GaelGoer, a new free app that aims to connect Irish speakers of all levels, has been officially launched following two years of research and development.
The development of GaelGoer was set out to create an app that would make it easier for Irish speakers to identify each other and conduct their day-to-day business through the medium of Irish.
The concept for the app was born in 2019 when one of the app's founders, Noreen Breen, asked a number of Irish-speaking shop workers to wear a badge saying ‘Labhair Gaeilge Liom’ [speak Irish to me].
The result of the research indicated that on average 3.6 customers spoke to them in Irish every day over a two-week period.
Ms. Breen said “As the saying goes “is beatha teanga í a labhairt” and following some research I was taken aback by how many opportunities I was missing to speak our native language due to being unable to identify fellow Gaeilgoirí.
We couldn’t be happier to get the app off the ground and we can’t wait to welcome the wider Irish speaking community to the platform.”
GaelGoer comes with three main functionalities which are:
Anseo: Which will indicate premises and businesses where there is an Irish speaker, of any level of proficiency, willing to speak Irish to customers. The location will appear on the app when a registered GaelGoer user is on the premises.
Imeachtaí: Which will give information on events in Irish.
Lámh Suas: Which will inform users of the presence of another GaelGoer user in their vicinity and offer the opportunity to contact that person via an instant messaging system built into the app.
The first version of GaelGoer is available for download on the App Store or Google Play and awaits enthusiastic Irish speakers working in businesses to register themselves on “Anseo” to take the first step in identifying themselves to customers.
Also, new users can also immediately register with upcoming events for Irish speakers on “Imeachtaí”.
GaelGoer also uses state-of-the-art technology, including geo-fencing, and can be used in Ireland and abroad including the US.
Luke Middleton, Head of Technology & Innovation at DataDyne who developed GaelGoer, said “This has been the culmination of a long-running passion project for myself and the team at DataDyne.
As someone who’s trying to improve his Irish, I try to avail of every opportunity to speak it and I’m hoping that through GaelGoer I’ll have far more chances to develop my cúpla focail.”