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Catch a glimpse of Inis Mór of the Aran Islands, where they speak lots of Irish Gaelic

We’ve been doing lots of driving around Ireland the last couple of weekends, and I’m not complaining!

This is Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands/Oileáin Árann:

Fields of Inis Mór
Stony walls and fields of Inis Mór, an Irish Gaelic-speaking island off the west coast of Ireland.

Irish Gaelic is spoken all across the Aran Islands, making them part of on of the Gaeltacht regions. Traditionally, I believe, fishing has been the main activity for the islanders.

There are lots of old structures, such as this church:

Horse at an old church. I wonder if this horse speaks Irish Gaelic… An bhfuil Gaeilge agat??

They’ll try to catch you for Aran sweaters:

Aran Sweater Shop
Aran sweater shop.

A great way to get around Inis Mór to hear them speaking Irish Gaelic is to rent a bike.

The island’s coastline is a mix between claddach (stony coastline), cliffs, and patches of sand:

An claddach, or the stony coast in Irish Gaelic.
“An claddach” /on clod-okh/ describes this rocky type of coastline.

Cycle up to Dún Aonghasa (“dún” means “fort”), the main prehistorical spot of Inis Mór. It dates back to 1000 B.C.. The stone fort is a semi-circle shape right against the island’s cliffs. You can walk along the edge (photo below) until you realize how far down the drop is:

Dún Aonghasa
On the edge at Dún Aonghasa.

On the island, there are of course lots of signs in Irish Gaelic (sorry about the small size):

Irish gaelic sign
“Géill slí” (which you can hardly read here) is equivalent to “Yield” or “Give Way”.

Lesson: Don’t Bother Using Umbrellas

“Hey Mam, I’m at Dún Aonghasa, and it’s lashing rain!”

At Dún Aonghasa, Inis Mór, Aran Islands.
At Dún Aonghasa, Inis Mór, Aran Islands. Lesson: don’t bother with umbrellas.

Quiz: What Does This Sign Mean?

Leave a reply below if you know what it means!

Bóthar Dúnta on Inis Mór, an Irish language speaking island.
Bóthar Dúnta on Inis Mór.

P.S. If you’re interested in learning Irish Gaelic, try our online Irish Gaelic lessons and sign up today.

9 thoughts on “Catch a glimpse of Inis Mór of the Aran Islands, where they speak lots of Irish Gaelic”

  1. Nice pictures! I just read the post about Irish road signs so I remembered that this sign meant “Road Closed”. Isn’t “bealach” another word for road? What’s the difference in their usage?

  2. Good to know heading over to the west coast next year. Dads from Galway so have have many family in the Gaeltacht regions across Co. Galway, really cant wait to get across to the Aran Islands.

  3. Well, I knew it said road closed before I came and saw the comments! I just posted this on my Irish pages (2). One is for my class, but the other one is for the class in Eastern Iowa. The last post seemed to generate interest in Bitesize. Hope things are going well for you!

  4. Bóthar is literally cowpass meaning road, and of course Dúnta means close/shut, so the road’s closed!

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