Irish Language

While Louth has the lowest percentage of people claiming to be able to speak Irish, it had the last Gaeltacht on the east coast, with Irish surviving as a spoken language in the Omeath area well into the twentieth century. The area even had an Irish language college, later relocated to Donegal. In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, Dundalk's Presbyterian ministers had to have fluent Irish as many members of their congregations spoke no English. Dundalk's Presbyterian minister, the reverend Samuel Neilson, a Down man by birth, published 'An introduction to the Irish language' in 1808. Louth shared a vibrant Gaelic culture with the rest of Oriel through the eighteenth century and there are many references to Louth landmarks in the famous poems and songs of that era.