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Gaeltacht Locals Respond To Criticism From Tourist Who Said Nobody Spoke Irish

By Sarah

April 3, 2018 at 11:29am

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A tourist from Cork wrote a "strongly worded" letter to the Irish Independent after a visit to Dingle in Kerry where he said that despite it being a Gaeltacht area, himself and his wife "quickly discovered that few if anybody there speaks as Gaeilge".

"We naïvely expected that, being in Dingle, in the Gaeltacht, the Irish language would be spoken widely throughout," Mr John Leahy said. 

He added that none of of the staff at their accommodation could speak basic Irish and that "nobody we met seemed embarrassed or apologetic, despite the town being festooned with business and street names, as well as directional signs in Irish".

Locals from Dingle however, have hit back and said that the claims in his letter are "simply wrong."

Kerry GAA player Paul Geaney said: "You wouldn't have to go far to hear someone talking in Irish. Around this time of the year we have a lot of tourists so obviously we would assume they don't speak Irish. Even many Irish people who visit the town have trouble with the language, so we mainly converse with them in English. But, having said that, you would hear Irish being spoken regularly in shops, pubs and around the town.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I honestly don't see how someone could visit here and not pick up on any Irish being spoken."

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