Irish language outside Ireland
The Irish language originated in Ireland, and has spread to other countries at different periods.
Irish was historically the dominant language of the Irish people and they brought their Gaelic speech with them to numerous other countries. An early example was the widespread use of Irish in Wales, Cornwall and other parts of western Britain in the period of Roman decline and the sub-Roman era. In Scotland and the Isle of Man it gave rise to Scottish Gaelic and Manx. It was similarly exported to many other lands, although usually only being spoken by minorities within those countries.
In the course of the 19th century English became the dominant vernacular of Ireland, and Irish has since been spoken only by a small minority of the population. Irish remained the vehicle of a separate cultural, literary and historical experience, emphasised by purely linguistic differences, since (like other Celtic languages) it is distinctive in structure and vocabulary. Irish was the language that a large number of emigrants took with them from the 17th century (when emigration, forced or otherwise, became noticeable) to the 19th century.
The Irish diaspora mainly settled in English-speaking countries, chiefly Britain and North America. In some instances the Irish language was retained for several generations. Argentina was the only non-English-speaking country to which the Irish went in large numbers, and those emigrants came in the 19th century from areas where Irish was already in retreat.
An interest in the language has persisted among a minority in the diaspora countries, and even in countries where there was never a significant Irish presence. This has been shown in the founding of language classes (including some at tertiary level), in the use of the Internet, and in contributions to journalism or literature.
North America 
Irish people brought the language with them to North America as early as the 17th century (when it is first mentioned), and in the 18th century it had many speakers in Pennsylvania. Immigration from Irish-speaking counties to America was strong throughout the 19th century, particularly after the Famine, and many manuscripts in Irish came with the immigrants. 1881 saw the founding of “An Gaodhal”, the first newspaper anywhere which was largely in Irish. It continued to be published into the 20th century, and now has an on-line successor in An Gael. Irish has retained some cultural importance in the northeast United States. According to the 2000 Census, 25,661 people in the U.S. speak Irish at home. The equivalent 2005 Census reports 18,815.
The Irish language came to Newfoundland in the late 17th century and was commonly spoken among the Newfoundland Irish until the middle of the 20th century. It remains the only place outside of Europe that can claim a unique Irish name (Talamh an Éisc, meaning Land of the Fish).
In 2007 a number of Canadian speakers founded the first officially designated "Gaeltacht" outside of Ireland in an area near Kingston, Ontario (see main article Permanent North American Gaeltacht). Despite being called a Gaeltacht, the area has no permanent inhabitants. The site (named Gaeltacht Bhaile na hÉireann) is located in Tamworth, Ontario, and is to be a retreat centre for Irish-speaking Canadians and Americans.
The Irish language reached Australia in 1788 along with English. In the early colonial period Irish was seen as a language of covert opposition among convicts, and as such was viewed with disfavour by the colonial authorities. The Irish were a greater proportion of the European population than in any other British colony, and there has been debate about the extent to which Irish was used in Australia.  O’Farrell argued that the language was soon discarded; Lonergan and other researchers have found that its use was widespread among the first generation, with some transmission to the second and occasional evidence of literacy. Most Irish immigrants came from counties in the west and south-west where Irish was strong (e.g. County Clare and County Galway) and it is likely that in the 19th century Irish was the most widely used European language in Australia after English.
English was the language of social advancement, and the Irish and their descendants adopted it as they integrated into Australian life. Irish survived in various ways in spite of this. The 2011 census indicated that 1,895 people used Irish as a household language in Australia. This marks an increase from the 2001 census, which gave a figure of 828. The census does not count those who use Irish or other languages outside the household context.
The Department of Celtic Studies at the University of Sydney offers courses in both Modern Irish linguistics, Old Irish and Modern Irish language. The University of Melbourne houses a valuable collection of 19th and early 20th century books and manuscripts in Irish, frequently used by specialists in the field.
The language has seen increased cultivation in Australia since the 1970s and has attracted some public attention. The Irish National Association, with support from the Sydney branch of the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge), ran free classes in Sydney from the 1960s through to 2007, when the language group became independent. In 1993, the first ever Irish language summer school, Scoil Samhraidh na hAstráile, was established by Máirtín Ó Dubhlaigh, a Sydney-based Irish speaker. This brought together for the first time Irish speakers and teachers from all over the country and established a language network which continues to this day.
There is presently a network of Irish learners and users dominated by the Irish Language Association of Australia (Cumann Gaeilge na hAstráile), through which Irish-language classes are run. Week-long courses are available twice a year in the states of Victoria and New South Wales. The Association has won several prestigious prizes (the last in 2009) in a global competition run by Glór na nGael and sponsored by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.
Australians contribute fiction and journalism to Irish-language magazines, both in print and on-line. There is also a widely distributed electronic newsletter for Australian Irish speakers (and some overseas readers) called An Lúibín.
