The First Permanent Gaeltacht Outside of Ireland

When I lived in Ireland, I learned about Gaeltachtai, Irish-speaking regions of the country. From Wikipedia:

The current population of the Gaeltacht regions is approximately 85,000 with major concentrations of Irish speakers in the western counties of Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, and Cork. There are smaller concentrations in the counties of Waterford in the south and Meath in the east.

And now there’s one in Canada, too. I gather that it’s been around for 12 years, but had no actual land associated with it.:

Cumann na Gaeltachta in Kingston, Canada, recently purchased a 60-acre parcel of land to establish their permanent Gaeltacht site.

The Cumann na Gaeltachta was set up in 1995 by Belfast native Séamus Mac Com Charraite and has flourished since. In September they purchased the lush green site with river frontage in South East Ontario near the US border for $60,000 (€46,000).

What the heck? 60 acres with river frontage for $60,000? I live in the bizarro-world of Vancouve real estate, but that sounds super-cheap. Regardless, let me wish them a hearty fearadh na fáilte. Hope I got that right.

This would be a great story for the CBC, or some regional newspaper, but nobody appears to have covered it in Canada yet.


  1. Bizarro-world definitely describes Vancouver real estate. 60 acres of back country in Ontario for $60k? I can believe it.

    We moved to BC from Ontario a few years back so that I could complete a physics degree that I started long, long ago at the University of Waterloo. Now that I’m almost finished, we’re looking at where to move to next. $200,000 in Vancouver gets you a 500 sq. foot condo. The same $200,000 in Waterloo Ontario (a region bursting with high-tech job opportunities) gets me a 1400 sq-ft brick home and a large yard.

  2. (of course, Vancouver has a few advantages over Waterloo – there’s a lot of great web-stuff happening here that is a big draw, plus we love the vibe … so *sigh*, a condo it will likely be!)

  3. Rebecca: Indeed. I’m no expert, but I don’t think ‘Irish’ and ‘Gaelic’ are equivalent. There are several flavours of Gaelic, Irish being one of them. Apparently they speak Canadian Gaelic in Cape Breton. Apparently they’re different dialects but are mutually comprehensible.

  4. Darren is correct.

    There is Scots Gaelic as well, similar enough to (just about) read, but with an accent that is incomprehensible to most Irish Gaelic speakers.

    Not sure about the viability of a Canadian Gaeltacht though – we have larger ones in Ireland that are dying out , despite (or because of?) massive government intervention.

    Most of the language revivial is at the schools level, with a massive interest from parents in sending their kids to all Irish Language schools.

    Final point. With your use of Irish in your blog, you have one day to be nominated for the best use of Irish Language in a blog at the 2007 Irish Blog awards.

  5. Tá cainniúnt difriúl ag chuile dhuine ag breath ar carbh as dóibh, tá daoine in ann é a thuiscint ag breath orthu féin, mar atá sa bhearla.
    Caifidh mé a rá feicim do phointe(Paul) go bhfuil na ghaeltacht anseo againn ag fáil bháis ach sílim féin go d’fhéadfaidh é sin a stopadh, is ceart agus is cóir sin!
    Táim brodúil go bhfuil gaeltacht i Ceanada agus áitanna eile, taispeánann sé go bhfuil an teanga ag fás i gceataracha eile ar a laghad agus is rud álainn é sin.


    “People have different accents depending on where they’re from, other people can understand these accents depending on themselves, as it is in english.
    I must say, I can see your point(Paul) that the gaeltachts we have here are dying, although in my opinion that could and should be stopped!
    I’m proud that there’s a gaeltacht in Canada, it shows that the language is at least growing in other regions and i think that that is a lovely thing.

  6. cad e mar ata sibh uilig, ta suim iontach agam a bheith i mo chonai in sa ghaeltacht ur seo i gcanada.

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