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Dublin City University are about to launch an innovative new course aimed at those who want to improve their Irish language skills.

'Irish 101' promises to make it easier for people to learn our country's native tongue. 

The open online course will focus on technology and interaction, with course directors ensuring prospective students that in infamous Peig (*shudders*) is no where to be found on the syllabus.

Dr Mairead Nic Giolla Mhicil from Dublin City University says the course is aimed at those who haven't learned Irish in a long time and are interested in refreshing their skills, as well as those who are living abroad and the new Irish.

"We are launching ’Irish 101’ which is one of the first open online courses for the Irish language on the feature learn platform," she said.

"We are trying to use technology to liven the language and there are so many ways you can make it more interactive."

The launch coincides with the 2018 Bliain na Gaeilge programme – a celebration marking the 125th anniversary of the revival of the Irish language.

Learners and fluent speakers are encouraged to tweet a cúplafocal as Gaeilge and use the hastags #TrasnaNadTonnta and #Gaeilge2018 as part of the celebrations.


Having covered the likes of Coldplay, Garth Brooks and Adele, Coláiste Lurgan is already well established in the Irish music scene.

Combining its students’ linguistic and musical talents once again, the Irish language school recently took on one of 2016’s biggest hits.

Earlier this week, the popular Gaelscoil released its own rendition of Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s This Is What You Came For.

As with all of Coláiste Lurgan’s musical ventures, the track has been translated into Irish and is accompanied by a thought provoking music video.

Check it out below:




Let's face it, one of the easiest ways to initiate a rip-roaring debate among your peers is to question the validity of the Irish language in modern society, and watch as normally mild-mannered people dig their heels in and argue the toss over the first official language of the Republic.

While a number of us admit we barely have cúpla focal after 12 years learning the language, others insist it's up to us to keep the Irish language alive – a difference of opinion which really came to the fore on social media over the past week.

With 62 Irish-language translator positions currently available with the EU, Publicjobs took to Facebook to remind potential candidates that the deadline for these 'well remunerated positions' was looming, and it's definitely rubbed a number of people up the wrong way.

Commenting on the position which boasts a salary of approximately €52,000 per year, one Facebook user wrote: "Waste of money that could be well spend somewhere else,"

"What's the point, we speak English in Ireland everywhere – schools, work, pubs, doctors, hospitals…unless everyone starts speaking Irish, it is a total waste of money on translations."

"The Irish language is an integral part of our heritage," argued another. "Although it is not as widely spoken as I would like it to be I hear the cúpla focal spoken almost every day at work. I think it's very important to do everything we can to keep it alive."

Cited as a 'great entry point into different careers within the European Union', social media users have taken umbrage with the suggestion that those fluent in the language will have better options in the future.

"Only problem is the people who get the jobs will be connected and have the pull. A lot of the best candidates won't be considered because of their background," argued another.

Insistent that the debate has more to do with the actual job and less to do with the language, another wrote; "It's not about reading and speaking Irish"

"It's about paying people to do a pointless job; no Irish MEP needs anything translated into Irish, since they all speak fluent English. That is a cynical abuse of EU taxpayer's money."

The post has been inundated with comments since it was published last week with debate continuing to rage on Facebook today.



When we think of learning Irish we generally imagine being in a stuffy classroom with scratchy polyester jumpers, fuzzy pencil cases and a TV on wheels lurking in the background.

The concept of sitting down for your morning commute to get in some conditional tense practice is far from what we ever imagined. However, that is exactly what is happening.

Thanks to the DuoLingo app, one million more people from all over the world are learning the Irish language. A moderator for the app’s website, AlexInIreland wrote:

“Dia daoibh, a chairde, I am here to inform you of a massive milestone just reached by the Irish course. That is, of course, 1,000,000 learners!”

Saying that the number “blows my mind” every time he thinks about it, Alex put the numbers into perspective for us.

He compared the number of people who have added a ‘cúpla focal’ to their repertoire as being the same number needed to fill Croke Park 12 times.

The app itself has gone from strength to strength in the last year, with Google becoming a key investor. Impressive. One of the reasons the app is supposed to be so popular is because of how much attention it requires. The app also appears more like a game than a textbook-type learning tool, making it more inviting for users to come back for more.

The Irish-language section has only been added to the app in the last year. Over one million people learning Irish means the app has allowed 7 times the number of native speakers to be reached.