Gaeltacht na nDéise

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Gaeltacht na nDéise
Gaeltacht district
Skyline of Gaeltacht na nDéise
Gaeltacht na nDéise is located in Ireland
Gaeltacht na nDéise
Gaeltacht na nDéise
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°03′00″N 7°35′00″W / 52.0500°N 7.5833°W / 52.0500; -7.5833Coordinates: 52°03′00″N 7°35′00″W / 52.0500°N 7.5833°W / 52.0500; -7.5833
 • Gaeltacht district62 km2 (24 sq mi)
 • Rural
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceX259930

Gaeltacht na nDéise is a Gaeltacht area in County Waterford consisting of the parish of Ring, County Waterford and Old Parish.[1] Gaeltacht na nDéise is located 10 km from the town of Dungarvan. Gaeltacht na nDéise has a population of 1,784 people (Census 2011) and encompasses a geographical area of 62 km2. This represents 1% of total Gaeltacht area.

Irish language[edit]

The use of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht is tracked at each census. Figures for the use of Irish in Gaeltacht na nDéise are as follows.[citation needed]

Year Population (3+) Daily Speaker Daily Outside Education Daily Speaker Daily Outside Education
1996 1294 692 - 53.47% -
2002 1388 552 - 39.76% -
2006 1569 747 457 47.60% 29.12%
2011 1693 769 454 45.42% 26.81%

The Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht, published in 2007[citation needed], gave information in relation to the number of Irish speakers in Gaeltacht na nDéise and the three electoral divisions that make it up, An Rinn, Baile Mhac Airt and Aird Mhór. Updated information was published in 2014[citation needed] in the Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht (Revised). The results were as follows:

Area 2007 (%) 2014 (%)
An Rinn 43.07% 48.14%
Baile Mhac Airt 32.55% 40.90%
Aird Mhór 19.67% 36.36%
Gaeltacht na nDéise 39.76% 46.04%

Gaeltacht na nDéise is one of the few Gaeltacht areas that increased its proportion of daily Irish speakers during this time.[citation needed]

Research into the status of the language in the area is carried out from time to time. The last such survey of the area was carried out in May 2006. Given the small population of the area, a full population survey was carried out. The research was carried out on behalf of the local development company, Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise, by a team from Cork Institute of Technology.[citation needed] Over one quarter (29.7%) of households were found to use Irish as the principal home language, over two thirds (68.6%) were principally English speaking while a small minority (0.5%) another language was the principal language of the home. More than six-sevenths (86.3%) of respondents reported the ability to speak Irish, 13.7% reported that they are unable to speak Irish. Of those who speak Irish, well over three quarters speak Irish at home, with over half (53.5%) speaking Irish at home on a daily basis.[citation needed] Over one third of those claiming the ability to speak Irish reported speaking Irish at work and with friends on a daily basis. When asked if they wished to retain their status as a Gaeltacht area, the residence of Gaeltacht na nDéise gave a nearly unanimous response with 98% in favour.[citation needed]


All education in Gaeltacht na nDéise is carried out through the medium of Irish. There are two pre-schools in Gaeltacht na nDéise, Naíonra na Rinne in An Rinn and Lios na Síog in an Sean Phobal. There are two primary level national schools, Scoil Náisiúnta na Rinne and Scoil Náisiúnta Baile Mhic Airt. There is one secondary school, Meánscoil San Nioclás. Coláiste na Rinne, a private educational institution, is also located in Maoil an Choirnigh, An Rinn. Coláiste na Rinne operates a boarding Irish medium primary school, 'Scoil na Leanaí' for 5th/6th class students. The Coláiste operates as an Irish Language summer college during the summer. A new transition year course is also being offered for students in 2016.[needs update][citation needed] Coláiste na Rinne also provides Irish Language training courses for public sector bodies and trainee teachers. Educational challenges in the area include the fact that the percentage of early school leavers is higher at 32% than the national average which is 20% (2006). While this is a recognised problem,[citation needed] the provision of a high quality secondary school in Meánscoil San Nioclás is ensuring that these patterns are not perpetuated in the younger generations.[original research?]