New Zealand 
Irish migration to New Zealand was strongest in the 1840s, the 1860s (at the time of the gold rush) and the 1870s. These immigrants arrived at a time when the language was still widely spoken in Ireland, particularly in the south-west and west. In the 1840s the New Zealand Irish included many discharged soldiers: over half those released in Auckland (the capital) in the period 1845-1846 were Irish, as were 56.8% of those released in the 1860s. There was, however, a fall in Irish immigration from the 1880s. At first the Irish clustered in certain occupations, with single women in domestic service and men working as navvies or miners. By the 1930s Irish Catholics were to be found in government service, in transport and in the liquor industry, and assimilation was well advanced.
The use of Irish was influenced by immigrants' local origins, the time of their arrival and the degree to which a sense of Irishness survived. In 1894 the New Zealand Tablet, a Catholic newspaper, published articles on the study of Irish. In 1895 it was resolved at a meeting in the city of Dunedin that an Irish-language society on the lines of the PhiloCeltic Society of New York should be established in New Zealand. Gaelic League branches were formed in two New Zealand localities (Milton and Balclutha) and items in Irish were published by the Southern Cross of Invercargill. In 1903 Fr William Ganly, a native speaker from the Aran Islands prominent in Gaelic Revival circles in Melbourne, visited Milton, where he met a large number of Irish speakers.
The dwindling of Irish immigration, the decay of the Gaeltacht in Ireland and the passing of earlier generations were accompanied by a loss of the language. Interest is presently maintained among an activist minority. In recent years language classes have become available, and Irish is presently taught as an extension course under the auspices of the University of Auckland.
Between 40,000 and 45,000 Irish emigrants went to Argentina in the 19th century. Of these, only about 20,000 settled in the country, the remainder returning to Ireland or re-emigrating to North America, Australia and other destinations. Of the 20,000 that remained, between 10,000 and 15,000 left no descendants or lost any link they had to the local Irish community. The nucleus of the Irish-Argentine community therefore consisted of only four to five thousand settlers.
Many came from a quadrangle on the Longford/Westmeath border, its perimeter marked by Athlone, Edgeworthstown, Mullingar and Kilbeggan. It has been estimated that 43.35% of emigrants were from Westmeath, 14.57% from Longford and 15.51% from Wexford. Such migrants tended to be younger sons and daughters of the larger tenant farmers and leaseholders, but labourers also came, their fares paid by sheep-farmers seeking skilled shepherds.
Irish census figures for the 19th century give an indication of the percentage of Irish speakers in the areas in question. Allowing for underestimation, it is clear that most immigrants would have been English speakers. Census figures for Westmeath, a major source of Argentinian immigrants, show the following percentages of Irish speakers: 17% in the period 1831-41, 12% in 1841-51, and 8% in 1851-61.
In the 1920s there came a new wave of immigrants from Ireland, most being educated urban professionals who included a high proportion of Protestants. It is unlikely that there were many Irish speakers among them.
The persistence of an interest in Irish is indicated by the fact that the Buenos Aires branch of the Gaelic League was founded as early as 1899. It continued to be active for several decades thereafter, but evidence is lacking for organised attempts at language maintenance into the present day, though the Fahy Club in Buenos Aires continues to host Irish classes.
See also 
- A detailed view of the linguistic geography may be found in Fitzgerald, Garret, ‘Estimates for baronies of minimal level of Irish-speaking amongst successive decennial cohorts, 117-1781 to 1861-1871,’ pp.117-155, Volume 84, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. His analysis of the 19th century census figures relating to Irish shows that the language remained very strong in the south-west (Munster) and west (Connacht) until towards the end of the century. He remarks, furthermore, that for the decennial periods of 1841-51, 1851-61 and 1861-71, the results are in all likelihood an underestimate (extrapolations included): p.118.
- The cultural and linguistic context are discussed in: Ó hAnnracháin, Stiofán (ed.), 1979. Go Meiriceá Siar. An Clóchomhar Tta, Baile Átha Cliath; Ihde, Thomas W. (ed.), 1994. The Irish Language in the United States: a historical, sociolinguistic and applied linguistic survey. Bergin & Garvey. ISBN 0-89789-331-X
- The paper and its context are discussed by Fionnuala Uí Fhlannagáin in: Uí Fhlannagáin, Fionnuala, 1990. Mícheál Ó Lócháin agus An Gaodhal. An Clóchomhar Tta, Baile Átha Cliath.
- Jim Norton. "An Gael - Baile". Angaelmagazine.com. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- MLA Language Map Data Center, Irish Gaelic. Retrieved on 7 January 2010
- MLA Language Map Data Center, Irish Gaelic. Retrieved on 7 January 2010
- "An Ghaeilge i gCeanada - Vicipéid" (in (Irish)). Ga.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- Gaelport, Irish at home in Canada, 17 February 2007
- Gaelport, First Gaeltacht abroad planned for Canada, 23 January 2007
- Cumann Gaeilge na hAstráile. The Irish Language in Australia. Retrieved on 13 October 2007.
