Sunday, September 17, 2017
The town of Dingle / An Daingeanis is very colourful with brightly painted shops and pubs. It's a delight to wander the streets.
This is a seaside town complete with an amusement park at the waterfront. It is in a part of Ireland where Irish is spoken (Gaeltacht). We stayed at a B&B and were told that once the tourists leave, Irish is the main language spoken. On the Dingle Peninsula, particularly the western part, Irish is prevalent in homes and schools. In fact, to qualify for social housing and new building permits, you must be able to speak Irish.
Like most of Ireland, the bulk of people are of the Catholic faith. Since Ireland has been a member of the EU, there has been an influx of people, particularly from Poland. This has led to an erosion of the use of Irish in Dingle as these immigrants have come with some skill in English, but have not learned Irish.
There is no shortage of pubs in Dingle and, of course, music. The time it starts is flexible: "ish" covers a range of starting times.
We were told which pubs had more local music.
At O'Flaugherty's the bar tender doubles as musician. He kept changing instruments from accordion to mandolin, guitar, tin flute, bodhrán as well as singing. A cello provided the bass line. Again we were struck by how passionately, songs about Irish history are felt and delivered.