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   Dialect divisions in present-day Ireland

The following map shows the main dialect divisions in present-day Ireland. The East Coast region is where English was first introduced into the country in the late 12th century and stretches from Waterford up to the area beyond Dublin. In the south-east corner of the country the archaic dialect of Forth and Bargy (read: /bargi/) survived until the beginning of the 19th century. The north of Ireland is characterised by a cluster of Ulster Scots varieties along the coastal crescent with the English-based Mid-Ulster English in the centre of the province. The large area of the South-West and West is fairly uniform. This is the area where Irish was spoken longest and shows features (above all in syntax) which resulted from the language-shift which largely took place between the 17th and 19th centuries. Irish is still spoken in small pockets along the western seaboard: in Kerry (tip of Dingle peninsula), in Galway (west of Galway city in Connemara) and in Donegal (along the north-west coast). The English of native speakers of Irish can be termed Contact Irish English.


In the following maps features are listed which are typical of three main areas of the south of Ireland (Ulster in the north is a separate case, see section on English in Ulster on the tree to the left). The east coast is delimited by a number of features not found elsewhere. The south / south-west is a large area which has been influenced more than any other by the Irish language. The transition features towards the north show the gradual adoption of true northern features by speakers in the border areas from Co Sligo across to Co Louth. Some northern features, such as the high central u reach down along the east coast well below the present-day border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.