm
Tá stoirm air There’s a storm brewing

Of course we have many words and idioms for rain!

Gaeilge English
báisteach, fearthainn rain

Tá sé ag cur báisteach

Tá sé ag cur fearthainne

It’s raining
Tá báisteach air It’s going to rain
Tá cosúlacht báistí air It looks like rain
Tá cuma fearthainne air It looks like rain
Tá cló báistí ar an lá The day shows signs of rain
Tá sé ag bagairt báistí It’s threatening rain
lá báistí rainy day
salachar ceo / báistí drizzling mist, rain
draonán báistí drizzling rain
lá buan fearthainne day of continuous rain
ag caidhleadh báistí driving rain
ag cáitheadh báistí pouring rain
ag clagairt báistí pelting rain
ag dallcairt báistí raining heavily
ag spéachadh báistí spitting rain
greadadh báistí pelting rain; drenching
báisteach dheannachtach cold drenching rain
batharnach bháistí downpour of rain
bús báistí pelting rain
cnap báistí sudden downpour
díle bháistí deluge of rain
gailfean báistí driving rain
maidhm bháistí cloudburst
Tá sé ag caitheamh sceana gréasaí It’s throwing cobblers knives
Tá sé an bháisteach ag titim ina tulcaí The rain is coming down in torrents

An Craic a Bhaint Le Cairde & Teaghlach (Having Fun With Friends & Family)

An Craic a Bhaint Le Cairde & Teaghlach (Having Fun With Friends & Family)

Pionta Beor – A pint of beer (Pee-un-ta beeyor)

Gloine Uisce – A glass of water (Glin-eh ish-kay)

Gloine Fuisce – A glass of whiskey (Glin-eh f-wish-kay)

Airgead – money (ari-gid)

Leithreas – Toilet (Leh-hris)

Cupán Tae – A cup of tea (Cup-awn tay)

Cupán Caife – A cup of coffee (Cup-awn Caff-ay)

Bainne – Milk (Bon-ye)

Siúcra – Sugar (shoe-kra)

Bia – Food (Be-ah)

Tá ocras orm – I’m hungry (Taw uk-rass ur-um)

And of course:

Sláinte! – Cheers/Good Health (Slawn-chuh)

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Comhbhrón (Condolences)

Comhbhrón (Condolences)

When we can’t be there to offer a barróg (hug) and words of comfort are the best we can do.

Cúpla focal sóláis as Gaeilge (A few words of comfort in Irish language).


Ní maith liom do thrioblóid

Sorry for your loss

Nee mah lum duh *h-rub-lode (this word is just two syllables hrub-lode)

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

May he rest in peace


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam

May she rest in peace


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha 

May they rest in peace


The words uasal (noble) or dílis (faithful) can be used to add emphasis:

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal / dílis

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal / dílis

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha  uaisle / dílse


Mo chomhbhrón ort agus ar do mhuintir

My condolences to you and your family


Comhbhrón ó chroí ort as bás do chéile ionúin agus is trua liom / linn do chás. Tá tú inár gcuid smaointe agus paidreacha. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a (h)anam uasal

Sincere condolences to you on the death of your beloved husband / wife and I am / we are sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. My (s)he rest in peace.


Glac mo chomhbhrón / ár gcomhbhrón le do thoil as chailliúint do mháthair / d’athair / do dheirfiúr / do dheartháir / do mhac / d’iníon.

Please accept my / our condolences for the loss of your mother / father / sister / brother / son / daughter


Source: Curtha le chéile ag / Compiled by: Fearghal Ó Maolagáin

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