Have a go at speaking any irish you have this Seachtain na Gaeilge at one of these encouraging spots …
Main Image: Murphy’s Ice Cream, Dublin 2
Seachtain na Gaeilge is upon us until March 17 and so everyone is encouraged to embrace the Irish language by speaking whatever cúpla focail they may have. Seachtain na Gaeilge takes place every year and is the biggest Irish language festival in Ireland. It is a great way to encourage us all to take our own initiative and go out to use our Irish in everyday situations. One challenge for those who don’t speak Irish at home, is that there are aren’t many opportunities to use Irish outside of the school system. There is of course the exception of speaking broken Irish to friends or family abroad so whoever is around won’t understand. “An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithris?” just about covers it.
Being able to speak our own language is something that can be overlooked in today’s society and Seachtain na Gaeilge gives us this opportunity to give Irish a go. Why can’t it be like this 52 weeks a year? One great way to use whatever Irish you may have is in coffee shops. Going in and ordering anything is a practical, useful way to practice any language. It gives us a chance to have a conversation with a total stranger while practicing our Irish. There are numerous coffee shops around Ireland which encourage you to order in Irish. These are just some of the cafés and pubs around the country that offer this opportunity.
1. CORNUCOPIA, DUBLIN 2
Just off Grafton Street you will find Cornucopia, a cosy coffee shop based on Wicklow street. Cornucopia is a family-run, vegan restaurant and café which caters for many restrictive diets. The café has a few members of staff who speak Irish and will happily take your order. So why not pop in and order a fresh juice as Gaeilge? Open early till late from Monday to Sunday. www.cornucopia.ie
2. MURPHY’S, DUBLIN 2
Based in Dingle, Dublin, Killarney, Galway and Kildare, Murphys serves homemade Irish ice cream made fresh with no artificial colourings or flavourings. The staff in Murphys encourage you to order in Irish by offering a ten per cent discount if you order as Gaeilge. Murphys offers some delicious flavours of uachtar reoite including, Irish coffee, dingle gin, Irish brown bread ice cream and many more. Wicklow street Dublin hours – open 12-10pm weekdays and 11am-10:30pm weekends. www.murphysicecream.ie.
3. THE GINGER MAN, DUBLIN 2
The Ginger Man on Fenian street is an old pub that has been serving bangers and mash and pre-match pints for as long as we can remember. The Ginger Man is just across the street from Trinity College and is popular with locals and tourists alike. Aside from the food and ambiance the pub also scores points for having staff who try their best to use their Irish. They’re open Tuesday to Sunday and the hours may vary.
4. PLÁMÁS COFFEE SHOP, GALWAY
Based in Galway on Dominic St Upper, Plámás is a snug coffee shop offering a range of coffees and baked goods. In 2022 the coffee shop started an initiative where they offer anyone who orders in Irish a ten cent discount on their order. Manager and resident, Ciaran commented “the only real way to learn or to preserve your language level is by using it.” So how about popping into Plámás and ordering a cappuccino as Gaeilge this weekend? Open 8am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday. www.plamas.ie
5. AON SCÉAL CAFÉ, TALLAGHT
You can find Aon Scéal café on main street Tallaght, an Irish speaking café that serves coffees, French toast, soups and sandwiches. The café opened in 2019, it got funding from Gaelphobal Thamhlachta (a group of parents and teachers who push for the Irish language in Tallaght, set up in the 1980s) and was originally to be a bookshop but manager Dawn McKeever had worked in many cafés before so the bookshop turned into Aon Scéal Café. Open 9am-4pm weekdays, 10am-3pm Saturdays and 11am-3pm Sundays. www.aonscealcafe.ie
Written by Anna Rose Heaney