In this part of the site aspects related to how the keyboard is used for Irish are covered.

The computers used in Ireland are generally first set up to function with English as their operating language, just like in Britain. They are not usually set up for Irish. This causes particular problems when writing in Irish, unless certain precautionary steps are taken.

Automatic Correction and Spellchecking, especially when executed using the regulations that govern the English language, cause some interesting effects when the language of the text being written is Irish. There are ways around this, some of which are described here.

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)

A Keyboard for Irish

The most frequently posed question on this site relates to how to “get a fada”. It is unbelieveable that this skill is not more widely known, but when you consider that the keyboard in common use in Ireland (the British one, of course) does not explicitly show the long vowels (Á, Ú, Ó, É, Í) on the keys in the same way that the euro (€) symbol is shown...

Anyway, nascanna.com (or Dúrud Teoranta officially) have decided to deal with this problem by commissioning a new keyboard for Irish (which is also suitable for English), with the collaboration of the high technology company mSemicon Teoranta.

Is has been on sale since the end of 2013, and further information on it can be found here and in other places of this site.

>> Want to learn Irish?

If you want to learn Irish on-line, there are several sites that might be of interest to you. There is further information about courses at the following link: Irish On-line Courses.

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.


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.