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Good podcasts for learning Irish

tips for learning irish

Listening to podcasts is one of the best ways to learn Irish, and the good news is that there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are a few that you might like to check out, but there are plenty more out keep looking until you find one that you enjoy! Search in Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts for each of the suggestions below.


Ón Domhan Thíos / From the Otherworld

This is a new 9 part podcast available on the RTE website, or Spotify. Listen to the trailer above and you will get an idea of what to expect. It's essentially a children's story about changelings, fairy forts, and all kinds of other mischief. It's really well done, and is best for someone with a good intermediate level of Irish. 

The story clips along at a nice pace and you will be looking forward to finding out what happens next after listening to each episode.

The narrator has clear Ulster Irish and speaks quite slowly; and the remaining actors mainly have Connacht Irish, making this a great podcast to tune your ear into the differences between these dialects.


Beo ar Éigean / Barely Alive

Beo ar Éigean is really one of the first podcasts in Irish on the scene, and is one that lots of Irish speakers enjoy. Listen to Sinéad Ní Uallacháin, Áine Ní Bhreisleáin and Siún Ní Dhuinn talk about every topic under the sun in a bright and breezy way. This is a really nice podcast, but again best for those with an intermediate level of Irish, as the presenters all speak at a natural pace which can be a little difficult depending on your level of Irish. 

Try slowing the speed down and see if that helps if you find the podcast a little challenging.


Nuacht Mhall / Slow News

This podcast is the creation of the London branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, and does what it says on the label! The news of the week is read at a very slow pace, and each episode is around 5 minutes long. You can also access the text which is always a great help when listening. The text is available in Irish only, but use Google Translate to quickly get a rough draft in English!

Listen to this podcast regularly and you will become familiar with the vocabulary necessary to talk about current affairs in Irish.

This podcast is accessible to beginners, but a bit of work will be required!


Splanc / Newstalk

'Splanc' is a relaxed show in Irish presented by Cuán Ó Flatharta on the Newstalk radio station each Friday from 10pm to 12pm (and available on all the usual podcast hosting sites). This is an entertaining show covering all kinds of topics, from film and book reviews, to sport, current affairs, panel discussion....just about anything really!

Again, best for intermediate learners.


Short Stories in Irish for Beginners

This is not strictly a podcast but the audio book 'Short Stories in Irish for Beginners' will give anyone learning Irish lots of great listening practice. Having the printed version of the book will help enormously when listening to the stories. The audio stories are narrated by Ros na Rún actress, Gráinne Bleasdale, with lovely clear Connemara Irish. Use this audio book to hone your ear to Connacht Irish.

The audio book is available on Audible, or on a downloadable app from the publishers, and the printed book can be found in any good bookstore or online.


How to Gael

Finally, 'How to Gael' is another podcast with three female presenters: Louise Cantillon, Síomha Ní Ruairc and Doireann Ní Ghlacáin. This podcast has proven very popular since its inception in the last year or so.

The three women have the chats and banter, mostly in English, but with plenty of Irish caite isteach / thrown in as well. Even those with very little Irish will be able to follow along, and will surely learn some new and interesting Irish phrases along the way. 


Raidió na Gaeltachta / Raidió na Life / Raidió Fáilte

Each of these Irish language radio stations make most of their programmes available in podcast format also. Raidió na Gaeltachta is broadcast from its regional bases in Galway, Kerry and Donegal. Raidió na Life broadcasts from Dublin; and Raidió Fáilte from Belfast.

Be aware however that if you are just starting out, or haven't been a solid grasp of Irish then these podcasts will in all likelihood be too challenging for you.


How to learn Irish

As you can see there are many many ways to learn Irish. I am a strong advocate for getting a solid understanding of the structure of the language (check out my courses for learning Irish online) and combining that with lots of input at the appropriate level. Even if you are attending classes try to get as much input in as you can outside of class by watching tv programmes; reading in Irish and listening to podcasts.

Check out my earlier blogs on each of these topics:

Learn Irish with children's tv station Cú

Learn Irish with Irish language tv

Tips for reading in Irish 1

Tips for reading in Irish 2








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