A New York sanitation man on learning Irish in the Kerry Gaeltacht


The thing is that people around here, in Corca Dhuibne do not speak Gaeilge, they speak Gaoluinn, a sub-dialect of Munster Irish. Yes, it is the same language but there is very, very little Gaolinn in print. That is to say, you will not find a dedicated English/Gaolinn dictionary anywhere and good luck trying to find any Gaolinn grammar books!

That said, the local teachers are highly educated professionals with a great knowledge of all three major dialects and of their mother tongue, Gaolinn. Their patience and dedication to teaching Irish seems to give them the ability to inject knowledge into even the thickest heads, like mine. I am learning, but I am having to make a greater effort than my fellow students.

In order to keep up I sometimes give up my coffee and lunch breaks to write in my daily Gaolinn journal or to research terms and phrases for use in my writings. There are times when I would prefer to be out walking on the strand or in the hills but I cannot countenance the possibility of a poor grade so I stay home and study. That said, all work and no play makes Ed bit of a geek!