St Patrick’s Day on 17th March inspires thousands of people from all over the globe of trips to book trips to the Emerald Isle. But, are you aware there are three languages spoken there?

What Are the 3 Key Languages Spoken in Ireland?

  • 1 English

The English language became the first language in Ireland during the 1800s and is spoken across the whole of Northern and Southern Ireland.

  • 2 Gaelic

Gaelic or Gaeilge was the original indigenous native language of Ireland before it was overwhelmed by English. But it’s still commonly used in swathes of Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Meath, Mayo and Waterford to this day.

According to IrishCentral, 39.8% – The percentage of the population who could speak Irish in 2016 (1,761,420 persons).”

  • 3 Ullans

Ullans is an Irish variation of Scottish. Its rooted in Northern Ireland, rather than the southern counties where Gaelic or Gaeilge remains prevalent.

According to Wikipedia, In the 2011 census of Northern Ireland, 16,373 people (0.9% of the population) stated that they can speak, read, write and understand Ulster Scots and 140,204 people (8.1% of the population) reported having some ability in Ulster Scots.” 

Author Felicity Hayes-McCoy lives in the Gaeltacht area of Dingle in County Kerry. She passed on this advice, courtesy of Tourism Ireland, to visitors planning to venture to Irish shores – “You can… sign up for a language course…before you get here, just to give yourself a flavour of what to expect”.


At La Academia, we love a challenge and we’re tremendously proud to be able to help students in EVERY language. So, if you’re thinking of taking up Felicity’s advice ahead of a foray to Ireland, we’d love to help.

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Erin Go Bragh!


Languages of Ireland, Tourism Ireland
How much Irish is actually spoken in Ireland today? IrishCentral
Ulster Scots dialect, Wikipedia