The Keyboard

Keyboards for computers are different depending on where the computer is purchased, in order to cater for different linguistic requirements. German keyboards have specific keys for letters such as ü, ä, and so on, while Italian ones have à, ù and ì. Similar for other European nations.

There is more about this on the following Wikipedia website:

In Irish

Until about the 1960s, a specific Irish typewriter and print style existed, known as the Cló Gaelach (Irish language type). There was access to “dotted” consonants and to accents on vowels. However, parties involved in printing Irish material decided to abandon this type, and instead opt for the type used in English, i.e. roman type. This was apparently done for cost reasons.

The standard arrangement now, therefore, is that in Ireland the same keyboard is used as in the UK, in which a provision is made for the inclusion of accents through the use of a particular keyboard sequence. (This does not apply to “dotted” consonants, which have not been used since the original type was abandoned.)

With the kind permission of The National Museum of Ireland (Record 32117, The first typewriter of Conradh na Gaeilge [The Gaelic League], and believed to be the first ever made in Irish, ~1905)

The Current Keyboard used in Ireland

UK Keyboard (Drawing from Wikipedia)

And the Future?

Now you have a choice! Dúrud Teoranta has developed a keyboard that addresses the shortcomings of the British keyboard, i.e. allows for easy access to long vowels.

LibreOffice - The Choice for Irish

We recommend it to anyone who is writing in Irish do download and use the free computer application called LibreOffice. This is an excellent wordprocessor that hosts a spellchecker and thesaurus, for example. One can make PDFs from documents easily as well.

In LibreOffice, it is possible to open MS Word documents, make changes, and save again as a MS Word document, if required.

An Foclóir Beag (Dictionary)

An Foclóir Beag, the Irish/Irish dictionay, is available on line. It offers more than the print version; for example, one can see verbs and adjectives in all their forms.

Potafocal

If you are looking for information, including translations, related to a word, you might not need to look any further than potafocal.com. This site uses many different resources to present to the user many different aspects related to the word. It even contains straight links to well-known sites such as focal.ie. It is well worth a visit.