Commercial fishing from the local fishing pier or Cé Heilbhic and Agriculture are sources of employment and economic activity in the area,[citation needed] though the importance of both has declined in recent years.[when?] Education is also a source of employment in both publicly and privately funded. Electronic manufacturing and the televisual sector which supplies TG4 and the international market are also contributors to the local economy.[citation needed] In 2011 there were 121 people employed in a full-time capacity in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in the Waterford Gaeltacht.[2] Tourism is also an aspect of the area's economy. The area is somewhat disadvantaged, with a higher unemployment rate than the national average.[citation needed] There is a disparity between An Rinn and An Sean Phobal in terms of economic development with An Sean Phobal being at a lower level of economic development.[3][full citation needed]


Signage directing people to Reilig an tSléibhe, the Famine Graveyard in the Waterford Gaeltacht
Statue found at Reilig an tSléibhe
An Imearlann, the playground in An Rinn.
An Páirc Uile Aimsire, An Sean Phobal

Tourism is an important part of the local economy in Gaeltacht na nDéise.

Reilig an tSléibhe: This is the famine graveyard in the Waterford Gaeltacht, it is located in An Sean Phobal, off the N25 from Dungarvan to Cork just before An Seanachaí pub. The field itself was owned by the Villiers-Stuart family and was opened in 1847 for the purposes of burying victims of the famine after other burial sites in Dungarvan became full. Henry Villiers-Stuart was chairperson of the Board of Guardians who ran the workhouse at the time. There are possibly 3 mass graves in the field that were used to cope with the large numbers and as the deaths declined, it is believed single graves were dug. The corpses were brought by pony and trap from the town along what would have been the old Cork road. A Mr Fitzgerald made this journey with his cart up to three times a day. A Mr Barron was also in charge of the burials. Currently, it is not known how many were buried there but there are certainly 100's if not up to 1000. Officialdom, at the time, had such disregard for the inmates of the workhouse, they only had a number and no names were recorded. Many literally had to dig their own graves a matter of days before they themselves would be tipped in. They were buried without coffins or even shrouds. There is a local story of a young baby that was about to be buried with a number of other corpses and just before the cart was tipped in, she left out a loud cry. That child emigrated to America and lived into her 90's. An Seanachaí, which is located beside the graveyard obtained its first licence in 1845, issued to John Ketts. The public house was originally established to provide food and drink for the gravediggers and the Kett family were caretakers of the graveyard in the immediate aftermath of the famine. A wooden cross was erected in the middle of the field soon after the famine but this had reportedly crumbled well before 1943. In 1953 the 16 ft limestone cross, which still stands on the site, was erected to commemorate the Holy year and a small inscription was included to mention the famine victims. In 1995 for the 150th commemoration of the famine, a new memorial was created which was inscribed with part of Máire Ní Dhroma's poem, Na Prátaí Dubha. Also to be seen at the site is a solitary figure in mourning, at the side of the field. This sculpture was created by Seán Creagh; he died before it was complete and so the fibreglass structure that would have been used to create the mould for the final piece was erected instead. As such it is not very weatherproof and is showing signs of damage. There are depressions in the surface of the field that are most likely the burial sites of the mass graves and the single interments. None of the graves are marked in any way. Within the field there is also a headstone where G. R. Jacobs from the HMT Bradford is buried. He died at sea in 1916.[4][full citation needed]

Tourism development[edit]

Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise commissioned a report into Cultural Tourism in Gaeltacht na nDéise in 2014. This report was part of a wider tourism development project in the Gaeltacht that was largely funded by Waterford Leader Partnership. The study was undertaken by Dungarvan-based HandsOnEvents. The report found that significant cultural tourism development potential exists in the area due to the natural environment of the area, its cultural richness in terms of language, music and the arts, built heritage combined with the considerable enthusiasm by the local community.[5][full citation needed]

As a result of this, a new tourism development committee, An Coiste Fáilte, which is a sub-committee of Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise has recently been established in the area. The purpose of An Coiste Fáilte is to develop and enhance the area for both locals and tourists alike, and to focus primarily on the Irish Language, Culture and History of the area. This will ensure the sustainability of the area and preserve the history and traditions for future generations to come. Projects undertaken by this group include the development of Reilig an tSléibhe, the local Famine Graveyard, Aonach an Phátrúin, a Christmas Market organised on the Patron Saint's day in the area and the development of the areas presence as part of the new Ireland's Ancient East initiative.

