The Irish language is a Celtic language originating in Ireland. It is the first language of a small minority of Irish people and a second language of a larger minority. Irish is spoken as a first language by a small number of people in the Republic of Ireland, as well as in Northern Ireland. It is also an official language of the European Union.
Irish has been spoken in Ireland for over 2,000 years and is one of the oldest living languages in Europe. The Irish language is also known as Gaelic or Irish Gaelic. It is a member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, which also includes Scottish Gaelic and Manx. Irish is also similar to Scottish Gaelic, but the two languages are not mutually intelligible.
The Irish government has recognized the Irish language as an official language of the European Union, along with English and 20 other languages. The Irish language is also an official language of the Republic of Ireland, along with English. In Northern Ireland, the Irish language is recognized as an official language along with English.
Irish is a compulsory subject in all schools in the Republic of Ireland, both primary and secondary. In Northern Ireland, it is an elective subject in primary and secondary schools. A large number of private schools also offer Irish-language classes.
The electronic media in Ireland make use of both Gaelic and English, with most television and radio stations broadcasting in both languages. Newspapers are also available in both languages. The Irish Times is the only nationwide newspaper available in both Gaelic and English.