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My family is Irish, but I don't know how to do anything Irish! What can I learn to do, and where?

My family is Irish, but I don't know how to do anything Irish! What...

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Posted Fri 18 Nov 2016 4:44 PM
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Island of Ireland
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With a rich traditional culture that the people of Ireland are eager to spread around the world, picking up something new couldn’t be easier – just get over here, and get stuck in!

You could start by learning the Irish language of Gaelic. It’s been spoken for over 1,500 years, and is taught to schoolchildren from the moment they walk through the door. Irish courses aren’t just sult agus spraoi (brilliant fun), they’re held in some visually beautiful locations. Visit one of the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking areas) in Kerry, Galway, Cork, or Donegal for these fab courses, or simply pick up some words from the locals while you’re there – start off with dia dhuit, which means “hello”!

Ireland loves its sport, especially its indigenous sports. The Gaelic Athletics Association (GAA) is widespread across the island, and is a strictly amateur organisation, so anyone can join in! It’s a very fast-paced game, with a lot of fans, and it’s a lot of fun! To try it for yourself, check out Experience Gaelic Games in Dublin. You’re getting history, you’re getting culture and you’re getting exercise! Less course, more fun, informal lesson, Experience Gaelic Games introduces folks to the basic tenets of hurling and Gaelic football with a whopping side order of craic.

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And of course, no list of activities to try in Ireland would be complete without mentioning song and dance! For music-lovers, try the bodhrán, which provides the heartbeat for any piece of Irish music, with a pounding and infectious beat. The traditional music school of Craiceann on Inis Oírr offers special group programmes for beginners during summer. Or, if you have quick feet, try Irish dancing. It’s a high-kicking, hair-flying spectacle, made famous by Riverdance, and it seems to defy gravity!


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