Community development[edit]

Community development in Gaeltacht na nDéise is primarily carried out by three bodies that co-operate with each other. Two Community Committees, Comhairle Pobail na Rinne in An Rinn and Coiste Forbartha an tSean Phobail an An Sean Phobal. Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise represents the entire Gaeltacht area of Waterford. Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise was established in May 2005. It is a registered company and charity and has representatives of both community committees on its board of directors. An Comhlucht Forbartha has developed and implemented several development plans for the Waterford Gaeltacht. An Imearlann, the local playground in An Rinn and An Páirc Uile Aimsire, the all-weather pitch in An Sean Phobal were both developed with the help of Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise.

Language planning[edit]

Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 has set out a language planning process that will be undertaken in 26 Language Planning Areas throughout the Gaeltach, as set out by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Gaeltacht na nDéise constitutes a single Language Planning Area under the act. A 'Ceanneagraíocht' or lead-organisation is selected by Údarás na Gaeltachta to develop a language plan aimed at increasing the use of Irish in their community.[6] Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise has been selected by Údarás na Gaeltachta as the lead-organisation for Gaeltacht na nDéise. As such, Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise has two years to develop a seven-year language plan for the area.


There is a strong literary tradition in Irish in the area with many past and contemporary authors. Books written in the area include: Fir Mhóra an tSean-Phobail. A series of books about the history and folklore of Gaeltacht na nDéise, An Linn Bhuí, is also published each year. The 19th edition of this series of books was published in 2015.


In the past, both Irish and English versions of Gaeltacht Placenames were considered to be official and were found in state produced documents and road signage. This changed due to the Official Languages Act in 2003 and as a result only the Irish language place names have official status. Local signage now only show the Irish language place names.


The Gaeltacht area is defined by the townlands that are deemed to be part of that Gaeltacht, Gaeltacht na nDéise was defined in the Gaeltacht Areas Order, 1956 and expanded in Gaeltacht Areas Order, 1974. Below is the list of townlands that currently constitute Gaeltacht na nDéise.

Áthán, Baile an Róid, Baile an tSléibhe Thuaidh, Baile an tSléibhe Theas, Baile Uí Churraoin Thuaidh, Baile Uí Churraoin Theas, Baile Mhic Giolla Mhuire, Baile Mhac Airt Íochtarach, Baile Mhac Airt Uachtarach, Baile na Cúirte Thuaidh, Baile na Cúirte Theas, Baile na nGall Beag, Baile na nGall Mór, Baile na hArda, Baile na Móna Íochtarach, Baile na Móna Uachtarach, Baile Uí Raghallaigh, Baile Threasnáin, Barr na Léithe, Barr na Stuac, An Carraigín, An Chúil Rua, Cruabhaile Íochtarach, Cruabhaile Uachtarach, An Coinigéar, An Fhaiche, Fearann an Lóintigh, Na Geataí, Gleann an Fhíoruisce, An Goirtín, Gort na Daibhche Íochtarach, Gort na Daibhche Uachtarach, An Gabhlán, Sliabh an Ghabhláin, Baile an Aicéadaigh, Heilbhic, Cill Cholmáin, Cill an Fhuarthainn, Cnocán an Phaoraigh Íochtarach, Cnocán an Phaoraigh Uachtarach, An Cnocán Rua, Cnoc an Fhréinigh, Cnoc na gCapall, Log na Giumhaisí, An Léith, Loiscreán, An Mhóin Bhreac, An Mhóin Fhionn, An Móta, Móin an Ghiumhais, Móin na mBian, Móin na mBráthar, Móin an Fhia, Maoil an Choirnigh, Ráth Léad, Ráth na mBiníneach, An Ré Dhóite, An Ré Mheánach, Ré na gCloichín, Ré na gCuilí, Na Roisíní, An Scardán, An Screathan, Seanchluain, An tSeanchill, An Seanbhaile.[7]


  1. ^ "An Ghaeltacht". Waterford County Local Authorities. Waterford County Council, Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Waterford". Údarás na Gaeltachta. 2014-06-20.
  3. ^ Gaeltacht na nDéise - A Socio-economic and Cultural needs analysis.
  4. ^ Dungarvan Observer - 09-10-2015
  5. ^ Gaeltacht na nDéise - Cultural Tourism Report 2014
  6. ^ "The Language Planning Process in the Gaeltacht". Údarás na Gaeltachta. 2014-06-20.
  7. ^ "An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Ceantair Ghaeltachta) 2004" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-12-13.