One of the traits Irish people are most famed for worldwide is our lilting lyrical accent, but within the country itself these accents change drastically from place to place.
North, south, east or west – Leinster, Munster, Ulster or Connacht – there is an intense rivalry as to which region, which county even, sounds the best when the natives start speaking. The battle even rages throughout the capital city, with North and Southside Dubliners showing off their contrasting linguistic skills to anybody who’ll listen.
TheSlicedPan.com decided to settle the debate once and for all and polled their readers on the best accents Ireland has to offer. Readers were asked to name their favorite and least favorite accents out of a choice of 33 different accents in total (Northside Dublin and D4 Dublin South given their own entry).
The results are not surprising, although it seems that maybe Irish people don’t quite like their accents (or the accents of other counties at least) as much as other nationalities do. The overall winner was the delicious Donegal accent, but it was, in fact, the only county in Ireland to receive more up votes than down votes (4,000 votes for and 2,800 against).
The outcome is not good for anybody hailing from any of the 12 Leinster counties. Meath is the first to even make the list, coming in at a miserable 12th, and the Leinster counties make up all of the last 8 places in the rankings.
So here they are ranked one to 33, the best accents in Ireland are:
1. Donegal: It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Donegal accent wins out. An accent as beautiful as its scenery.
2. Galway: A steady favorite throughout the vote, the Tribesmen held onto second place from beginning to end.
3. Cork: The People’s Republic of Cork came from behind to grab third place with an upsurge of votes on the last day.
4. Derry: Remember this guy …
5. Roscommon: Chris O’Dowd has made the Roscommon accent a worldwide favorite, but it polls just outside the top three here.
6. Kerry: A proud county with a proud accent, the Kingdom is slightly less “hilly” than their Cork neighbors but distinctive nonetheless.
7. Down: A quite excited Northern Irish accent.
8. Monaghan: Even within the county the Monaghan accent differs greatly. Some sound like they’re from the North/Donegal, some sound like the weird love child of a Cavan and Louth accent.
9. Mayo: The infamous Hardy Bucks made the Mayo accent a YouTube sensation, but all the drinkin’, schmokin’, and fightin’ wasn’t enough to get them further up this list.
10. Clare: The type of accent that most people outside of Ireland think all Irish people have. The Clare accent also makes every pre- and post-match interview with Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald.
11. Tyrone: The quieter, softer cousin of all the other Northern accents.
12. Meath: The first of the Leinster contingent to make the rankings and still outside the top ten. Much of the eastern half of Meath believes they are Dubs.
13. Cavan: Caaaaaavan. They like to elongate their vowels.
14. Armagh: A slightly scary and intimidating accent at times.
15. Kildare: A favorite accent choice for Irish national radio stations (such as Ray D'Arcy), the Lilywhites hold steady mid-table.
16. Tipperary: A county of storytellers and talkers but we don’t mind with that accent, even if it does only come 16th in the list.
17. Limerick: It seems the Rubberbandits have done nothing to help the rankings of lovely Limerick. (Skip to 4 mins in.)
18. Sligo: We love to listen to Yeats’ poetry, just not in his accent.
19. Wexford: All sentences will include either of the words “queer” (as in odd), “lad” or “grand” or all three. They will, however, be pronounced as “quare,” “laaaaad,” and “graaaand.”
20. Antrim: If you like listening to Gerry Adams, this is the accent for you.
21. Fermanagh: A bit of a mystery to be honest.
22. Wicklow: Wickla!
23: Kilkenny: One of those Leinster accents where you’re not quite sure where they’re from.
24. Waterford: A great pastime is simply listening to Waterford people says words containing “oo,” “schoooool,” “boooook,” etc.
25. Leitrim: A fine Connacht accent.
26. Westmeath: Surprisingly low after One Direction’s Niall Horan made it famous worldwide.
27. Carlow: Rather flat. “Carla'” people are afraid of the 'O.'
28. North Dublin: This lady sums it up.
29. Laois: Yet another non-existent/indistinguishable Midlands accent.
30. Longford: Can verge on a complete Midlands bog accent but soft and gentle nonetheless.
31. Louth: Couldn’t be more different from their neighbors, Dublin. Louth’s proximity to the border gives it a Northern undertone.
32. Offaly: Sounding like you’ve spent all your life working on the bog and haven’t had much contact with other human beings is how the Offaly accent could be summed up (says somebody who grew up on the Offaly border before the anger ensues).
33. D4 (South Dublin): The poor unfortunate souls in Dublin 4 come bottom of the pile. At least it’s the bottom of a list of completely awesome accents so really there are no losers here.
What is your favorite Irish accent? Which is the worst? Let us know in the comments section below.
H/T: The Sliced Pan