The irish language in Britain: A case study of north west england

Máiréad Ni Craith, Janet Leyland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This essay sketches the continuing presence of the Irish language in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In order to set Irish as a foreign language in context, it begins with a review of the emigration of Irish-speakers from Ireland in the nineteenth century. Specific attention is then paid to the problems encountered by speakers of this tongue in various locations in England in the last century. Reports of distinct Irish-speaking communities illustrate that the language was an integral part of everyday life in some quarters of Liverpool at the time of the Famine (1845-52). In order to demonstrate the continuing demand for the language, a profile is offered of those who learn Irish at evening classes in the North West of England. The final section outlines their views of the vitality of the language in Britain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-185
Number of pages15
JournalLanguage, Culture and Curriculum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2009


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