- O’Farrell, Patrick (1986). The Irish in Australia: 1788 to the present. New South Wales University Press. ISBN 0-86840-234-6 / 0868401463 Check
- Lonergan, Dymphna (2004). Sounds Irish: The Irish Language in Australia. South Australia: Lythrum Press. ISBN 1-921013-00-1.
- http://www.sbs.com.au/news/census/: Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) – see "All other languages" and "Irish".
- "Languages Spoken At Home" from Australian Government Office of Multicultural Interests website. Retrieved 27 December 2007
- "Undergraduate Units of Study for Celtic Studies : Celtic Studies : Faculty of Arts : University of Sydney Australia". Arts.usyd.edu.au. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- This is known as the O’Donnell Collection, after Dr Nicholas O’Donnell, the Gaelic scholar who amassed it: http://www.academiccentre.stmarys.newman.unimelb.edu.au/?page_id=17
- Transcript of Lingua Franca of 26 September 1998, Why Learn Irish?. Retrieved on 13 October 2007.
- "Fáilte | Glór na nGael". Glornangael.ie. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- "Cumann Gaeilge na hAstráile". Gaeilgesanastrail.com. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- Examples can be found in Feasta, Beo and NÓS.
- This can be downloaded from the Irish Language Association website: http://www.gaeilgesanastrail.com/.
- Fitzgerald, Garret, ‘Estimates for baronies of minimal level of Irish-speaking amongst successive decennial cohorts, 117-1781 to 1861-1871,’ Volume 84, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 1984
- Phillips, Jack and Hearn, Terry (2008), Settlers: New Zealand Immigrants from England, Ireland and Scotland 1800-1945, Auckland University Press, pp.60-61.
- "Irish - Culture and politics before 1911 - Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". Teara.govt.nz. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- Gaelic Journal, 1 June 1894, 1 May 1895, and l June 1895; Irish Australian, 16 February 1895; cited in Greg Byrnes, ‘The Gaelic League in Australasia, 1893-1993’, in Rebecca Pelan, assisted by Mark Finnane and Noel Quirke (eds), Irish-Australian Studies: Papers delivered at the Seventh Irish-Australian Conference, July 1993, Sydney, Crossing Press, 1994, 244-5.
- Kevin Molloy, ‘Victorians, historians and Irish history: a reading of the New Zealand Tablet 1873-1942,’ pp.153-170 in Brad Patterson (ed.), The Irish in New Zealand: Historical Contexts and Perspectives, Wellington, Stout Centre for New Zealand Studies, 2002, p.166.
- ‘Rev. W. Ganly in New Zealand,’ The Advocate, 14 February 1903, p.19, reprinted from New Zealand Tablet, 5 February 1903.
- [dead link]
- Murray, Edmundo (2006), 'The Irish Road to South America: Nineteenth-Century Travel Patterns from Ireland to the River Plate,' Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, http://www.irlandeses.org/road.htm, p.1.
- Murray, Edmundo, 'Irish Settlers in Argentina,' Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, http://www.irlandeses.org/settlers.htm
- Murray, 'The Irish Road to South America', p.1, from McKenna, Patrick (1992), 'Irish Migration to Argentina' in: O’Sullivan, Patrick (ed.) The Irish World Wide: History, Heritage, Identity, Vol. 1, London and Washington: Leicester University Press.
- Murray,'The Irish Road to South America', p.6.
- Fitzgerald, Garret, ‘Estimates for baronies of minimal level of Irish-speaking amongst successive decennial cohorts, 117-1781 to 1861-1871,’ pp.153-4. He suggests that, in the light of the Statistical Surveys made in the early 19th century, the observations of reliable contemporary observers and the known deficiencies of the census figures, the percentage figures for Irish speakers might well need to be revised upwards.
- Murray, 'The Irish Road to South America', p.8.
- See '19th Century Irish Emigration to Argentina,' a lecture by Prof. David Barnwell, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Columbia University New York, given at a Columbia University Irish Studies Seminar (undated): http://www.irlandeses.org/argentina.pdf (Irish Migration Studies in Latin America), retrieved on 30 May 2010.
- See 'A la comunidad irlandesa le falta más cohesión,' an interview by Julián Doyle with Fernando (Ferry) O'Killian for The Southern Cross (Mayo 2010): http://www.tsc.com.ar/notacomp.php?id=768/, retrieved 30 May 2010. See also http://www.temperleyweb.com.ar/celta/killian.htm. A search for regular Irish-language gatherings in Argentina yielded very low results, even for Buenos Aires: http://irish.meetup.com/cities/ar/.